A property and personal safety trade group came out Tuesday with its ranking of the safest campuses in the U.S. with 10,000 or more students, and the University of Minnesota is far down the list.
The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked the U 199th out of the 243 on the list. The council, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and backed by licensed alarm installers, contractors and others in the industry, said the ranking was based on the most recent data from the FBI’s uniform crime report and the campus safety security survey from the U.S. Department of Education.
University officials declined to field questions or challenge the validity of the ranking. Instead, it issued a statement early Tuesday evening that read, in part: “The University has made and continues to make significant investments to enhance public safety while engaging with the campus community to provide a safe environment for learning.”
Topping the list is Brigham Young University-Idaho, located in Rexburg. The college is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which requires its more than 40,000 students to strictly adhere to a code of behavior in line with church teachings.
Rounding out the top five are: Oakland (Mich.) University, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Rhode Island, and Bridgewater (Mass.) State University.
Like the University of Minnesota, campuses in larger cities tended to be lower on the list. Ranked at the bottom from 235th to 243rd are Marquette University in Milwaukee, Cleveland State University, the University of Memphis, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Ranked safest in the Upper Midwest are South Dakota State University in Brookings (22nd), Iowa State University (28th) and Northern Iowa University (30th).
Besides Minnesota, one other campus in the state was ranked. University of Minnesota Duluth came in at 160th.
Here’s the safety council’s methodology: “Each school’s safety score was calculated by analyzing crimes reported by universities, including rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, motor vehicle theft and arsons.
“Also factoring into the safety score were violent and property crime rates for the cities in which the schools were located, and the number of law enforcement officers employed by the institution per 1,000 students.”
Some schools with 10,000 enrollment were left off the list because of “a significant lack of reportable data,” the council said.