If Drake has been a safety school for at least 4 decades I imagine it was largely the result of non rigorous admission standards (as compared to the more prestigious private schools ) because by definition a safely school would have less rigorous admission standards when compared to the other 3 or 4 schools that the student applied to. In addition to more rigorous admission standards what can be done to make Drake the top choice of more high school grads ? The introduction of the U S News & World Report Best Colleges rankings starting in the early 1980's may have convinced Drake to shoot for the far less rigorous "Regional " category as compared to the more prestigious "National " ranking. The regional emphasis may have had an impact on students from both coast either applying or for that matter ever even hearing of Drake . This lack of national name recognition has probably marginalized the value of a Drake degree outside of the mid west
I'm sure that getting the business school accredited again would be a big help . It would also help Drake if the university placed more of an emphasis on national recognition . I find it mind boggling that Drake being located in the capital city of Iowa and with George Gallup once heading the Drake Journalism department that we have to rely on 3 second tier east coast private colleges- Quinnipiac ,Suffolk and Marist to get polling information on the IOWA caucuses Where is Drake ? Do Drake professors ever publish scholarly books and articles ? If so this needs to be publicized more
I agree that the answer to more students is not through athletic prominence . Although other schools have directly gained from the "Flutie Effect" Drake has fallen too far to ever catch up Drake's Men's Soccer , Men's and Women's Basketball teams are at best the cicadas of college sports The Drake Relays has lost national prominence and the track teams are perennial conference cellar dwellers. This decades long athletic nadir has created low expectations . On the plus side - Our Men's Tennis team has been successful every season both athletically and academically
I'm aware that a high percentage of our athletes on all of our athletic teams do extremely well academically - this should probably be our main source of athletic pride -rightfully so. Dreams of a return to the Final Four are just dreams
GO BULLDOGS !!