Perhaps your judgment's clouded if you're really palling around with Tobias Wolfe, Robert Olen Butler, Derek Walcott, various other BU harassers, or, I dunno, Julie Orringer. I deal in facts. And I didn't name any criminals; I said I thought I'd heard of harassment in connection with BU. And I was right. Umass76 and piratelizzy provided the name.
If a school's rankings are affected by nepotism (or in the case of Florida, one stellar writer chosen four times for BNAV), it deserves a mention.
Fact: Orringer was awarded the Stegner when she was either engaged or married to Ryan Harty, a current Stegner fellow.
Fact: Butler's students win a disproportionate amount of Stegners. Look at the list of winners and where they went to school. A lot of people have said this is because Butler is pals with Wolfe, and Wolfe usually throws him a bone. Teachers like to see their students get ahead. Because who knows, someday the Atlantic may rank you in the top ten.
Fact: Wolfe chose Shimon Tanaka for BNAV, then gave him the Stegner.
Fact: Wolfe chose Adam Johnson for BNAV, then gave him the Stegner.
A few Stegners that were Butler's students: Adam Johnson, Rita Mae Reese, Russell Franklin... There are others. Do I know them all? No. Because I'm not interested enough to spend hours on Google.
Heck, have you even read This Boy's Life? The back cover mentions Wolfe's "stunning act of reinvention". Do you know what that was? Falsifying documents to get into a good school over more qualified applicants.
I first read of this Stegner stuff on Kealey's blog (no, I'm not going to dig around for the link). Kealey didn't correct or remove the comments, as was his habit with false or negative information.
I'm weally sowy if these things have hurt your weetle feewings. However, they do effect my estimation of a school's integrity. They do effect where I'll choose to apply. And I will discuss it even if your mom's daddy's cousin shared a hot dog with Robert Olen Butler.
Here's a link with more people chiming in on the whole Stegner issue:
Here's a list of recent Stegner winners going back to 2000. Unfortunately, Orringer, Harty, or Johnson are no longer on that list. Perhaps you could Google them if you're really that interested...