The University of Arizona was hoping for favorable publicity when it agreed to participate in a PBS documentary two years ago.
But university officials say the documentary that aired last week, "Declining By Degrees: Higher Education At Risk," was an unfair and unflattering portrayal of their institution.
"All you saw were things like these cavernous auditoriums," university spokesman Paul Allvin said Friday. "It gave the impression that our college professors are disgruntled and disengaged," and it characterized the college as a party school.
"The old ‘Animal House’ caricature is just not appropriate anymore," he said.
Three other colleges — Amherst College, Western Kentucky University and Community College in Denver — also were examined in the documentary.
John Merrow, the program’s executive producer, said Arizona is the only school that has complained so far. He said the documentary "is not an attack on the University of Arizona," but examines common issues affecting colleges and universities.
He noted that Arizona officials have asked why he didn’t focus on another school since the problems he uncovered at the school, such as drinking and students skating through classes without being challenged, are common among universities around the country.