Nobody was that shocked when, a few years ago, a Clemson administrator reported that ‘on surveys distributed by U.S. News, the Clemson brass “rates all programs other than Clemson below average.”‘ The main reaction to this revelation was laughter.
But when a math professor at Columbia accuses it of gaming rankings, things look more serious.
But still amusing. Michael Thaddeus describes, among other things, a school suddenly deciding that its entire immense medical faculty – overwhelmingly engaged in research and patient care – is actually an instructional unit.
Even on its own terms, the ranking is [for all schools] a failure because the supposed facts on which it is based cannot be trusted. Eighty percent of the U.S. News ranking of a university is based on information reported by the university itself. This information is detailed and subtle, and the vetting conducted by U.S. News is cursory enough to allow many inaccuracies to slip through. Institutions are under intense pressure to present themselves in the most favorable light. This creates a profound conflict of interest, which it would be naive to overlook… Even as Columbia has [lately] soared to 2nd place in the ranking, there is reason for concern that its ascendancy may largely be founded, not on an authentic presentation of the university’s strengths, but on a web of illusions.
July 9th, 2022 at 7:33AM
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September 9th, 2022 at 9:47PM
[…] bad luck that it hired its own petard… I mean, someone at the school actually hired the math prof who figured out Columbia had to be cheating AND PUBLICIZED THE FACT ON HIS FACULTY WEBSITE. Now, […]