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ERIC Number: ED427018
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-14
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
National Rankings: Ramifications for Academic Units.
Walpole, MaryBeth
A qualitative study was conducted of the way faculty perceived the effects of national rankings on two departments in a large public research university. The department of physics and astronomy and the school of business of the university were both ranked in the top 20 nationally, but both were ranked lower than the administration and faculty wanted them to be, and the effects of the perceived low rankings were being felt in the core practices of teaching and learning. A total of 60 interviews, 29 in physics and astronomy and 31 in business, were conducted. In physics and astronomy, 59% of faculty members referred to the rankings, and 74% of business school faculty interviewed referred to national rankings. Faculty members believed that their low rankings, in addition to other funding problems, had negatively affected the resources received by the department and their research capability. They expressed concerns related to graduate student recruitment, faculty recruitment, and funding. In physics and astronomy, the ranking had created a negative cycle in which the department, unable to attract resources, was then unable to raise its national ranking. In the business school, the issues were somewhat different. Because the most important ranking used student satisfaction, the faculty felt pressured to keep students happy to raise the ranking. These findings open important areas for future research into the effects of national rankings on teaching and research. (Contains 30 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A