ERIC Number: EJ822797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
Behind the Rankings: What a Board Member Needs to Know
Manion, Andrew P.
Trusteeship, v16 n2 p14-19 Mar-Apr 2008
A growing number of college and university leaders believe that "U.S. News & World Report" college rankings can be misleading gauges of institutional effectiveness and do not adequately serve the interests of prospective students. Heading a list of specific presidential concerns are that the rankings "imply a false precision and authority that is not warranted by the data they use" and that they "obscure important differences in educational mission in aligning institutions on a single scale." Still, however, most colleges and universities continue to participate in the ranking game, spending inordinate amounts of institutional resources to dutifully supply "U.S. News" editors with information, and passing judgment on their peers and competitors. Many institutions trumpet their "U.S. News" standing in marketing materials. Many colleges pay for ad space in the "U.S. News" college-ranking issue. In the midst of the rancor over the ratings, how can a board member effectively assess an institution's standing--to say nothing of participation in the rankings system? In this article, the author states that a closer look at the rankings reveals some important nuances to assess. He contends that the ranking system created by "U.S. News" has proven distracting to both administrators and board members in higher education, and not as useful as it purports to be for students. He stresses that board members need to look beyond the rankings at data and measures that are better indicators of long-term institutional strength and viability.
Descriptors: Institutional Evaluation, Higher Education, School Surveys, College Admission, Colleges, Universities, College Faculty, Teaching Assistants, Academic Rank (Professional)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site: http://www.agb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement