Saturday, October 11, 2008

THES rankings for 2008 are out.

Interested parties might want to check out the site to see how the University of Minnesota is doing with OurLeader's "ambitious aspirations to be one of the top three public research universities in the world [sic]." In one more year we are supposed to be halfway there. Where do you think we stand?

[Hint: Not even close...]

A detailed analysis will follow. In the meantime here is some material to think about. The latest rankings include the top 100 institutions in the world ranked in the areas of:

Arts and Humanities (Minnesota did not place)

Biomedical and Life Sciences (84)

Technology (did not place)

Natural Sciences (did not place)

Social Sciences (71)

Information for US public universities may be downloaded from:

The Whole Is Equal to the Sum of Its Parts?

The table is named because Our Administration seems to be enthralled with the word interdisciplinary. [Actually it is the granting agencies who have made this the latest buzzword and Our Administration exhibits its usual lemming-like behavior]. What they don't seem to understand is that if your fundamental disciplines - such as those categories above - are weak, you are not going to magically become some sort of interdisciplinary powerhouse or third best yadda, yadda... Sorry folks, 2 +2 does not equal five.

The executive summary is that US institutions may be ranked according to the number of categories in which they achieved top 100 rankings.

These are:

Tier One (all 5): Berkeley

Tier Two (4 categories): UCLA, Michigan, Wisconsin, UCSD

Tier Three (3 categories): Texas, Washington, Santa Barbara, Texas A & M, Illinois, Penn State

Tier Four (two categories): UC Davis, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana

Tier Five (one category): Ohio State, Rutgers, VPI, North Carolina, Pitt, Irvine,

One could do a little more with the numbers than I have. But the exact values are not all that important. What is important, though, is that it should be pretty clear that we are not even close to being one of the top public research universities in the US, let alone the world.

Tom, Bob, when are we going to stop the charade, get real, and make an effort to be one of the top schools in the BigTen? Or are you going to call me a "doubter" again?

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