Tuesday, October 26, 2010

World University Rankings 2010

Where Do Minnesota and Wisconsin Stand In

 Subject Area Rankings?

The propaganda mill at the University of Minnesota would have you believe that we are still on our way to becoming one of the third greatest public research universities in the world.  For example, as late as last December, President Bruininks was still making statements like this:

...we're in the midst of transformative change en route to becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world. [sic] President Bruininks Dec 7, 2009 (web site)

 This at at time when he was perfectly aware that the wheels were coming off the bus.  Students have been aware for quite some time that all is not well in Gopherville.  As the Daily put it:

"As for commitment to quality education at an affordable cost? Meaningless drivel. The administration has flatly failed on its promises of excellence and affordability." Daily (13 Oct 2009)

Her [Professor Martin] question is about the quality of the student experience: Students are paying a lot more than when President Bruininks started in office, and the assumption has been that quality of the experience would increase as well. Now they are hearing that the quality is eroding. How can the University play in the global village when its costs are increasing and the student experience is declining in quality?
And even the deans, usually stalwart supporters of the administration, for obvious reasons, have publicly been expressing displeasure about the financial management of the university:

Dean Davis-Blake [Carlson School of Management] said that quality is going down because the quality of the student experience has declined, which is related to uncontrollable central costs. At the Carlson School, they have fewer TAs, fewer classes, more students in classes, the building is less clean, there are fewer advisers, they have more adjuncts, and they have less information technology. All of these things are happening.

So given all this pain and suffering, where do we stand in our march to greatness?  By 2014 will we be in the top three, Mr. President?

Not bloody likely...

[Note: most of the universities - in the world - are public.  I have pulled out just the US publics for comparison purposes.  It is clear that "in the world" was an absurd addition to an already unreachable goal.  Even if these rankings are only moderately accurate, they serve to illustrate what a tough position we are in if the administration continues on its pigheaded way. ]

Arts and Humanities

Berkeley 4
Michigan 18
Texas 45

Wisconsin 56

Illinois 68
Rutgers 85
Indiana 88
Pittsburgh 99
Virginia  101
North Carolina 103
City University of New York 110
UC  Irvine 117

Minnesota 120

Life Sciences and Medicine

Berkeley 5
Washington 29
Michigan 33
UC - Davis 44

Wisconsin  47

North Carolina 74
Illinois 75
Texas 70
Purdue 86

Minnesota 96

Natural Sciences

Berkeley 5
UC-Santa Barbara 28
Illinois 34
Michigan 38
Texas 41
Washington 60

Wisconsin 63

Penn State 78
UC - Davis 105
Maryland 110
Colorado 116
Purdue 118

Minnesota 120

Social Sciences and Management

Berkeley 5

Michigan 14

Wisconsin 31

Texas 36
Illinois 44
North Carolina 45

Minnesota 50

Engineering and Technology

Berkeley 3
Georgia Tech 13
Illinois 16
Michigan 19
Texas 27
Purdue 28

Wisconsin 60

UC Santa Barbara 63
Washington 66

Minnesota 80

Mr. President:  I have a very simple question.  Why, exactly is it that Wisconsin has consistently kicked our butts academically?  I won't even mention football.  Do they have overwhelming financial resources?  Why exactly is this?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you mention, such rankings are moderately accurate at best. With a quick glance, I saw that in the only five general subject areas used, Berkeley ranks 4,5,5,5,3, but in the overall rankings, Berkeley is 28th. Go figure.