Saturday, July 20, 2013

The University of Minnesota administration has already admitted that chasing ratings is folly....

In response to yesterday's post (For the Record)  an important offline comment was made.

 At the beginning of its annual report to the Regents in 2010 the administration (again) declares its pursuit of a "top three" ranking:

The University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report, now in its ninth year, is a broad, governance-level discussion of the University of Minnesota’s fulfillment of its mission and its success toward its aspiration of becoming  a top-three public research university in the world.

Just a few pages later the administration admits that such a pursuit is folly:

While university rankings are often a topic of great interest to the general public and infl uential in changing or, in most cases, reinforcing perception, these rankings have several limitations which make them inappropriate for strategic planning and monitoring progress. Two of the most significant limitations are, first, that the rankings are not guided by any empirical and theoretical framework to justify the selection of measures and methodology employed, and second, that the rankings adjust methodologies annually, making year-to-year analysis difficult and meaningless.

See pp. A3, A6 of the 2010 University Plan, Performance and Accountability Report at (emphasis added)

 Now the president again commits the University to the pursuit of the meaningless.

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