Thursday, November 8, 2007

University of Minnesota Dead Last in Self-Selected Peer Group
In Latest Times Higher Education (2007) Rankings

We have been subjected to endless Orwellian propaganda about the University of Minnesota becoming one of the "top three public research universities in the world [sic].” The latest Times Higher Education Supplement ranks world universities, including places like Oxford and Cambridge. We don’t do very well and in fact are dead last compared to our self selected peer group. This is actually in pretty good agreement with data earlier posted.

University of California, Berkeley 22

University of Michigan 38

University of California, Los Angeles 41

University of Texas 51

University of Washington 55

University of Wisconsin 55

University of Illinois 73

Pennsylvania State University 90

The Ohio State University 120

University of Florida 135

University of Minnesota 142


Addendum (12 November)

A reader has pointed out - via direct email - that the University of Minnesota was ranked 187 on the list last year. From which one might conclude that tremendous progress had been made?

The Times people have apparently been tweaking their system to try to get reasonable numbers. The fact that their ratings of the "selected ten" are similar to the ones in US News
tells me that they may have finally reached a reasonable ranking system. If these numbers are to mean anything they CAN'T change by forty places in one year. Many of the Asian universities (Malaysia) have been complaining bitterly that their rankings have changed drastically since the last ones were published, again pointing out how unlikely this is. They are right, unless the criteria have been tweaked, which I believe is what happened. It will be interesting to see if there is much change next year.

From "Whither Rankings" in the Star (Malaysia):

(November 11, 2007) USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dzulkifli Abdul Razak says the university tries to remain as consistent as possible.

“We hope THES-QS will stabilise their criteria so that we know what we are doing,” he adds.


Is it really credible to continue on with this
"ambitious aspiration" to "become one of the top three public research universities in the world [sic]?" OurLeader and OurProvost have no clothes. Let's admit we have some serious problems here and concentrate on fixing them. Let's also commit to getting the University of Minnesota at least to the mid-point of the BigTen rankings. That will be a difficult enough task. Rah, rah, rah for Ski-U-Mah and a new football stadium are not the answer.

In the hope that our administrators will soon get real,

Ciao, Bonzo


momo said...

Wow, Berkeley dropped to 22?

Mr. B. said...


Well the usual suspects are at the top. Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford...

I really think Berkeley is doing fine. I am merely using the list to point out where we stand in the pecking order of public universities in the world - which is not really very impressive.

Some day our administration may get over the "ambitious aspiration" to be one of the top three research universities in the world [sic] and realize that continuing to say this in the face of the facts only makes the university look increasingly foolish...

(But don't hold your breath..)