Archive for Tuesday, August 17, 2010

KU drops to No. 47 in college rankings

Provost says there’s room to improve on U.S. News and World Report’s list

August 17, 2010


KU's rankings

A look back at Kansas University’s previous U.S. News and World Report rankings among public universities:

Year Rank

2011 ...47

2010 ...43

2009 ...40

2008 ...38


2006 ...45

2005 ...42

2004 ...44

2003 ...41

2002 ...39

2001 ...42

Kansas University dropped four spots among public universities in the most recent U.S. News and World Report college rankings.

It is now tied for 47th among public schools — with Florida State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Tennessee.

“We’re certainly proud of our ranking in the top 50 in public universities,” said Jeff Vitter, who began as KU’s provost last month. He added that KU has room to improve.

The new ranking is KU’s lowest in recent years, but is near its previous rankings. KU has been ranked as high as 30th in 1999, and as low as 45th in 2006.

KU’s new provost said the university is focusing on a new strategic planning effort that will help improve, among many other things, the school’s retention and graduation rates — two factors weighed by U.S. News and identified by KU’s chancellor as important priorities for the school.

Vitter said the rankings were something that KU watched, but said the school doesn’t adjust its overall strategy in improving the quality of its research and education simply to do better on the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Big 12 rankings

A look at how Big 12 Conference universities scored in the overall U.S. News and World Report rankings:

45-tie. University of Texas-Austin

63.Texas A&M; University-College Station

79-tie. Baylor University

86-tie. University of Colorado-Boulder

94-tie. Iowa State University

94-tie. University of Missouri

104-tie. Kansas University

104-tie. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

111-tie. University of Oklahoma

132-tie. Oklahoma State University

132-tie. Kansas State University

159-tie. Texas Tech University

The magazine changed its ranking system this year, with a new measure for schools’ academic reputation — taking into account opinions of high school counselors — and adding more weight to schools’ graduation rates. Vitter said the rankings aren’t perfect, but are worth following.

“They’re based on measures that are regarded by students and parents as important when choosing a college. So for us, they’re important, too,” he said.

The magazine also recognized KU in a separate, unranked list of 37 schools that had outstanding study abroad programs.

KU ranked in a 104th place tie overall when private schools were included in the rankings. Two private schools — Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Samford University in Alabama — joined the public schools that received the same overall score as KU in the rankings.


equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 10 months ago

Improve KU's ethics and basic human decency. It can't hurt, when the school is this irrelevant and academically and politically behind the times anyway.

Bradley Kemp 7 years, 10 months ago

There are lots of ties in these rankings -- like KU's tie for 47th with four other schools. So there are more than 50 schools ranked above KU. Which means it isn't really fair to say that KU's rank places it among the top 50 public universities.

Brett Hansen 7 years, 10 months ago

Actually, if there were 3 schools tied for 1st, then the next school would be 4th. There are 46 schools ranked ahead of KU, hence our ranking of 47th. I hope you didn't go to KU to polish your mathematical skills, as this might explain our drop in the rankings...

Bradley Kemp 7 years, 10 months ago

Ah, I see. Thanks for straightening me out on that (despite the jab about my math skills).

nobody1793 7 years, 10 months ago

"The magazine changed its ranking system this year, with a new measure for schools’ academic reputation — taking into account opinions of high school counselors — and adding more weight to schools’ graduation rates."

They're now factoring opinions of High School Counselors? Wow, that sounds swell. Mine was not the least bit helpful when I was in school, and probably never set foot on any campus other than the one she went to.

parrothead8 7 years, 10 months ago

Ditto. I still remember the one meeting I had with my high school guidance counselor in four years of high school (she was responsible for everyone whose last names began A-D.) It was during my senior year, and she told me she'd never heard of any of the schools I was applying to, so I might want to consider a safety school. If she hasn't heard of them, that means they're hard to get into? That doesn't even make sense!

These rankings have long been a joke. Still, I think USN&WR needs to go back to measurable metrics, so that the inaccuracies of their rankings will at least have some sort of meaningful basis.

mysterion 7 years, 10 months ago

This is interesting as it relates to the Business School. It appears that student complaints about the continuing decline in quality of the program are borne out by the latest results. Not only has KU's overall ranking declined, but the KU business school graduate program has fallen completely out of the rankings all together. I wonder how the Dean will justify this latest failure, or rather, who he will blame it on? I'm sure the taxpayers are pleased to provide him with such a high salary for such pathetic results.

Phillbert 7 years, 10 months ago

These are undergraduate rankings so it is not surprising that a graduate program would not be in them.

KU_cynic 7 years, 10 months ago


I've corrected you on this once before. Graduate business school rankings are based on MBA programs, and KU's MBA program has never been ranked on any meaningful list -- ever. So quit saying KU's MBA program has dropped from the rankings. It's never been ranked.

I'm not unsympathetic to your brief against the business school, but get your facts straight.

mysterion 7 years, 10 months ago

Cynic: I guess I didn't see your earlier post. I certainly don't want to misrepresent. My information originally came from comments made by the Dean. When looking at the USNWR website, it's a bit difficult to pull the history and see. Sorry for creating any confusion.

mbaclassof10 7 years, 10 months ago

KU_bschoolprofessor: sorry....I mean KU_Cynic: Here's a straight fact regarding your precious undergrad program: It dropped from 28th to 57th. Really? How does that happen in one year?? I wondered why the bschool didn't drop a press release today trying to support another worthless claim. Seems like another one of the few last things the school tried to hang its hat on died today. Another one bites the dust...not too many (if any) left.

KU_cynic 7 years, 10 months ago

It's not "my precious undergrad program."

It had been ranked 28th. Now it's ranked 57th. That's a big drop. That's either a sign of material deterioration in quality (possible, but not likely), or more likely the result of some sort of inaccurate or incomplete reporting of data. It could be that data was reportedly inaccurately and too positively in the past (resulting in an inflated ranking), or it could be that useful data was not reported this year. Either way, somebody has dropped the ball at the business school.

mbaclassof10 7 years, 10 months ago

know what? you're right. let the school claim the 28 when it helps and blame the data and reporting when it doesn't. besides, i always wondered what data was fudged to get the 28 ranking. the website still claims 28th. you should fix that tomorrow.

emaw 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow, did anyone else notice that KU's 2009 fall acceptance rate was 91%? They will take anyone won't they! haha

Phillbert 7 years, 10 months ago

If you meet the Regents' requirements, you're in. It is like that for every Kansas university.

KU_cynic 7 years, 10 months ago

Look for change on this in coming years, as there is a movement to increase requirements for entry to KU.

jayhawkato 7 years, 10 months ago

Average GMATT for KU MBA has dramatically dropped from 620 to 570 since current Dean took over the position.

LJD230 7 years, 10 months ago

Dollars to donuts, guidance "counselors" on the right and left coasts know squat about KU. And that ignorance will continue until the Chancellor and Provost give the appropriate leadership at KU a kick in the a** and demand that the university be marketed. If that means more kids from the east and west get admitted to KU at the expense of Kansas kids, sobeit.

At the risk of offending many, if we subscribe to the notion that KU basketball should be in the Elite Eight year after year, then we should also believe that KU needs to work hard at being in the Elite 25 of public universities. If that means kids who can barely read and write are excluded from admission to kU, tough.

Gregory Newman 7 years, 10 months ago

Please don't read into any of this crap of USNAWR. First check to see the number of grads that are currently working. In the San Francisco Bay area locals schools Cal state East Bay and San Francisco State and the University of San Francisco have more grads working then UC Berkeley and Stanford grads. Non-local schools UCLA and USC and UC at Davis even top them. Don't get caught up in the hype of prestige you'll starve to death. I know some Ivy league students that have what I call a piece of a job compared to their degree but when you have dialogue with them you'll find out they're dumb as a rock. Now I understand why my grandfather always said COMMON SENSE ISN"T ALL THAT COMMON. With this said is not to attempt to get better.

Kontum1972 7 years, 10 months ago



LJD230 7 years, 10 months ago

Pretend you are a young and/or experienced PhD. Would you prefer to live in Lawrence or Boston, New York, Chapel Hill, Durham,Gainsville, Ann Arbor, Madison, Austin, Boulder, Seattle or LA?

My hunch is your preference would be any of the above BUT Lawrence.

volunteer 7 years, 10 months ago

One wonders how many of those schools ranked above KU have a Provost to promote Diversity. Or a previous chancellor who greeted the student body with a hearty, "Welcome, party animals."

Denny2009 7 years, 10 months ago

Big deal, I could care less, these rankings are all politics. KU is number #1 in my book, proud graduate here. I travel all over the U.S. for my job and feel like I meet someone everywhere I go that has an affiliation with Lawrence and KU.

Thats_messed_up 7 years, 10 months ago

Look at the bright side, KU's still #1 in athletic program cheating.

Clark Coan 7 years, 10 months ago

Despite these bogus rankings, KU is still the best university in the Upper Great Plains region (Oklahoma to Canada) , the Rocky Mountain region (excluding CU and Uni. of Arizona) and the Deep South (excluding Uni. of Georgia). KU is also better than any public university in the western Midwest region (Missouri, Iowa and Minn.)

Shardwurm 7 years, 10 months ago

Higher Education is a fraud. Reform it now instead of healthcare before it's too late!

Clark Coan 7 years, 10 months ago

As one KU administrator once said, "The university is not for the student, it is for research."

happyrock 7 years, 10 months ago

The state of Michigan provides the University of Michigan with $317 million per year. The state of Kansas gives KU over $1.1 BILLION. There is something very wrong with this picture. A KU diploma is worth less and less.

Phillbert 7 years, 10 months ago

@QuiviraTrail - Which administrator said this?

@happyrock - This page says KU actually gets $262 million from the state: (The entire State General Fund is around $5 billion, so there's no way KU alone would get 20% of that as your figure suggests.)

Phillbert 7 years, 10 months ago

All I got was a "We're sorry, an error has occurred while accessing the data you requested. Please try using the browser back button and selecting the link again."

But it looks like you were looking at the Agency Expenditures report. That report includes spending from all revenue sources - tuition, student fees, housing payments - not just what KU gets from the state government.

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

Ha ha...that's what you get for being dumb-dumbs. speaking of dumb-dumbz: I just finished up eating a jello brand 'mousse temptations' pudding and I need to let everyone know how much it sux. do yourself a favor-don't buy this crap.

I am very beautiful, but this dessert was just horrible, even my presence couldn't save it. what was I thinking? Ray Charles could even see that this was just some kind of marketing ploy to get rid of some old, junky pudding.... deng.

blindrabbit 7 years, 10 months ago

Puddle: What did you mix up that pudding with; supposed to use milk not ethanol.

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