Archive for Tuesday, March 15, 2011

KU law, business schools’ rankings drop in latest U.S. News graduate programs report

March 15, 2011


Kansas University’s School of Law dropped 12 spots to a tie at No. 79 among all universities in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings released Tuesday.

Stephen W. Mazza, interim dean of KU’s law school, said the school’s low bar passage rate in 2009 was to blame.

“In our case, it’s very easy to identify why this temporary drop took place,” he said.

Only 75 percent of the school’s students passed the bar in 2009, the reporting period used for the latest rankings. That rate is normally around 90 percent, Mazza said, and was back up around that rate in 2010.

After seeing the low passage rates in 2009, the law school added bar preparation programs for students in the spring semester of their third year, which have paid off so far, Mazza said. The law school ranked 38th among public universities.

The magazine released rankings for several graduate programs on Tuesday. The overall rankings for universities are scheduled to be released in August.

KU retained its strong position in special education and city management and urban policy, which both ranked No. 1 among public institutions.

At KU Medical Center, the medicine-primary care increased to 30th among publics and nursing moved up to 24th among public schools.

The university’s special education program ranked No. 2 behind only Vanderbilt University when both public and private schools were considered.

The School of Business’ part-time MBA program in the Kansas City area experienced a drop-off in the rankings. The school moved from 29th place among public schools two years ago to 46th place this year, said Toni Dixon, a spokeswoman for the school. The magazine didn’t rank the programs last year.

Dixon said the school’s full-time MBA program wasn’t listed in the magazine’s rankings because it didn’t have enough students to qualify for inclusion.

Mazza said he didn’t anticipate that the law school would suffer long-term negative effects from the drop that he said should be temporary.

He said he was pleased with other parts of the report, some of which could help bolster the law school’s ranking next year. KU law’s reputation score went up, for example. It also ranked among the top 25 public schools in a new listing the magazine created called “When Lawyers Do the Hiring.”

That list is based on the opinions of people doing the hiring at the some of the nation’s major law firms.


mysterion 6 years, 9 months ago

Thanks B-School Deans Fuerst and Chauvin. With your millions received in differential tuition, you have made such a positive impact on the program! Glad to see Provost Vitter is keeping you around so you can waste even more time and resources.

PugnaciousJayhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

6 years and +$30M in student differential tuition dollars and still no tangible benefits to b-school students. One would think that with all that money that Wuerst & co. have sloshing around they would be able to boost rankings or at the very least keep them flat.

Instead of spending millions on mail room clerks, obnoxious secretaries, the assistant Dean, an IT army, advertising, subscriptions and all kinds of other crap you would think it would've made more sense to just buy a ranking or two.

Any schools that collect differential tuition should use it to go out and hire the very best faculty that money can buy - and nothing more - clearly this hasn't happened in the b-school. Now the law school on the other hand has some truly world class faculty.

akhmatova 6 years, 9 months ago

They haven't all dropped. The Slavic/Russian dept is still tops in the country -- right up there with Wisconsin, Ohio St, and UCLA for best of all public schools. Architecture is also very, very solid.

That said, humanities aren't valued as they maybe should be, and people put way more attention into the rankings of professional schools. I suppose that's the way that the tertiary education system is moving in the US, but there are still some very strong depts at KU who are holding steady or moving up, e.g. the English dept is rising in prestige, for sure.

Evan Ridenour 6 years, 9 months ago

To be fair, the KU Business School (undergrad program) was ranked 26th in the nation just recently.

Not too shabby considering the low, low price of tuition (even with differential tuition).

PugnaciousJayhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Just checked an email that Ms. Dixon sent out last August with the 2011 US News rankings. The b-school ranked 35th among b-schools at public universities, down from 28th the prior year, the school was ranked 57th when private schools were thrown into the mix.

Shardwurm 6 years, 9 months ago

"Not too shabby considering the low, low price of tuition (even with differential tuition)."


Relative to what? Other schools ripping off people?

Tuition is out-of-sight for just about anyone but the privileged and the poor. I got my business degree for less than $3,500 and it means just as much as the one being sold today for the low, low, price of $40,000+.

volunteer 6 years, 9 months ago

My two cents: Both KU and Washburn law schools have graduates passing the Bar despite poor basic skills. Several unemployed grads I know owe tens of thousands...and display deplorable grammar. ("We seen"...oh my gawd)

At a hotel in Topeka several months ago someone who claimed to be one of the "deciders" of Admissions said that if there were no Recession these folks would be employed in their field; that "transactionally" there was enough work to go around.

I still think the medical profession has done a better job than the legal profession in limiting enrollment to a number reasonably calculated to gain employment.

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

Slip sliding away!, not yet a free fall, but the downward reputation of the University continues; a legacy of Hemenway's master plan.

dcantrell 6 years, 9 months ago

Since the Provost's office accuses me of making comments on here, I might as well do it for once. Notice a vast difference in the Law school and the Business School. The Law school diagnosed the problem and intervened to solve it. The Business school, however, has simply continued to let the school decline and collect the exact fees that are supposed to be improving it. And Vitter seems to think this is ok. The Business school collected $7.15MM in DT fees this year and where has the money gone? Rankings have dropped, the number of professors has dropped, we've lost vital and prestigious study abroad programs, MBA curriculum is lacking, and admission standards have dropped significantly for the MBA program. Sure, DT has been used to PAY for things within the school, but has it improved the school like it was intended to? No.

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