Kansas University officials are working hard to improve the school. They want to elevate the academic excellence of entering students, attract superior faculty members, reduce the number of student drop-outs, improve student recruiting and structure the curriculum so more students will be able to finish their degrees in four years, maybe less, and graduate with a smaller fiscal debt.
KU faculty, students, alumni and friends want their school to be a leader and to merit the reputation of a great university in every respect.
At graduation time, it is understandable there is increased thought and concern about what graduates will do after they receive their diplomas. Do they have jobs?
This is important for the graduates, as well as for the university. For example, US. News & World Report magazine downgraded the KU School of Law the past several years because of the low number of its graduates employed by law firms a year after their graduation. Changes were made at the school, and KU law students now have far better counseling and help in getting jobs.
Too many students graduate at KU — and probably at most large universities — without the benefit of adequate counseling by faculty members on how to identify possible employers, how to fill out job applications, use networking, set up interviews, inquire about internships and many other aids to finding employment that ties in with the schooling they received.
What if KU was known as a top-flight university with good students and challenging and motivating faculty along with a superior program to identify and help find employment opportunities for its graduates?
It would be interesting to know what percentage of this month’s KU graduates will have a job a month from now, better yet, a job that jibes with their course work at KU.
If a law school can be graded or compared with other law schools based on the number of graduates who have jobs a year after graduation, why shouldn’t a university, particularly one that aspires to academic excellence and high national recognition, also be graded or ranked somehow on how many of its graduates find jobs in fields related to their education?
(On the other hand, it should be remembered many university officials, maybe even faculty members, claim they don’t place much weight on academic and/or the U.S. News & World Report university rankings.)