Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2012

University rankings discussion on agenda

September 22, 2012


TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback and his economic advisers will hear from higher education officials next week on rankings of Kansas universities, which recently fell in a national report.

Kansas Board of Regents Vice Chairman Fred Logan and Kansas University Provost Jeff Vitter will be speaking to the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.

The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Kansas State University Alumni Center in Manhattan.

Brownback and the council also will discuss “university capabilities and wealth creation,” according to a news release from Brownback’s office.

Earlier this month, KU fell a few spots in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2013.”

KU ranked 106th among national universities, which is down from 101st last year, and 51st among public universities, down from 46th, according to the list.

Universities such as Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa State, Colorado, Iowa, Texas and Texas A&M; ranked higher than KU, but KU remanded ahead of KSU, which was 139th and 70th.

KU officials said they were working on improvements, such as helping students stay on track for graduation, that will result in higher rankings.

The discussion next week will also include various ways that schools are ranked and groups that do the rankings.


kuguardgrl13 5 years, 1 month ago

They are trying to get more of us out in four years with little success. They're going to cut Western Civ instead of actually looking at why students are having trouble graduating on time.

LJD230 5 years, 1 month ago

Here are the criteria used by USNWR in their ranking methodology:

Some of the variables can be fixed: hgiher admission standards, graduation rates and faculty-student ratios. The other variables, like peer assessment and high school guidance counselor opinions, are public relations issues that are difficult to remedy.

Given the current ethos and culture of Kansas politics, it is going to be very hard to improve the rankings of the research universities in this state.

withchild 5 years, 1 month ago

When businesses have downturns like what's happening (and been happening for years) at KU, leadership is questioned. When Hemenway came to KU, he promised to get KU into the top 25 and KU sunk in ranking. But his status and salary did not suffer. KU administrartors from the from the associate deans to the myriad of vice provosts to the top people are paid very well, but they continue to fail in bringing up the rankings. They all should be given pay cuts, or for Gray-Little, should resign.

question4u 5 years, 1 month ago

There is no basis for the majority of Kansans to complain about the decline in rankings of state universities. Either increase state support and demand a corresponding increase in excellence or cut funding and accept a decline in excellence. Either of those options at least shows maturity. To expect something for nothing is naive.

Many Kansans at present do not wish to invest in education. State assessment scores have dropped for the first time in 11 years and both KU and KSU have dropped five spots in the national rankings. Unless you believe that you should get something for nothing, why would you be surprised at these consequences? Yes, in the short term it is obviously possible to overcome some setbacks through outstanding leadership, but what reasonable person believes that such things can be done indefinitely and under conditions of increasing adversity? No one would expect Bill Self to win championships if scholarships were cut each year, facilities were never updated, and coaches' salaries weren't competitive, but there are actually people who are ignorant enough to argue that universities can lose top faculty, conduct research and teach classes in outdated labs and classrooms, cut administrators salaries, and still rise in national rankings.

If you're in favor of reducing spending on education, then at least be adult enough to accept the consequences without complaint or weaselly attempts to place the blame on other factors.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 years, 1 month ago

As long as none of the Governor's kids attends a Kansas university, no improvements in funding or support will happen.

scarletbhound 5 years, 1 month ago

While financing is important, it has little to do with KU's continual decline in academic reputation. Indeed, many states -- Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina -- have drastically cut higher education budgets far more than Kansas yet their flagship universities now rate above KU on the U.S. News list. The problem in Kansas is a refusal to impose high academic standards. Even under the recently approved higher admission requirements, KU will be incredibly "generous" in whom it permits to enrol. That means KU classrooms will continue to be clogged with idiots who have no business in a major research university. Likewise, the proposed demotion of Western Civ represents another serious blow to KU's academic reputation. The fact is that the powers-that-be in Strong Hall have no interest in academic excellence, only in keeping enrollment up and their large salaries and perks in tact. When I attended KU in the late-1960s-early 1970s, the university was widely recognized as one of the top colleges in the Midwest. Now we rate lower than most of the Big 12. It's a sad situation that will never improve until there is a wholesale commitment to academic quality that is sorely lacking within the university's current management.

thinkinganalytically 5 years, 1 month ago

The demotion of western civ is, I think, an acknowledgement that many of the students at KU do not take western civ from KU, but online from many community colleges in the state. Those students often begin the class with the answers to all of the exams.

lama 5 years, 1 month ago

Why not have the new admission standards take effect in two years instead of 2016?

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 1 month ago

Gotta wait for the state's high schools to prepare their students for the changes. It's a little unfair to change things for students that have already started preparing for the current standards.

lama 5 years ago

People have been on notice this was coming for years. If students can't meet the KU standards, they can go to a community college for a year or one of the other Regents universities. If Kansas is serious about addressing rankings, this needs to be expedited.

1983Hawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes. God only knows that "wealth creation" should become the crucial new goal for our higher educational institutions.

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