Standard university rankings may or may not be bollocks, but they are a destructive force.
This is because of Goodhart’s Law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”
What a world we live in, that the country’s largest and most wealthy universities have collectively decided to cede institutional power to the editors at the US News and World Report.
A new national ranking came out, and they found that my campus is #2 in the country! So maybe I’ll start caring about rankings? wink. But I do think it’s worthwhile to see what we might learn from The Economic Mobility Index. It ranks “schools [that] enroll the highest proportion of students from low- and moderate-backgrounds AND provide them with a strong return on their educational investment.” Here’s a thread from one of the authors with a bit of an explainer.
A colleague brought to my attention a story from yesterday’s All Things Considered, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I mean, I wish I could stop thinking about it, because I need to move on. Alas.
Last week, I got a request for some advice, and thought I’d share a version of my answer with y’all here. Continue reading
On a Friday in mid-March, a student in my department was notified that they were just accepted into an NSF-funded REU program. (For more about REUs, here’s an earlier post.) It’s program with a fair amount of prestige, but definitely not in the highest tier among the folks who keep track of status. Which is everybody, of course.
They were told they needed to accept or decline by Monday. Continue reading
Some people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid dropping the H-bomb. (This’ll be a short and less-than-grand post because, well, I’m busy)
Let me recreate a conversation I’ve heard (or been involved in) dozens of times over the years.
“So, where did you go to college?”
“Boston.” Continue reading