Posted 02 May 2010,
Rank or Rankings – part II
Based upon the many different e-mails, voice mails, and conversations that I had with alumni, faculty, parents, and staff at the end of last week after the Forbes
ranking was posted, it seems appropriate to extend the discussion of rankings by one more blog entry. Here then, are the issues that came up with some frequency last week.
I’m really not that powerful.
A number of people congratulated me on “getting Forbes
to rank Trinity” so highly. The fact is that I cooperate with these media requests to the absolute minimum possible. I provide accurate, factual information as it is requested. Beyond that, I politely turn down all other requests. Forbes
made several requests for interviews and for video and print journalist access and my response to each was the same: “The only access I can grant is for a discussion about how baseless, disruptive, and unhelpful such rankings are.” So, where Forbes
ranked Trinity is entirely its own construct.
How meaningless is this ranking?
I do really encourage everyone to look at the methodology that Forbes
describes in the article. Placement into selective colleges is heavily weighted along with several other quantitative criteria like SAT averages and student to teacher ratios. If the article was titled “Schools with the best student to teacher ratios” or “Schools with the greatest number of faculty with PhDs or other terminal degrees” I might find such articles odd in their emphasis, but at least they wouldn’t be making claims of being a list of the “best.” Several ...