Big Ten included in top ten presidents list

by Taryn Wobbema

Ohio State University President Gordon Gee was named the “best college president” by Time magazine in a top ten list put out Nov. 13. Gee was lauded for his actions that reflect his belief that colleges and universities should serve as economic engines of their respective regions.

Source: Time

Ohio State operates on a $4.35 billion budget and the state has actually increased aid this year, helping to freeze in-state tuition for the third year in a row.

Time also included University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, ranking her third.

Coleman was recognized due to her strong efforts to raise money at a university that receives less than 10 percent of its budget from the state. In eight years, the school raised $3.2 billion in “non-public” funding. With the campaign ending in 2008, Coleman told Time, “Our timing was impeccable.”

University of California President Mark Yudof crept onto the list at number 10.

Source: Time

The UC system does not participate in the Big Ten, but Yudof preceded President Bob Bruininks at the University of Minnesota. Time included Yudof because of his handling a $1 billion budget gap that would have required a 32 percent tuition hike. Faculty and staff agreed to take unpaid furloughs, instead.

That doesn’t mean UC faculty, staff and students are happy with the cuts.

The New York Time’s higher education blog “The Choice,” wrote about the list skeptically, questioning the basis by which executive administrators were judged and subsequently ranked.

According to the managing editor of Time, the list was made after speaking with several education experts. Future lists would possibly allow for nominations from non-experts.