Rankings shouldn’t be top priority

A newly released set of world university rankings shows the University of Minnesota moving up 55 spots from last yearâÄôs ranking to 87th. This is a better ranking than the Forbes ranking, released over the summer, in which the University placed 524th, but itâÄôs also not as good as the Center for University Performance rankings, which lists it as 14th in the nation. In short, the ranking system for colleges and universities is bunk. There are no perfect rankings; there is no end-all be-all answer. And yet, in spite of rankings for the University ranging from 14th in the nation to 524th in the world, the number one priority of University president Bob Bruininks and Provost Thomas Sullivan is to become one of the top three research universities in the world. Because the criteria for college rankings can include gauges ranging from the number of faculty research citations to the quality of ratemyprofessor.com reviews, college advisors across the country are coming out strongly against them. âÄúDonâÄôt get hung up on rankings,âÄù advised Valerie Broughton, a Minneapolis-based educational consultant, in a Star Tribune article last summer. In the face of financial worries across the University, whether they be related to salary for AFSCME workers or tuition and debt for students, we urge the University to see the light and realize that rankings arenâÄôt as important as they seem. Shift the focus from seeming like a great university and actually make this a great place to learn and a great place to work. YouâÄôll be top three in the eyes of your students, faculty and staff.