U graduate schools slip in rankings

Liz Bogut

For students in search of a graduate school, the University might look a little less appealing after a national report published last week.
The annual report, published Friday by U.S. News and World Report, ranked graduate programs at public and private universities across the country. Overall, University graduate programs dropped slightly from last year’s rankings.
The Carlson School of Management dropped two places to 28th, the Law School one place to 19th and the Education program four places to 14th, according to the report.
“Quite frankly, I am not surprised by the drop in rankings by the U.S. News and World Report, given the University’s failure to address graduate students’ concerns,” said Michael Pawson, president of the Council of Graduate Students.
Pawson said salary and benefits for graduate students who are employed at the University is a big concern the University has not addressed. He said other Big Ten schools offer larger stipends to graduate students.
The rankings, which are created using students’ test scores and reputation ratings from both inside and outside of academia, are a source of controversy among academics.
Sharon Reich, Law School associate dean, said the report should not be taken too seriously because the quality of a law school cannot be judged by one report.
“There is nothing in this assessment in terms of the caliber of the Law School faculty. What makes a good law school is faculty and students,” Reich said.
But one administrator said he recognizes the impact of reports like the ranking in U.S. News and World Report.
“You have to take these reports seriously because they form public perceptions and opinions of your school,” said David Kidwell, dean of the Carlson School.
Kidwell said the Carlson School dropped in the ranking for reasons the school had no control over, such as starting salaries for college graduates.
In addition, several schools in the U.S. News and World Report study seemed to have reported extraordinarily high graduate placement rates, Kidwell said.
“The difference between 26th and 28th is nil, but if we had dropped to 35th, there would have been a problem,” Kidwell said.
Pawson said he thinks a lot of prospective graduate students make decisions based on reports like the one in U.S. News and World Report.
“I hope the rankings will serve as a wake-up call to the administration,” Pawson said.

Liz Bogut welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3217.