Monday, November 06, 2006

Should Schools Opt Out of Rankings?

Canada_college_rankingsMaclean's Magazine is out with its 2006 University Rankings issue covering 42 Canadian colleges and universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that over two dozen schools boycotted the magazine's questionnaire and refused to provide performance-indicator information as they had for the prior 15 years because of concerns over the magazine's methodology. In our Moneyball article (What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 1483 (2004)), Rafael Gely and I are are skeptical about schools' attempts to opt out of rankings without offering an alternative to the public:

In our view, law schools are faced with a clear choice. We can continue resisting public demands for accountability and transparency through rankings. But such resistance is futile, as a market that demands rankings of brain surgeons and heart-transplant programs will not accept protestations from the legal academy that what we do is simply too special to be evaluated with objective measures.

For more details, see here and here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note that Reed College does not participate in the USNWR rankings for liberal arts colleges and continues to maintain a reputation for excellence. Coupled with that reputation is one for quirkiness and being an iconoclast. I am not sure if law students, who are mostly interested in receiving a legal education so that they may practice, would be comfortable with attending the Reed College of Law Schools. Unfortunately, law schools compete in a very competative marketplace and neophyte consumers need some measure of quality in making their decisions. Plus, employers care about rankings as much as students.

11/06/2006 8:13 PM  

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