Saturday, 27 September 2008


A commenter at InsideHigherEd suggests a new system for ranking colleges:

One index of quality might be a compilation where college professors send their own children to college. These parents know what goes on inside a campus that affects students.

College instructors are the last people who would rely on U.S. News for information in where to send their own children. The high prestige universities are great places to get a graduate degree, but professors often see that the best undergraduate education lies elsewhere.

Of course, professors also know that at least in academic hiring (probably to a greater extent than most areas, except medicine and law), institutional prestige is a major factor in the decisionmaking process, so they may emphasize prestige more than is warranted. But the general principle is sound: be wary of an institution that a professor wouldn’t send their own kids to.


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[Permalink] 1. Steven Taylor wrote @ Sat, 27 Sep 2008, 7:55 pm CDT:

Of course, since a lot of faculty get massive discounts at their own institution for family members, the choice may be influenced by more than just academics.


True, which would tend to reinforce the message that if faculty members at X don’t send their kids to X, X probably isn’t a very good institution (e.g. paying for an education elsewhere is better than going to X for free).

There are also other mitigating factors of course (availability of majors, for one) but I’d expect those things to balance out.

[Permalink] 3. Michelle wrote @ Sun, 28 Sep 2008, 9:15 am CDT:

According to a couple of citations in this, college professors tend to send their kids to liberal arts colleges.


That book manuscript(?) was an interesting read in general.

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