Thursday, October 8, 2009

U of C's Miraculous Faculty

The Times Higher Education supplement has published its world university rankings. Hard to know what to make of it. Calgary moved up to around 150th place. There are several "reputation" measures which one might think are soft; and there are also some harder numbers that might be meaningful. Our university has the lowest rank out of all 200 universities listed for staff/student ratio -- i.e. the fewest staff per student. But it also ranks at the very top for citations per staff member (along with Harvard and Stanford). If true, then faculty here apparently teach very heavy loads and yet are exceedingly productive in research.

While the obvious explanation is that the faculty of this university are remarkable in every way, cynics may suspect that the rankings authors input an incorrectly low faculty number, which would explain both our extraordinarily high citations/faculty and our extraordinarily low staff/student ratio.

In any case, at least for showing progress, U of C has done remarkably. In 2006, it ranked 266. In 2007, 166. In 2008, 170. In 2009, 149.

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