Ratemyprofessors.com Rates Your University

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Ratemyprofessors.com, a website on which students may anonymously leave comments on a given professor's relative strengths and weaknesses, has recently released a list of the fifty highest ranked colleges based on student assessments of each institution's respective faculty. "Selecting only schools with a minimum of at least 30 rated professors," the website informs us, they "computed the average professor rating for each school (only professors with 30 ratings or higher)" before they were "ranked from high to low according to their average rating."

Although the authority of the list is no doubt limited by its having been based upon the voluntarily offered rankings of individual instructors by students who have sought out the website (clearly, a student could submit multiple ratings for the same instructor and those that visit the website are not necessarily representative of a school's entire student body), it does provide us with some food for thought. For instance, schools most often ranked highest by US News & World Report, say, or the Princeton Review, are conspicuously absent from the Ratemyprofessors list (a single Ivy League institution -- Cornell University -- clings on to the last spot, for instance). One possible interpretation of this fact is that research-oriented universities tend to hire faculty less for their ability to teach then for their ability to produce journal articles or conduct research. The problem with such a scenario, of course, is that while students are drawn to certain institutions for the quality of education its reputation seems to promise, they are often met with indifferent or ineffectual scholars wholly uninterested in teaching. Naturally, this is but one possible way of interpreting a thoroughly unscientific body of data. . .

The rankings, as determined by the website's users (italics denote schools likely to appear very high in other rankings):

1. Brigham Young University 
2. Southeastern Louisiana University 
3. Christopher Newport University 
4. Stephen F. Austin State University 
5. University of Houston 
6. Texas Christian University 
7. Augusta State University 
8. University of Central Oklahoma 
9. College of William and Mary 
10. Grove City College 
11. James Madison University 
12. Grand Valley State University 
13. Florida International University 
14. University of Texas at San Antonio 
15. University of Virginia 
16. Florida State University 
17. Louisiana Tech University 
18. Liberty University 
19. University of North Florida 
20. George Mason University 
21. West Virginia University 
22. University of Delaware 
23. University of Central Florida 
24. Utah Valley State College 
25. University of Northern Iowa 
26. York College of Pennsylvania 
27. Marist College 
28. College of Charleston 
29. University of South Florida 
30. Jacksonville State University 
31. Oakland University 
32. American University 
33. San Francisco State University 
34. Appalachian State University 
35. Indiana University of Pennsylvania 
36. Northeastern University 
37. Radford University 
38. Towson University 
39. Bradley University 
40. University of Tennessee at Martin 
41. Virginia Commonwealth University 
42. Old Dominion University 
43. Nicholls State University 
44. Oregon State University 
45. Boston University 
46. Northwest Missouri State University 
47. University of Florida 
48. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 
49. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 
50. Cornell University

Among the "elite" schools missing from the list are Duke, Harvard, Brown, Penn, Dartmouth, Columbia, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Emory, University of California-Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Chicago, Stanford, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Interesting.

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This page contains a single entry by Sobriquet Magazine published on November 8, 2008 5:20 PM.

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