The University of Michigan-Flint and Stanford University-CA are two of the most prestigious universities in the world, but they're both ranked very high in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Why is it that there is such a disparity in the rankings between these two schools? And why does it look like the results of the U.S. News rankings might be biased?
The answer lies in how the U.S. News ranks their schools. If you look at their top five, four are highly respected private institutions. Stanford University is number three in the U.S. News ranking. Harvard University is number four. The University of Chicago is number five.
You can see that the U.S. News ranking system doesn't just base their rankings on the prestige that each school has. They also give a great deal of importance to what the professors teach. You see, at any good university, the professors are not just famous professors. They're real people who care about their students. This is true not only at the most prestigious private institutions but at the more moderate, smaller universities as well.
In private schools, the professors don't need to be famous. In fact, most professors do not have their name attached to their work. This means that the professors are more concerned with how well their students do in their courses than with the prestige that comes with being one of the most famous professors in the world.
There are two explanations as to why the rankings are biased. Either the editors at U.S. News do not care about getting professors to teach their courses, or the editors are not doing their due diligence.
The editors at U.S. News should start by hiring their own professors. The administrators of the University of Michigan-Flint and Stanford should consider hiring professors with actual expertise in the fields that they are supposedly writing about. This way, they won't have to worry about the bias factor of being interviewed by one of the famous professors in the world.
Real professors have real experiences teaching the classes they are supposed to be teaching. These professors are usually more likely to be honest with their students than . . . . . . those who are trying to gain respect from U.S. News editors by being a popular professor. And since most professors are honest, they probably have a very high opinion of themselves.
The editors at U.S. News, though, have a much higher opinion of themselves because they are members of the university's reputation. It is not surprising that they would want to place the University of Michigan-Flint and Stanford at the very top of the rankings. because of this reason alone. Their reputation precedes them.
The bottom line is that U.S. News rankings have a lot to do with the reputation of the university itself. If the editors want to increase the University of Michigan-Flint and Stanford's ranking, then they will do everything possible to ensure that the rankings reflect the actual accomplishments of the faculty there.