Time for a prediction

crystal ball
photo by Cillian Storm

I don’t know, is it me?   I think it gets quieter and quieter each year after US News releases its rankings.   Has the publication that all of higher education loves to hate lost its impact?  I saw very little press yesterday, and not even much buzz on the IR listservs, in response to the release of US News’ annual rankings.   Maybe it’s all the bratty little upstart rankings that have begun to get more attention, or that we’ve just reached a point of rankings saturation and there’s nothing more to say.

I’m not big on making predictions.   In fact, whenever anyone asks me to predict what our rank will be, I make a lame joke about leaving my dice at home.   But US News depends heavily on these rankings in their business model, and I wonder if they’re missing the press they used to get.   What they need is some controversy!  I predict that it’s time for US News to “tweak” its methodology, which will result in some upsets in the rankings and presto!  More press!   They could even just update their Cost of Living Adjustment on the Faculty Salary measure – as far as I can tell, they’ve been using the same index since 2002.   That would certainly be defensible, and could have the effect of shaking things up.   But mark my word, SOMETHING will change next year!