01.Oct.2009 Academics and Recruiting
Those who have followed my blog a few months might remember the petition I wrote to Dr. Edward Ray. I criticize Ray for not following through on his promise of raising the University’s academic reputation. My main point in the article is that academics affect recruiting. We’re seeing it more and more, from Owamagbe Odighizuwa to the Stanford guys. Once and a while we win a battle with Stanford or Cal (e.g. Michael Phillip, who has a Stanford offer in hand yet committed to the Beavs), but those are long odds.
Most prospective students look at the U.S. News rankings…if a school is “Tier 1”, that is a good thing. The student is likely interested. If they are “Tier 3”, as is OSU, then that is a strike against the school. Intelligent recruits look at this data as well. It’s why I strongly advocate OSU and Dr. Ray abiding to the School’s academic goals. However, there is both corruption and major flaws in the US News rankings.
So where does this leave the Beavers? Well, there is another way to look at this problem, one where OSU does not have to chase the US News rankings. I present to you: capitalism.
In this era of economic recession and tight wallets, what better gauge of an institutions reputation than the free market? Where does private money go when research is needed, when a question requires an answer, or a product needs development? The answer to that question might surprise you.
Oregon State (#87) ahead of Princeton (#89)? Maybe that’s why ex-tiger Craig Robinson is donning our orange and black. Interestingly, the results of this study show what we all know: the Pac-10 is a conference of academic excellence. You can’t go wrong with a Pac-10 education. But as with most things Pac-10, the powers at be, such as Tom Hansen, do a poor job in promoting the conference. Whether it’s athletics (most titles of any conference) or academics (the highest entrance requirements of any major conference), most people east of the Rockies know little about these universities.
What I find most interesting about the list is how free market capitalism quantified these institutions similarly to college guides. That is, UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Cal Berkeley, USC, all ahead of OSU. But to me this isn’t a slight of OSU’s academics more than it is a celebration of the conference. 3 schools in the top 10. For OSU to be ranked 87 and be associated with the PAC-10’s academic quality is a good thing. It’s something Riley should show recruits before they Google our “Tier 3” ranking from US News, one that anyone with an Oregon State degree knows is inaccurate.