(04-19-2011 07:22 AM)miko33 Wrote: Is Memphis doing anything on the academic side? Before anyone gets all snippy over this statement, remember that the decision makers are university presidents/chancellors - not ADs. The presidents and board members absolutely care about who they associate with, and it is a factor that will be considered in expansion topics. I don't think a candidate school has to be the public version of Harvard/MIT, but they will need a concrete plan for how they will improve their academics to go along with plans to improve athletics programs.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't UL, UC and USF working big time behind the scenes on academics - especially after joining the BE? I know UCONN has been making a huge push over the last 5 years. That would mean that Memphis would have to make that push as well. There are more barriers for Memphis to overcome than just a $hitty FB team.
Unfortunately, many people base their opinion of a school academically on the rankings by US News & World Report, the Center for Measuring University Performance (at Arizona State), or Forbes Magazine. The problem lies in two areas: 1) Different groups use different criteria to rank schools so there is no consistency and 2) rankings are often determined by using non-academic criteria such as alumi giving rate, reputation based on internet web site polls, or peer assessment (which often means nothing more than name recognition). Critics charged that US News & World Report intentionally changed its methodology every year so that the rankings change and they can sell more magazines.
Quote:Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that U.S. News and World Report's college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, "[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine's rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity." He suggested more important characteristics are how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.
According to Washington Monthly, the University of Memphis is ranked #100 in the country. They use only objective criteria, and not subjective ones like peer assessment.
One thing that has always hurt the University of Memphis academically is the low percentage of students who graduate in four years. The University is a commuter school. The vast majority of students live off-campus and drive to school. Many students have part-time or full-time jobs in addition to classes. There are also a lot of non-traditional students (aka people in their 20s, 30s, and up) who take classes on campus.
The accpetance rate is not bad, but it could be better. It was at 61% in 2009, which is much better than AQ schools like Oklahoma at 93%, Kansas at 91%, Arizona State at 90%. It's also better than East Carolina's 74% and Houston's 70%. It's even better than Big East schools Louisville (73%), Cincinnati (67%), West Virginia (88%), and it's comparable to Pittsburgh (59%), Syracuse (60%), and Rutgers (61%).
Through a sizeable donation from FedEx, the University opened the FedEx Institute of Technology in 2003.
Through a $15M donation from Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, the University opened the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management in 2002.
A lot of emphasis is put on endowments, as they enable a university to spend money on faculty, research, campus improvements, etc. Memphis has an endowment of $180M, more than ECU's $100M and UCF's $115M.