Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We Don't Need No Stinking U.S. News and World Report!

We know what students really care about - party on! Must be loads of fun to teach early morning classes at UT-Austin.

Talk about a mixed blessing. The University of Texas spokesman Don Hale did the usual sniffing about how UT is really known for its academics, and then tried to dismiss the whole thing:

“It's good water cooler conversation, but is there a basis in fact? Debatable," said spokesman Don Hale. "I think we're known as one of the nation's leading public research universities, and that's really our reputation."Besides, he said, there might have been extenuating circumstances this year: "The students who filled out this survey might have remembered the parties we had after we won the national football championship, and maybe that's what got us to No. 1."
Did I say "academics? Note the language - "leading public research universities." That's actually jargon - being classified as a research university means in essence that they have a lot of PhD programs. Still I have a feeling that the spokespeople at my school would also say something about teaching.

1 comment:

binky said...

Our institution is in the top ten on several of those "measures" including "students never study" and "weed smoking." We've been one of the top party schools consistently (hint: we burn couches here). We also hear the administration sniff every year.

And yet, and yet... the administration does things like schedule weeknight football games, and then put out calls to all faculty to go easy on the students and not schedule any tests or quizzes the next day. So, when they claim to despise being recognized for things other than academics, it's a little hard to keep a straight face.