[The Brookings] study evaluated 342 selective, public, four-year universities and identified which institutions serve as “ladders” or “labs.” Additionally, 70 public institutions, including NIU, were categorized as “leaders” in both research and social-mobility objectives.Isn't it time to let the faculty do its work, rather than coming up with ever more intrusive methods of data collection, and ever more time spent on administrivia?
NIU ranked 58th on the leaderboard. One other state public institution, the University of Illinois System, also was identified as a leader, coming in at No. 61.
The report specifically focused on research and social mobility, calling those criteria “the two most celebrated purposes of the American public university system.”
“Combining the two datasets allows us to estimate the share of America’s selective, public, four-year universities that succeed in promoting opportunity, producing research, both or neither,” the authors said in their report.
Just 20 percent of the universities studied managed to accomplish both objectives—to be both ladders and labs.
“This recognition highlights exactly what distinguishes NIU from other universities in Illinois and elsewhere—our commitment to providing students from all walks of life with a higher education experience that engages them in knowledge creation,” NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman said.
Why am I asking these questions? Because on occasion I'll catch up with colleagues who are still in the trenches, and this, along with the scandals from headquarters and the lack of pay raises, without fail comes up.