Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 3, 1994

National Rank Needs Context

Although Hopkins was ranked fourth in academic reputation in
the annual U.S. News & World Report survey of America's best
colleges, the university's overall ranking of 22nd among 227
national universities, down from No. 15 in 1993, requires
some explanation, said Robert Massa, associate dean for
enrollment management.
    He noted that the category for faculty resources, in
which the university slipped from 37th in 1993 to 97th, was
the most significant factor in Hopkins' downward ranking. But
the methodology needs to be placed in context, he said.
    Two areas of this category accounted for 20 percent of
the computation. The first was the ratio of part-time (206
more) to full-time (10 fewer) faculty.
    "This increase in part-time faculty is exclusively in
divisions and programs that do not affect Homewood
undergraduates," Dr. Massa said. "The implication of this
statistic is that there is less faculty commitment to
undergraduates, which is not the case."
    The second category was in faculty salaries. Dr. Massa
noted that a new methodology was used to adjust for faculty
salaries relative to a national scale. Because the cost of
living in Baltimore is considered above the national average,
Hopkins faculty salaries were deflated and, therefore, rated
lower than those at other universities.
    Dr. Massa believes that the university cannot get too
excited when it ranks high or too deflated when it slips.
    "This is important only in that prospective
undergraduates look to these rankings when determining the
final cut in the application process," he said. "So, while
this is not good news, it clearly isn't a catastrophe.
Hopkins remains solidly among the top universities in the

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