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 country."
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