The ranking of schools used by USNWR are based upon student perceptions.
No it is not.
Their methodology includes the following measurements:
1. Peer assessment (weighted 25 percent). Peer assessment means assessment from university and college presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions.
2. Retention (weighted 20 percent). This is the amount of returning freshmen.
3. Faculty Resources (weighted 20 percent)
4. Student Selectivity (weighted 15 percent). This means the students that are chosen for academic merit.
5. Financial Resources (weighted 15 percent). This is the university spending of resources per student.
6. Graduation Rate (weighted 5 percent)
7. Allumni Giving Rate (weighted 5 percent).
This is the US News methodology. Rentention may be the only thing that relates to student perceptions of a university, but not entirely. It also could reflect the college's performance. Again, every method had strengths and weaknesses. But like everything you measure, you don't throw the baby out with the bath water. To do this, you can throw out the AP, Coaches, BCS, NCAA field of 65, don't have national championships, throw out the NCAA rules and let it be an anarchal free for all college athletics. Everything has a methodology and has both strengths and weaknesses. To a certain point there is merit to these methodologies.
There is a lot more than that to a fine school.Popularity polls in colleges measure student happiness not academic achievement.
No it doesn't, see the methodology above^
Employers know this .
Employers are going to look at several things when they interview someone. If they don't know how to write and communicate and analyze they are not going to go far. It doesn't matter what school they went to. They need to do some thinking, communicating and analyzing. A well rounded education in addition to career preparation is what is needed. It doens't matter where you get the education from if you can demonstrate that you can do these things and demonstrate that you can perform well. A person needs a well-rounded education to be nimble in today's changing work trends, environment, and the need think, perform and act on the needs of the client, employer, and the service they are giving to people. Technology changes so fast, that a large amount of very focused and technical education may not mean much 5, 10, 20 years down the road.
Educators know this.
Yes, and that's why universities and colleges are organized the way they are. They respond to the needs of society.
Accreditation know this.
Accreditation of focused fields understand the need for education in both the career or field as well for the need for broadbased education. Students need to demonstrate that they understand how to write and communicate and analyze. That happens through a combined education in the liberal arts as well as the specific field of study that the accreditation organization is reviewing for accredititation. If no liberal arts are provided, then the institution is more of a community college.
Wins and losses and dollars are real,not just articles and measure the success of football programs.
Yes they are real. But, again, there is a strong corelation between market, academic accolades and football following. The question to ask is why is Rutgers in the Big East? Its because of their market, which is statewide in New Jersey, and perhaps goes into NYC. It hasn't had a great season in years. The attendance is not great. Its not much different than Temple. Last year they looked like they are turning a corner. They had a very impressive win on Saturday with a maxed out capacity stadium. This reflects the market. But the BE wouldn't kick them out even if they don't perform well. I would argue they shouldn't be kicked out. Its because the market which is related to the type of institution it is and the potential for it to be competitive sometime in the future is what keeps it in. For Temple, there's no desire to keep them. Villanova overshadows it. Its a commuter school, and has several academic institutions in its market with sports teams. It can't get its market behind the team. If Temple was PSU, it wouldn't be kicked out because the market would support their inclusion despite the performance. Rutgers is this, a statewide team. Rutgers doesn't have a large number of seasons that demonstrate a lot of success. Until the tail end of last season and this season, and what they demonstrated this past weekend, they are demonstrating that they are indeed a competitive team.