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Virginia U uses U.S. News data in faculty hires

A report in today's Inside Higher Ed says Christopher Newport University in Virginia's Hampton Roads region is using data from U.S. News & World Report collegiate rankings as a factor in faculty hires.

Faculty leaders and administrators are in mild disagreement about whether the U.S. News criteria are merely strongly considered or required of teaching candidates.

IHE's Scott Jaschik writes that favored job candidates "should meet at least one of the following criteria":

• An undergraduate degree from one of the top 99 national liberal arts colleges or the top 35 national universities in the U.S. News rankings.

• A terminal degree from one of the 69 best national universities in the U.S. News rankings.

• A terminal degree from a doctoral program ranked in the top 35 percent of National Research Council rankings.

• Election to Phi Beta Kappa.

Plenty of universities favor faculty candidates with terminal degrees from well-regarded departments at estimable schools. But, as Jaschik writes, "those judgments have generally been based on departmental reputations for graduate instruction, not U.S. News rankings."

Robert Morse, who oversees the rankings, told the publication he had not previously heard of universities using them in quite this way.

Jaschik writes,

"Inside Higher Ed learned of the use of the system from someone who had heard from several job candidates who were distressed to find out that they had little chance of being hired at the university because they had graduated from institutions not deemed prestigious enough for Christopher Newport (which U.S. News does not rank because it is considered a "tier 2" institution)."

The criteria were developed under CNU Provost Mark Padilla.

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By Daniel de Vise  | October 12, 2010; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Labor, Pedagogy, Rankings  | Tags:  CNU faculty, CNU uses US News rankings, Christopher Newport University, Christopher Newport faculty, U.S. News rankings  
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