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April 19, 2012

Is there a success story?

Law schools across the country seem to share a common belief:  That if their faculty publish more academic scholarship, and place it in better journals, then the U.S. News ranking of the school will improve.  Schools have expended great time and expense on this project, and reshaped their faculties in pursuit of this goal.  In hiring and at tenure review, most places view scholarship as being more important than teaching, in part for this reason.  This belief has played a role not only in restructuring our institutions, but our values.

Is it a myth?

Looking back over several years of rankings, I have trouble identifying schools for whom this tactic was successful.  After all, if scholarship can result in a long-term improvement in the rankings, shouldn't there be success stories? 

So tell me-- where are they?  What are the schools that managed, through increased scholarship rather that other factors, to significantly improve their rankings over the long-term (as opposed to brief jumps)?

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

-- Mark Osler 

April 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack