(An open letter to University/Institutional Administrators)
We are writing to update you on major developments within academic rankings. As 2010 unfolds, your institution's researchers will likely receive multiple survey requests from various ranking initiatives. However, only one seeks to fundamentally change the way data is collected and analyzed.
As you're well aware, institutional rankings play an increasingly powerful and controversial role within the academic landscape. Yet many of the existing efforts have been largely criticized for being based on questionable data and flawed methodology. In response to heated industry debate, Times Higher Education, a global authority on higher education, recently announced plans to work with Thomson Reuters on revamping its popular World University Rankings. We are proud to have been chosen by Times Higher Education and believe this development underscores a major breakthrough within the rankings dialogue.
Our aim with the GLOBAL INSTITUTIONAL PROFILES PROJECT, which includes our work with Times Higher Education, is to develop a data source that provides the best informed and most effective resource to build profiles of universities and research-based institutions around the world.
As part of this initiative, some of your researchers may be contacted this year to complete our reputational survey. Their engagement is critical to ensuring this new initiative delivers what the industry has long been asking for — an accurate representation of the institutional landscape, from the source. And we firmly believe your support is essential to notifying researchers and encouraging their participation.
How Can I Help?
It's simple. Just talk with your researchers and colleagues about this program, and ask them to join in the effort. For your convenience, we have prepared an electronic postcard that you can easily forward to researchers within your community.
You can also visit the project website to learn more about us, the steps involved in this global initiative, and the approach we are taking. It is our hope that this work will finally provide the community with a thorough, accurate, and multi-faceted data source to support institutional assessment, comparisons and rankings.
We are excited to be a part of such a widespread initiative and look forward to working with you and your institution on bringing greater depth and transparency to institutional assessment.