Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rankings and AAU

I've written before, wondering aloud as to UGA's chances of ever being invited to the Association of American Universities, the big-kid club of research universities. I speculated in previous posts about whether UGA produces enough research -- and research dollars -- given it doesn't have a medical school. It takes big bucks to be asked to the academic prom. Today I approach this from a slightly different angle, comparing AAU membership to the world university rankings that came out this week.

Let's take a look.

The table below orders all the AAU members by their world rankings. Skim it. UGA would be in the bottom of the pile (I put it in the place where it'd sit, via rankings), but it's still better than seven other AAU members. What does this prove? Not much. AAU and the world rankings do rely on some of the same measures, so if you're pulling for UGA to get invited there's a little something here for you, but keep in mind the schools UGA beats in the world rankings (but are members of AAU) have been in for a long time. Missouri, for example, joined in 1908, Kansas in 1909, and the most recent being Buffalo in 1989.

Check on the list below with their respective world rankings. I have a little speculation at the bottom of the list.

SCHOOL World Rank
Harvard University 1
Stanford University 2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3
Columbia University 6
University of California, Berkeley 7
The University of Chicago 8
Princeton University 9
Yale University 10
California Institute of Technology 11
Cornell University 12
University of Pennsylvania 14
University of California, Los Angeles 15
Johns Hopkins University 16
University of California, San Diego 17
University of Michigan 19
Northwestern University 21
New York University 22
University of Wisconsin–Madison 25
University of Washington 27
Duke University 29
University of Toronto 30
The University of Texas at Austin 32
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 34
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 38
University of Virginia 40
McGill University 42
Rutgers University–New Brunswick 43
University of Southern California 44
University of Minnesota 45
Ohio State University 46
University of Pittsburgh 47
University of California, Davis 49
Washington University in St. Louis 51
The Pennsylvania State University 52
Purdue University 56
University of California, Santa Barbara 58
University of Florida 59
Boston University 62
University of Colorado Boulder 65
Carnegie Mellon University 67
University of Maryland, College Park 68
Vanderbilt University 71
University of Rochester 72
The University of Arizona 73
Emory University 79
Georgia Institute of Technology 86
Brown University 87
University of California, Irvine 88
Texas A&M University 98
Michigan State University 106
Case Western Reserve University 108
Rice University 114
Indiana University Bloomington 123
The University of Iowa 125
Stony Brook University 154
Iowa State University 205
The University of Kansas 206
University of Missouri 209
Brandeis University 229
State University of New York at Buffalo 272
Tulane University 288
University of Oregon 342

Who ranks high but isn't a member? Good question, because I'd assume those schools would be competing for an invite with UGA.

Dartmouth isn't a member. Surprised me, but it's ranked #50 in the world. The University of Utah is ranked #66 but isn't a member. Those are far above UGA's #204 ranking, and there are several other schools who aren't in the club but rank higher.

My take? UGA is several years away from an invite despite it's #17 Forbes best public school ranking (also out this week). Medical and engineering programs generate lots and lots of research grant dollars, and UGA's small programs in each are nowhere close to that kind of success and prestige.

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