Why is ASU tops for innovation and 115th on quality?
ASU is the nation’s most innovative university. For the fourth year in a row. That seems like a big deal. I mean, innovation is a good thing, right? But wait. If ASU remains the most innovative, why is it ranked 115th among top national universities, those that offer a broad range of degrees and emphasize faculty research. Seems if ASU is doing things in new, better ways than most universities, it should be ranked higher, right? Well, maybe not. U.S. News and World Report – the group that does the rankings – surveys college presidents, provosts and deans who nominate the most innovative schools. They keep putting ASU atop the list. Meanwhile, its top university rankings are based on data like retention and graduation rates, class sizes and faculty salaries. You might call it a difference between statistics and perception, then. Or maybe what a ‘quality’ higher education is today versus what the academics think it should be later.