Bruininks decides he doesn't like rankings anymore

Categories: U of M

In the Minnesota Daily's recurring Rappin' with Robert (do they even call it that anymore?) University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks made an interesting statement about their ongoing crusade to make it to the top of world when it comes to public research institutions.

Well, I think in many areas we will achieve that level of stature, but in some areas, we may fall somewhat short. The issue to me is not whether you achieve what people regard as a top three status, the issue to me is: are you working day in and day out to build the excellence of the University of Minnesota, so that over time you begin increasingly to represent the very best colleges and universities in the United States and around the world.

To me it's about stature, it's not about status, it's not about ranking. We want to be known as one of the most productive, impactful universities in the entire world, and I think setting a very high aspirational goal is one of the ways that you rivet the attention of the University community and the citizens of the state on the qualities that are truly distinctive and important with respect to the long term future of the University.

I make no apologies for setting high goals and I think what you will find, if you just canvass regular citizens in our state, they have some skepticism about whether that goal is achievable, but I don't think you'd find too many people who think that setting the goal is a trivial exercise. They want us to be a much better place. They want to continue to be proud of the University of Minnesota.

Hm, that's funny. If we peruse U of M materials, we would all be pretty convinced that the ranking is the main point. If the U were on track to make this ridiculous goal, Bruininks would be dancing in circles (or galloping on his horse) to celebrate the great strides. But of course, this strategic positioning hoopla could end with a stiff pat on the back and a "good try, folks" attitude.

Well, at least we will have a new football stadium teeming with idiots. That's the spirit!

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