Phi Beta Cons

Sorry, Governor — That Won’t Help

Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas wants to see the his state’s universities improve in the U.S. News rankings. (Story here.)

Someone out in Kansas should inform him that those rankings have nothing whatever to do with academic benefits for students and the efficiency with which they are taught.

Brownback also says that the state universities are “engines of economic growth.” That’s a political trope that few governors can resist, but as Rich Vedder showed in his book Going Broke by Degree, if there is any relationship between state spending on universities and economic growth, it’s negative.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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