The University Record, March 22, 1993

D’Arms predicts NRC ratings will be more useful

John H. D’Arms, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, says he is gratified to see the College of Engineering, School of Nursing and the Department of Health Services Management and Policy all ranked so highly by U.S. News & World Report.

He also notes that the sixth place rating for the Department of Geological Sciences reflects the considerable effort and progress that has been made in that department.

Reputations change far more slowly than facts, D’Arms says.

“We may be carrying unfortunate baggage from the past when actual situations have changed very dramatically. I know chemistry, biology and physics are considerably stronger than these ratings suggest,” D’Arms adds. When magazines ask people around the country to rate a U-M program, respondents will go with old reputations if they haven’t been actively involved in the changes, according to D’Arms.

He says universities will be able to look at news magazine ranking efforts in a more objective light when the results of the National Research Council (NRC) survey on 40 disciplines come out in late 1994 or early 1995. It will be more telling to compare the results of the NRC survey with results from the last NRC survey conducted in the 1980s, according to D’Arms.

The NRC is an arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The National Research Council will be academe monitoring and rating itself,” D’Arms says.