Assessing University Performance

Each year, prospective college students and university officials eagerly await the publication of the latest college rankings. These rankings provide a quantifiable way to compare colleges, and--in the absence of reliable and publicly available indicators of student development and management effectiveness--are used by consumers and policymakers to make critical financial decisions. But rankings are not a perfect measurement of university performance. As the cost of college continues to soar, the time has come to ask whether the lack of an effective means to evaluate colleges has exaggerated the academic arms race.

Do rankings help or hinder intelligent decision-making by consumers and producers of higher education services? What additional information should colleges provide to permit better rankings and more informed consumer choices? Scholars, education leaders, and rankings experts will explore the history and practical implications of university performance assessment at this conference, cosponsored by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

AEI adjunct scholar Richard Vedder will moderate.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

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