Lecture to break down CMU

Stacey Lopez and Melissa Taranto

?Why is Carnegie Mellon #22?: Breaking Down our U.S. News & World Report Ranking?

Thursday, November 10, at 4:30 pm

Adamson Wing,
136A Baker Hall

Every fall, as high school seniors sharpen their pencils for a long winter of college applications, the internationally distributed U.S. News and World Report releases its annual rankings of ?America?s Best Colleges.? Carnegie Mellon University?s Institutional Research and Analysis (IRA) group considers these rankings very important, and from their standpoint, so do those millions of rising seniors in the market for colleges.

On Thursday, Stacey Lopez and Melissa Taranto of the IRA will give a presentation on the breakdown of the U.S. News statistics and will demonstrate how CMU performed compared to its peer institutions. Lopez is the director of the IRA and a former statistics instructor, and Taranto is an IRA research analyst and six-year employee of CMU. The pair believe that as number 22 among America?s top universities, CMU has a lot to celebrate about.

The IRA takes part in campus surveys and examines data from faculty and staff that they then feed back into the University?s management. It processes the end-of-year surveys and many studies on faculty and staff. ?We reflect the institution back to itself,? Lopez said. She and Taranto have given this presentation on the U.S. News rankings to the First-Year Council, Division of Student Affairs department heads, and members of President Cohon?s management team, and students will now have their chance to hear how well CMU fares in the competitive college world.

Taranto believes students are curious about the U.S. News statistics. The presentation should give students an idea of where CMU has improved and where it still needs work. Taranto pointed out that according to her data, roughly 42 percent of CMU students considered the U.S. News rankings as very important in their college decision process. The presentation will show how the ranking compares to other colleges and will even present data on how individual categories rank among America?s colleges.

While Lopez admits that not all of the statistics are perfect, she sees their relevance in a high school environment, and sees them as a major factor in college decisions. Ultimately, the lecture will answer the question, ?Why number 22? What does this mean?? Lopez and Taranto will provide the answers to this at 4:30 pm, on Thursday, November 10, in Baker Hall?s Adamson Wing.