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Author Topic: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008  (Read 10050 times)

botbot

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2008, 05:06:52 PM »
My point is more that without accurate endowment figures, isn't the correlation you are looking for impossible to find?  Isn't this flaw only multiplied when you don't consider endowment per student?

I am still not convinced of your logic in not factoring in student population vs. endowment?  The USNews doesn't care about endowment size, only money spent per student.


Besides, is UFlorida really in a greater position to make large scale investments than SMU or Tulane?  Do you really expect UFlorida to climb the rankings faster than these two schools?

botbot

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 05:07:55 PM »
My point is more that without accurate endowment figures, isn't the correlation you are looking for impossible to find?  Isn't this flaw only multiplied when you don't consider endowment per student?

Besides, is UFlorida really in a greater position to make large scale investments than SMU or Tulane?  Do you really expect UFlorida to climb the rankings faster than these two schools?

botbot

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 05:09:30 PM »
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So you used the $15 billion dollar figure for UT because it has the only law school in the system, but divided the Indiana schools up?  gross

If UTEP and UTD opened law schools, do you think UT-Austin Law's endowment would be cut to 1/3?

Well, UT-Austin certainly wouldn't be the only child anymore. It seems reasonable to assume that a law school in a large system with no other law schools will have an easier time getting capital funding from the system endowment than a school that has to compete with several others for access to the same pool.

Why is this assumption reasonable?  It seems reasonable to me that UT Law's budgets would not be adversely impacted by a new UTD law school.

stewie griffin

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 05:20:10 PM »
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Gross endowment is a better measure of a school's ability to take on major capital projects

Good example of both this and the relevance of system endowments is the Penn State - Dickinson merger. Clearly the main selling point for that whole idea was that Dickinson would gain access to the massive PSU endowment. This is in fact funding major capital improvements for the school, including overhauling the Carlisle campus and building the new University Park facilities. So these schools at least seemed to think that access to major capital funding and affiliation with university resources are important for success. For the moment US News seems to agree with them. But it's hard to tell how long or how far they will continue to rise.


Endowment funds are not typically used to renovate old buildings or build new ones, but I agree that DLS clearly benefits from Penn State's financial weight.  Just don't call it endowment.

And I have to add my voice to the chorus of those questioning your endowment figures.  I work in higher ed - in fundraising, as a matter of fact - and seeing those endowment numbers, which in each case represent that university's TOTAL endowment (not just its law school's endowment), makes me squeamish.  I understand how hard those numbers are to come by, but I think it would improve your analysis.

I also think that including information on annual fundraising and state support might help flesh this out.  You mentioned that you knew you were omitting state support, but support from alumni, friends, and foundations also plays a big role in this.
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sockpuppet

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 05:26:56 PM »
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Besides, is UFlorida really in a greater position to make large scale investments than SMU or Tulane?  Do you really expect UFlorida to climb the rankings faster than these two schools?

If anything this approach understates the potential of public schools, since there is no way to include the "virtual endowment" factor provided by tax revenues. That's why I also provide separate lists for public and private schools. On a rough order of magnitude basis it's still reasonable to think a school backed by $15 billion has a lot more potential to exploit any opportunities that it has than one with only $1 billion, regardless of their affiliation. The three schools that you listed fall within four spots of each other and just below the middle of the list for Tier One. Obviously that suggests that they have roughly equal prospects over the long term.

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Why is this assumption reasonable?

Because it's common sense. If parents are expecting one child and get triplets instead, it seems likely that they'll wind up driving off to college in three Miatas rather than one Porsche. If a campus depends on system-wide funding, as most public schools do, then the share of that funding allocated to all purposes for one law school will obviously be higher than the same system would provide for each of two or four or five law schools.

sockpuppet

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2008, 05:39:32 PM »
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And I have to add my voice to the chorus of those questioning your endowment figures.  I work in higher ed - in fundraising, as a matter of fact - and seeing those endowment numbers, which in each case represent that university's TOTAL endowment (not just its law school's endowment), makes me squeamish.  I understand how hard those numbers are to come by, but I think it would improve your analysis.

I also think that including information on annual fundraising and state support might help flesh this out.  You mentioned that you knew you were omitting state support, but support from alumni, friends, and foundations also plays a big role in this.

I completely agree. This is not the only area in which better data would make a huge difference in our ability to appraise law schools. If you have any sources or suggestions for getting more specific figures, then I would be happy to hear them. Based on what publicly available data I have found, this is, as stated, offered as the least worst rough guess for which schools have the potential to succeed and prosper over time. And total endowment figures are far from the worst estimate of gross fund raising power for a school. At the very least, it's a clear measure of a school's success in doing exactly what you refer to above -- getting and growing money from alumni and other sources of support.

Also, I don't think a single voice counts as a chorus. But I guess two might.

Marc03

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2008, 06:05:58 PM »
Because it's common sense. If parents are expecting one child and get triplets instead, it seems likely that they'll wind up driving off to college in three Miatas rather than one Porsche. If a campus depends on system-wide funding, as most public schools do, then the share of that funding allocated to all purposes for one law school will obviously be higher than the same system would provide for each of two or four or five law schools.


This is where your reasoning is flawed:  Who is to say that the parent of the single child would not also have a foster child and maybe a horse to whom they also allocate their resources toward? You (mistakenly) assume that the Law School is the ONLY beneficiary from endowments.  Take UT for example - to say that the Law School has full access to the extremely large endowment is to say that there are no other programs or schools supported by the UT system that would have partial access to the same endowment.  When in fact, the UT system has a large assortment of successful programs, both undergraduate and graduate, that benefit from the same aforementioned endowment.  Staying in Texas, other examples include Baylor which supports reputable Business, Law, and Medical schools.
UT is an outstanding school and I only use it as an example since I am most familiar with it living here in Texas.  I am simply stating that using an entire university system's endowment as the basis for your rankings is inherently flawed when other programs are excluded in the calculation.

botbot

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2008, 06:07:36 PM »
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Besides, is UFlorida really in a greater position to make large scale investments than SMU or Tulane?  Do you really expect UFlorida to climb the rankings faster than these two schools?

If anything this approach understates the potential of public schools, since there is no way to include the "virtual endowment" factor provided by tax revenues.

So what is your list telling me?  UFlorida has an EVEN greater chance to move up the rankings?  or

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Obviously that suggests that they have roughly equal prospects over the long term.

Your list means nothing.

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Because it's common sense. If parents are expecting one child and get triplets instead, it seems likely that they'll wind up driving off to college in three Miatas rather than one Porsche. If a campus depends on system-wide funding, as most public schools do, then the share of that funding allocated to all purposes for one law school will obviously be higher than the same system would provide for each of two or four or five law schools.

Did you even bother to research how the UT-system divides the money?  Given the above analogy, I can only imagine you didn't.


Will a big endowment help a school climb the rankings?  Maybe.
Is your list, at all, an accurate way of measuring it?  No.

Using total endowments is just not going to work.

stewie griffin

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Re: Most Likely to Succeed Rankings 2008
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2008, 08:43:37 PM »
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And I have to add my voice to the chorus of those questioning your endowment figures.  I work in higher ed - in fundraising, as a matter of fact - and seeing those endowment numbers, which in each case represent that university's TOTAL endowment (not just its law school's endowment), makes me squeamish.  I understand how hard those numbers are to come by, but I think it would improve your analysis.

I also think that including information on annual fundraising and state support might help flesh this out.  You mentioned that you knew you were omitting state support, but support from alumni, friends, and foundations also plays a big role in this.

I completely agree. This is not the only area in which better data would make a huge difference in our ability to appraise law schools. If you have any sources or suggestions for getting more specific figures, then I would be happy to hear them. Based on what publicly available data I have found, this is, as stated, offered as the least worst rough guess for which schools have the potential to succeed and prosper over time. And total endowment figures are far from the worst estimate of gross fund raising power for a school. At the very least, it's a clear measure of a school's success in doing exactly what you refer to above -- getting and growing money from alumni and other sources of support.

Also, I don't think a single voice counts as a chorus. But I guess two might.


This is a start (see p. 7): http://www.makinghistory.upenn.edu/files/u6/Law_Case.pdf

It's the case brochure for Penn Law's current campaign.  I'm guessing Penn had to contact the other schools to find these data; The Chronicle of Higher Education, for example, only has university-wide information.  If you dig around on law school websites, you might be able to find passing references to their endowments, especially on their development/advancement/alumni relations sites.
Temple University Beasley School of Law 2011

you fine american.

Final record: 5-1-4