Report asseses productivity of education staffs

By Katrina Kelly

NIU’s College of Education ranks 15th in the nation in faculty productivity, according to a 1986 report printed in the Journal of Teacher Education.

The rankings, based on the research of a three-member team from Texas A&M University, measured faculty productivity by the number of professional presentations by each school’s education faculty. It also looked at the number of publications from five education journals.

NIU Dean of Education Charles Stegman said, “These kinds of rankings are one indication of the productivity of the faculty, based on a composite of journal entries and professional presentations. However, this does not always reflect the entire college of education, just a specific subset of the faculty.”

Four other Illinois schools placed in the nation’s top 50. Southern Illinois University ranked first in Illinois and fifth in the country. SIU Dean of Education Donald Beggs said he was pleased with the recognition and emphasized the fact that Illinois was well represented in the rankings.

“I feel that is a great compliment to the state of Illinois, and it results from a great deal of research by the education faculty,” Beggs said.

Beggs said the research team’s methods were accurate. “As long as the researchers give their criteria that they used to rate schools, then rankings can be made relative to each education program,” Beggs said. He said the method used in this study is a commonly accepted one.

Illinois State University was tied for 24th in the nation, and placed fourth in Illinois. ISU Assistant Dean of Education John Godbold agreed to the accuracy of the study, but said that it fails to reflect the undergraduate programs.

“Ranking of schools on that basis is one way to describe them,” Godbold said, “But that description tells nothing about the quality of education that the school’s undergraduate program has to offer students. Those schools that ranked highest were major research institutions.”

Other Illinois universities in the top 50 were the University of Illinois, which ranked 10th in the nation and second in the state, and the National College of Education in Evanston, which was 39th in the nation and fifth in the state.

The report stated conference activity was based on contributions over a five-year period and publications included articles appearing in the Journal of Teacher Education and in Action of Teacher Education between 1980 and 1984. This approach was selected because conference presentations and journal publications focus on knowledge application, the report said.

Institutional productivity scores were then determined, with limitations to provide for schools with larger education faculties.

A total of 2,727 presentations and publications were involved in ranking the schools. However, the rankings are only a rough indication of school involvement in this area.

“Institutions noted for research productivity are active in inquiry for teacher education, but many unheralded institutions are also active in this area,” the report said.

The report stated, “individual faculty well-grounded in inquiry will likely use these skills and knowledge in their teaching.”