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University of Minnesota Graduation Rates (11/11)

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The clock is ticking....

Data below is extracted from an accountability document for today's Board of Regents Meeting. The university administration insists on comparing us with a self-selected group of institutions, some of which are BigTen schools, but others are totally inappropriate for comparison. It would be much more informative in taking steps for improvement to compare us with our natural competition, other BigTen schools, but that would be even more embarrassing for the smug crew in Morrill Hall. If we can't even get into the top half of the BigTen, how are we ever going to become one of the top three public institutions in the world? And of course anyone who points this out is referred to as "a doubter."

The figures were not presented as a slide nor explicitly discussed at today's meeting although Regent Simmons intimated that there would be much discussion about them during the upcoming year. As well there should be.

These numbers are a disgrace. Lauding President Bruininks for the great improvements that have been made in this area is laughable. The only way such a claim is even remotely plausible is because the numbers have been so pitifully low in the past.

For Provost Sullivan - as he did again today - to talk about "our top three goal" is extremely disappointing in the face of these numbers. Where are our priorities?


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Now you don't have to be a rocket scientist, a VP for institutional research, or a former law school dean to figure out that with numbers like these, there must be some leakage.

Where is it? A table summarizing retention rates for undergrads at Minnesota and peer institutions is given below.

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So let's see, after three years, roughly three of ten of our undergrads walks? No wonder our graduation rate is so low. This means that no matter what we do, if we don't fix this we will never get our graduation rate up! Fix this!

Now the geniuses in Morrilll Hall would have us believe that if we just continue to jack up admissions standards, these better students will cause the graduation rate to go up. WRONG! As will be seen in the next post, schools with less lofty credentials than ours kill us in the graduation rate metric. Preview of coming attractions: Penn State.

"Raise that tuition, dig that gravel, buy that Coke, push that credit card, fill that stadium, take the Pepsi money, take the Medtronic money, take double dippers, sell that soul..."

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