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TLU President Dorsey’s latest post on The Huffington Post blog: “Rating Colleges”

March 30, 2015


After working in government as an economist for the Senate Finance Committee, TLU President Dr. Stuart Dorsey has seen first-hand what government can do by imposing regulations. In "Rating Colleges," his latest post on The Huffington Post blog, he details why the Department of Education's proposed Post-Secondary Institutional Ratings (PIRS) will do more harm than good in aiding students and their parents in finding a college where they can be successful.

"Unfortunately, PIRS is a poor tool both for providing information or establishing accountability," Dorsey says. "It's a bad idea in concept and is likely to be a train-wreck in implementation."

As Dr. Dorsey points out, there are many factors that come into play when deciding if a college will be the right fit for a student. However, he explains that these very factors that differentiate higher education institutions from one another are not considered in the DOE's PIRS. He argues that regulations such as this force institutions to shy away from risks and innovation that provide students with more options leading to a successful career. He also notes the very mission of the university is not considered, where a large public university with success in producing engineering graduates is measured the same as a small private liberal arts college graduating more elementary teachers. 

In an attempt to be helpful, he says the limiting ratings will instead force colleges to focus on the government's idea of what makes a college a good investment above another. Just as standardized testing has forced public education into a mold without room for fostering new ways to teach, he fears PIRS will also stunt higher education's recent growth in innovation and experimentation. Dorsey summarizes: "In short, a rating system will make all universities and colleges more alike."

Read Dr. Dorsey's post on The Huffington Post blog.