UMass & Public Universities Get an ‘A’


The Globe’s Kevin Cullen stands up for his alma mater UMass. Read his column here, and get the Globe if you appreciate the writing.

And get this news about how public universities are viewed by job recruiters. This is from

Employment recruiters say that public universities are producing the most prepared and well-rounded prospects for entry-level jobs, with better life skills to fit in to their corporate cultures and prosper, according to a survey of 479 recruiters by the Wall Street Journal.  A top 25 list developed by the newspaper included 19 public universities and only one New England institution, MIT, which ranked No. 23. While critical thinking and the intellect of Ivy Leaguers are appreciated, recruiters are looking for practical skills for new product developers, operations managers, engineers, and business analysts, a related Journal article says. The article notes that with recruiting budgets down, companies are visiting fewer and larger schools to be more efficient.

Read the full report and see the list of the top 25 from this piece.

2 Responses to UMass & Public Universities Get an ‘A’

  1. Andrew says:

    The blog post certainly puts one spin on those results. I personally found the results to be utterly predictable.

    The biggest problem is that “employment recruiters” do not equal “admissions officers at graduate/professional schools,” which is where the majority of Harvard graduates end up. (I can’t speak for other schools).

    Now, not all students go straight to grad school. Of the ones that don’t, the four biggest areas of employment for the class of 2010 are finance, consulting, education (excluding teaching), and public service. In those jobs, only a fifth of students will be making under $30,000 a year. That doesn’t sound particularly similar to what the recruiters are looking for.

    I actually felt the blog post took a rather negative view of public universities in implying that they do not teach their students critical thinking skills. I should hope that they are, but if they are not, they are doing a great disservice to their students.

    As for Cullen piece, I should resent the implications he makes about top universities, but I’ve come to accept the fact that people will have their stereotypes without ever actually checking to see if their stereotypes are accurate.

  2. Bob Forrant says:

    Criticism hurts and apt criticism often hurts the most. We cannot have a quality public higher ed system across the state absent the appropriate levels of funding needed to do so. And, in point of fact, the state legislature has badly fallen down on the job here – anyone who questions this has their ‘Big U’ blinders on.

    Every campus is trying to do the best they can by their students; but in any race or game the team with the best equipment, deepest bench, most thoughful leaders is likely to win over the long haul.

    UMass Amherst consistently loses young faculty in the humanities and social sciences, often times to their rival public universities in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. That’s a fact. UMass Lowell in the past has lost many of its young science/engineering faculty to similar places and also to North Carolina. That’s a fact.

    My opinion – – we have had too many bouts with top leadership in the system engaging in MA hardball politics as opposed to keeping their eyes on th elong-term prize of building the teaching and research strengths of the entire university system. The system, for its overall good, needs a well-identified academic at the helm – an individual who will speak for and raise funds for the academic strengthening of the system. Such a person will be difficult to lure as UMass now searches for a new president.

    The system already manages well building things, buying things, marketing itself with catchy ads on TV, etc. It now needs a leadership voice that can inspire existing faculty and any potential new hires that research and teaching are highly prized and that community engagement is equally valued.

    Eighteen year olds make their college decisions for all sorts of reasons and for adults to pretend to know why is silly. But top flight faculty make their decisions based on whether their ideas, investigations, inquiries are deemed more important than the image and brand required to catch the eye of these possible freshmen!

    Currently, if faculty across the UMass system – esp. in the social sciences and humanities – are honest about their situation they would express a pessimism based on their crumbling libraires, lack of deep research support as compared to the sciences,lousy teaching spaces, and their general lack of recognition for the work they do. For example, check any glossy media productions from Amherst and Lowell and count the pictures.