Australian universities hire professionals tasked with boosting ranking positions

March 20, 2013

Some Australian universities are spending about $100,000 annually each to employ full-time managers dedicated to working with ranking agencies and creating strategies aimed at climbing league tables. The University of New South Wales recently advertised for a manager of strategic reputation, while La Trobe University sought a manager of institutional rankings. For $100,000, responsibilities include maintaining relationships with ranking agencies to "maximize" or "optimize" their positions in rankings. Observers say such positions highlight the increasing importance of rankings in influencing research and teaching plans. But there are worries that the professionalized management of rankings risks warping institutional strategies and may prove more of a marketing effort than one to increase the substance of a university's performance. The Australian