Universities compete in numerous ways, including the mix of academic programs they offer, their price, location, support services, and any number of amenities. They compete, too, on the impression and reality of the quality of the education being conveyed.
Repositioning an institution’s “academic quality” is a challenging task. It requires financial investments, to be sure. It also requires the imagination and commitment of administrators and faculty to change their current practice in meaningful ways. It requires, too, a certain combination of intellectual substance and reputational work.
In truth, the term “academic quality” is often loosely coupled ...