20. Grading Academic Departments, Part II

There are standout programs at some average institutions and some terrible programs at well-regarded institutions. Global evaluations of an institution’s “reputation” do students a disservice when they take the place of getting facts about the program in which the student wishes to enroll.

—Comment posted on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s news blog

When Carl E. Wieman, a fixture in the physics department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, you might have expected him to soak up the accolades and continue his impressive research.

But what really excited the physicist was a much trickier challenge: improving the way college-level science is taught. He ...

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