Why do graduate schools both brag about their ranking and complain about the rankings?
The rankings reverse roles. The schools are being graded, and they don’t like it any more than you do – unless of course you earn that A or that award. Then you want to broadcast the news. The reaction is as true for schools as it is for students.
In addition, responding to the ranking questionnaires takes hours and hours of time. It is administratively burdensome.
Finally, students frequently misuse and abuse the rankings. They use them as absolute and accurate measures of educational quality. They aren’t. They lazily use them as substitutes for research into program distinctions, strengths, and weaknesses. Maybe the rankings, especially those that have a survey component, are proxies for reputation and brand, but reputation is not the same as quality and fit. Know the difference.
For a thoughtful response from a business school dean to the rankings, please see “Gauging success with imperfect but important rankings,” an interview with Gene Anderson, Associate Dean for Degree Programs at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.