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Re: US News Rankings

Postby PonyTime » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:10 pm

^^^Spot on - that's how I see it as well.

And sic nic placing a dagger into the UConn team is always a nice watch. Especially with the White Stripes soundtrack.

For a short while there, I was thinking that perhaps SMU could be the next Duke and a regular moving forward in the basketball scene (Duke wasn't all that special pre Coach K).
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby tristatecoog » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:17 pm

The last provost left to become USF president. A prior Dedman Dean (2010-14) is the Hendrix College president.

I like Tulane's climb back up the rankings. Their president seemed to have a solid background. Prior to coming to Tulane in 2014, President Fitts served 14 years as dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he also served as Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. As dean of Penn Law, Fitts was recognized for greatly expanding the school’s offerings in interdisciplinary education. He presided over a quadrupling of Penn Law’s endowment, a more than 40 percent increase in the size of the Law School faculty and a doubling of all forms of student financial aid. He oversaw the rebuilding or renovation of the entire law campus. [15 year Penn faculty member before becoming Dean.] However, Tulane athletics are bottom tier.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby AfricanMustang » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:13 am

SoCal_Pony wrote:
friarwolf wrote:64th.........We are never going to move up in the rankings until we get a president who is going to shake things up and fire deans for poor performance. So frustrating. If anyone saw the WSJ rankings last week, they had us the second most expensive university to attend in the top 80 schools. Can you say disconnect??????


I use to blame RGT more than I do today, now I'm having a hard time understating our BOT and their decision-making capabilities. Current US presidents serve some 6.5 years, RGT will end up serving as SMU's president closer to 30 years. So to say the least, I have zero confidence in our BOT making the right hire to replace him.

As I stated on another post....

30 years ago:

SMU had a somewhat higher national ranking.

SMU had a somewhat higher endowment ranking.

Over the past 30 years our athletics have be abysmal. Absent a short LB run that was mostly destroyed due to our own ineptitude, SMU's record in FB/BB games that matter is 2-110-1. That is 0-56-1 against B12 South in FB and 2-54 against ranked opponents in BB. Crazy.

A school in Waco had a higher ranked Law school and 7 schools in Texas have higher ranked Engineering schools. We are not even ranked in the Top 100 in Engineering, Texas Tech is.

Dallas was ranked #10 in terms of GDP, today we are #4, easily the largest increase of any major US city.

Dallas area in now ranked #3 in terms of Fortune 500 areas, behind only NYC and Chicago.


To pass judgment on the Turner years, one would have to compare were we were 24 years ago in September 1995 when he took over and where we are now. Comparing to 33 years ago before the death penalty isn't fair because the institution, its reputation, its donors (and therefore endowment) dwindled. Turner has been rebuilding, especially the facilities, and the endowment. The facilities and endowment will give us the financial muscle to now focus on scholarships which I understand will be the main focus of the next capital campaign.

It's a chicken and egg issue. To do well in athletics, you need facilities to attract the recruits, but you also need to be winning to get the recruits, but you can not win without the recruits, and you can not get the recruits without the facilities.

Outstanding scholars of national repute want to teach at a university that has research facilities and highly motivated students; to have highly motivated students, you have to have scholarships, outstanding scholars of national repute and the facilities. So you build the endowment to attract the students, and fellowships and endowed faculty positions to attract scholars, and then the research facilities (Ford Research Building, the Engineering facilities, etc.)
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby SoCal_Pony » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:11 pm

AfricanMustang wrote:
To pass judgment on the Turner years, one would have to compare were we were 24 years ago in September 1995 when he took over and where we are now. Comparing to 33 years ago before the death penalty isn't fair because the institution, its reputation, its donors (and therefore endowment) dwindled. Turner has been rebuilding, especially the facilities, and the endowment. The facilities and endowment will give us the financial muscle to now focus on scholarships which I understand will be the main focus of the next capital campaign.

It's a chicken and egg issue. To do well in athletics, you need facilities to attract the recruits, but you also need to be winning to get the recruits, but you can not win without the recruits, and you can not get the recruits without the facilities.

Outstanding scholars of national repute want to teach at a university that has research facilities and highly motivated students; to have highly motivated students, you have to have scholarships, outstanding scholars of national repute and the facilities. So you build the endowment to attract the students, and fellowships and endowed faculty positions to attract scholars, and then the research facilities (Ford Research Building, the Engineering facilities, etc.)


AA, I agree in principle with what you are saying, you can't just look solely at numbers, but in the case of RGT, he's been here for nearly 25 years, his body of work now stands on its own and has for well over a decade. He absolutely can be judged and I see him and his enabling BOT as failures.

Let's talk about Endowment. I think one could make the argument that after buzzkill Ken Pye, any charming, likeable face (which RGT certainly was), could easily raise funds based solely on Hope and Change. So I'm not certain KP is a negative in this regard. In 1996, SMU's endowment was ranked #32 at almost $600k. Today, we are ranked #67 with $1.65B. For some perspective, the currently ranked #32 endowment is almost $3B. So my point stands and is valid. If anything I was being diplomatic. A drop from #32 to #67 is material, especially for a region of the US that has grown so rapidly economically.

Now I know people will say, 'but SMU has been on this huge capital improvement campaign', and while this is partially true (this campaign hasn't lasted 25 years) it ignores the fact that other schools (especially those with deep pockets) also engage in substantial capital improvements, certainly during a quarter of a century.

You also talk of sports. There is no defense for our record during RGT's tenure here. NONE. We are located at the epicenter of HS sports with substantially more funds than virtually any of these schools and yet Troy, Ark St, Ohio, West Mich, Nevada Reno, Bowling Green, Middle TN St, Old Dominion, Hawaii, Central Mich, Wyoming, Hawaii, UAB (they closed down), Utah St, Ball St, LA Laffy, Rutgers, FLA Atlantic, Temple, Akron, NTSU, Tulane, LA Monroe and So Ala all have higher winning % in FB than SMU during the time RGT has been here. Once again, we are not talking about 5 or 10 or even 15 years, but nearly 25.

Oh, and we've never won an NCAA tournament BB game and pre-LB, never even went to one.

No, the Ken Pye / Death Penalty excuse train left the station years ago. This is all on the current regime.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby friarwolf » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:57 am

One last thing. We are now 5-7 years at a 1300 SAT or better and an ACT over 30 the last couple of years with the ACT now being the standard. We have been attracting ever increasing smart motivated students for the past 10 years and continued to teach at the same tired level. Quality of students is not the problem - not holding the deans and the professors to a higher standard to match the increased quality of student is the issue. More scholarships would be great and I agree we need more capital to fund more scholarships. WE do need to lower the true cost of attending here - especially since we have a disconnect on what we charge versus what we deliver to our customers (students). Turner and his gang are doing the classic misdirect - "we need more buildings and scholarships" while the real problem is the quality of the teaching.

By the way, we are getting ready to re-do Cox and add on to the buildings because as we know, we need more new and updated buildings while our rankings at Cox continue to slide into the dumper...Niemi went on cruise control 10 years ago and the new dude with his incredibly average resume is a joke..................
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby SMU Biz Prof » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:26 pm

For the record, Cox just revamped it's entire MBA and BBA curriculum to focus on three pillars derived from alumni and business representatives: leadership, analytics, and experiential learning. Cox is also at the forefront of the university in terms of peer-rated course evaluations rather than knowingly biased student evaluations. In addition, TT faculty are evaluated by student alumni before promotion. Cox has its constraints though. Many prestigious TT faculty won't go to an institution that doesn't have a PhD program, and Cox would get zero financial support to fund a PhD program. Also, since the 1980's, TCU has renovated and added onto their business school twice. If you've been to Cox lately, you'd agree the facilities are extremely dated. There aren't even enough classrooms to hold classes during the day, which is why many MBA electives are at night (even for day-time programs). Even with those constraints, this year is the largest class of Cox graduate students; at a time where many high-quality institutions (i.e., Iowa, Wisconson) has shuttered their full-time MBA programs because of dwindling demand. Cox gets the most out of what they are given to work with.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby 78pony » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:10 pm

If this was the football board on a different and not for free site, and someone with the moniker MexMustang said some of the things stated above, he would be branded a lying traitor of the highest order who just has a real big beef with the can-do-nothing-wrong president for life, R. Gerald Turner. IMHO, our BOT and university president have conducted a mutual admiration society over several decades that has been focused on what other boards can they help each other get invited to, where are their next photo ops, whose limo are we going to take to Cattle Baron's, etc., what civic award would you like me to put you up for, trade you our place in Cabo for your Napa Valley place next week, and so on. As long as things are going well enough that we aren't a negative topic in the news, its full speed ahead to shut up, heads down and don't rock the boat.
On a positive note, I hear RGT gives up his university owned home soon and supposedly his new residence is under construction...just a block or few from campus where he can be easily reached/consulted if need be.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby DanFreibergerForHeisman » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:04 pm

I am glad Sonny has football back where it should be so we can be a football school again and stop worrying so much about academic rankings.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby ponyboy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:58 am

I guess there’s no reason we can’t both. But give me top 25 football all day long over top 25 us news & world report rankings. I’ll make do resume-wise
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby Mustangs_Maroons » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:24 am

ponyboy wrote:I guess there’s no reason we can’t both. But give me top 25 football all day long over top 25 us news & world report rankings. I’ll make do resume-wise


No offense but this is idiocy. Priorities all backwards, didn’t realize people went to academic higher-institutions of learning for football. Football (and sports for that matter) are a great complement to school, not the other way around.

Of course, it would be great to be top 25 in both but priorities...
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby Mexmustang » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:32 pm

Our board is powerless, not clueless. They review what they receive and what they receive is dictated by the President. I have an acquaintance, who served as head of the board's audit committee. He basically said, I really didn't understand the numbers, he had to rely on the auditors word. (the university accounts are not the normal accounting presentation of a for profit business, but a strange animal called fund accounting as used by non-profits.

By-Laws--I haven't been involved with the Board since Pye left. But my friends on the board tell me that after the DP the by-laws were amended such that the President does not report to the board, rather the board reports to and is nominated by the President. The board essentially can only elect to renew or not renew the President's five year contract(s). As it takes a 2/3rds vote to restore the old by-laws, given RGTs selection of members getting this size vote is impossible.

Nomination to the Board--After all these years the board consists almost entirely of those selected by RGT. This is a social club known as Friends of Gerald, a board to be on, accompanied by expensive outings and resort visits.

Approval to the Board--We all know that board seats are set aside for various positions. For instance, the President of the Alumni Association sits on the board. But who selects these positions? Have any of you ever had a ballot? Guess who? RGT.

Interlocking Directorships--RGT serves on 13 different boards as I last checked. Most of these boards consist of other members of the SMU board, including several CEO's, "I'll rub your back if you rub mine!"

Basically, the average donor or alumni will find it impossible to challenge RGT and his lifetime tenure. However, the board should be wary of is the university's rapid expansion of costs and the relative size of the salaries of the top executives. It is this obvious mismanagement that could come back to haunt them.

As far as saving SMU following the DP, I was involved then. But, it was Kenneth Pye and Ray Hunt that saved the university. RGT of course contributed following Pye's death, but still no professional executive should have a tenure on a non-profit for over ten years. Its basic business school theory. The FBI ran so amuck it had to put a 12 year term limit on its director (apparently it still hasn't recovered), the Red Cross was so fraudulently run it had to also put a term limit on the CEO and people almost went to jail, here in Dallas the United Way became so overburdened with salaries paid to the professionals, many top businesses dropped out of the organization, one which was at one time at the top of the business social structure. American business is full of stories of CEO's that stayed too long, with resultant failure.
Last edited by Mexmustang on Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby AfricanMustang » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:38 pm

Mexmustang wrote:Our board is powerless, not clueless. They review what they receive and what they receive is dictated by the President.

By-Laws--I haven't been involved with the Board since Pye left. But my friends on the board tell me that after the DP the by-laws were amended such that the President does not report to the board, rather the board reports to and is nominated by the President. The board essentially can only elect to renew or not renew the President's five year contract(s). It takes a 2/3rds vote to restore the old by-laws.

Nomination to the Board--After all these years the board consists almost entirely of those selected by RGT. This is a social club known as Friends of Gerald, a board to be on, accompanied by expensive outings and resort visits.

Approval to the Board--We all know that board seats are set aside for various positions. For instance, the President of the Alumni Association. But who selects these positions. Have any of you ever had a ballot? Guess who? RGT.

Interlocking Directorships--RGT serves on 13 different boards as I last checked. Most of these boards consist of other members of the SMU board, including several CEO, I'll rub your back if you rub mine!

Basically, the average donor or alumni will find it impossible to challenge RGT and his lifetime tenure. What the board should be wary of is the rapid expiration of costs and salaries of the top executives. It is that obvious mismanagement that could come back to haunt them.

As far as saving SMU following the DP, it was Kenneth Pye and Ray Hunt that saved the university. RGT of course contributed following Pye's death, but no professional executive should have a tenure on a non-profit for over ten years. Its basic business school theory. The FBI ran so amuck it had to put a 12 term limit on its director (apparently it still hasn't recovered), the Red Cross was so fraudulently run it had to also put a term limit on the CEO, here in Dallas the United Way became so overburdened with salaries paid to the professionals, many businesses dropped out of an organization that was at one time the top of the business social structure. American business is full of stories of CEO's that stayed too long, with resultant failure.


After the chaos that followed the death penalty, the university I think needed some stability - RGT has provided that stability. Donors had ran away from SMU because they did not want their names associated with that was going on at the time (save of course for the SMU Alumnis and enthusiast). As you know the board, especially the kind of powerful board that we had was what led to the death penalty to begin with...
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby redpony » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:32 pm

the fact is that under our currennt 'leadership' we have not advanced significantly. Our competition-tcu and cougar high have advanced more rapidly than we have and are closing in on us. forget all the excuses- our president RGT is responsible for making our university better and has failed in doing so. The captain of your ship is responsible for the direction it heads. sadly, he will never fire himself and so the bot is hamstrung as well and our university is destined to continue in its' failure to advance and become a flagship school in texas while other lesser schools pass us by.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby tristatecoog » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:07 pm

TCU us ranked in the low 90s. Is that an improvement vs 20 years ago?

I love UH’s president and she has already turned down Purdue, her alma mater.
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Re: US News Rankings

Postby redpony » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:46 am

tristatecoog wrote:TCU us ranked in the low 90s. Is that an improvement vs 20 years ago?

I love UH’s president and she has already turned down Purdue, her alma mater.


In addition to an enlightened president you also have a real driver in tilman fertitta. If we had him on our bot we would likely be in the top 35.
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