News Roundup for the Day

Bryn Mawr unveils environmental replacement for email platform; new university rankings system announced; a dome is missing.

April 1, 2016

Bryn Mawr College today is announcing an environmentally sound replacement for its email platform:

We're not certain this approach will be the talk of this year's Educause meeting, but we've learned to watch for innovation coming out of Bryn Mawr on this day on the calendar. Exactly two years ago the college decided to stop using vowels, a move that continues to be debated by linguists.

Also in the news today is a new global ranking of colleges and universities. The Fortunate 500 universities are selected entirely by random.

"The Fortunate 500 University Rankings measures its ratings according to a carefully calibrated system of variables; that assess the true core factors in rating any academic institution. And unlike most other inferior, data-based assessment systems, our high-tech algorithms work with a completely randomized sample basis. Our results aren’t biased by exam results, quality of teaching or research," explain the creators of the new rankings. "Our system is entirely random, it’s an unpredictable world, and so are we. The next Stephen Hawking or Marie Curie could be studying at the Boondocks University. And only a completely random measurement system will uncover them."

Perhaps this new system will relieve our friends at Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report from trying to perfect their methodologies. The Fortunate 500 is the work of Igor Chirikov, who conducts research at both the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Institute of Education at the University of Moscow.

While U.S. universities dominate international rankings, they occupy only three of the top 10 spots.

Another bit of surprising news comes from Augustana College, where an iconic dome on the Illinois campus is missing this morning.

Usually reliable sources tell us they are confident that the dome will be found.

Plus this just in on Twitter: A merger between the University of Florida and Florida State University? Both presidents seem to be on board and talking about a lot of preeminince.

Inside Higher Ed wishes all of our readers a great April 1. Amid all the controversies and challenges in academe, we appreciate that some academics still have a sense of humor.


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