By Mike Leonard
It would be hard to blame Indiana University education dean Gerardo Gonzalez for feeling a bit perplexed Monday. In Indianapolis, Gov. Mike Pence was lambasting public education and calling for more private school vouchers, charter schools and other reforms.
In Bloomington, Gonzalez was looking at U.S. News and World Report rankings for the Best Graduate Schools in the United States and saw IU tied for 19th overall and rated 10th best among public universities. It was the 13th consecutive year the IU School of Education ranked among the top 10 percent of the top schools in the country.
IU produces a large number of Hoosier school teachers every year.
“Education reform is almost a steady state of affairs in education,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve been talking about education reform since the first public school was created. Education reform has become a catch phrase for wanting to do something different, but for us, we’re always working to train the best teachers possible and generating the knowledge to inform the practices in the field.”
While rankings can always be challenged, Gonzalez pointed out that U.S. News winnows down the nearly 1,500 schools that offer teacher education to the top 300 and then rate both the reputations and research productivity of education schools. “It really is the cream of the cream,” Gonzalez said.
IU’s specialty in higher education administration ranked ninth in the U.S. News Best Graduate Schools evaluation and its elementary education program ranked 11th. The school’s online Ed.D., master’s and professional certification programs were 14th in rankings that U.S. News released in January.
The School of Library and Information Sciences in Bloomington was rated eighth-best in the country. Its programs were ranked seventh for digital librarianship, eighth for information systems and 13th for school library media, according to a pre-release analysis of the materials provided by IU Communications.
“The information professions are changing rapidly, which increases the complexity in any ranking based on perceptions,” Debora Shaw, dean of the school, said in a prepared statement. “In this context, it is encouraging that our peers recognize the high quality of scholarship and education in information and library science at IU. Our program, reaccredited by the American Library Association in 2012, continues to offer students excellent preparation for this dynamic field. The upcoming merger with the School of Informatics and Computing will further strengthen the opportunities for our students.”
The IU Kelley School of Business moved to 22nd in the overall rankings of graduate business programs, a one-place improvement from 23rd last year. It was seventh among public universities and first among programs in Indiana.
The school’s part-time MBA program in Indianapolis ranked ninth, and Kelley specialties ranked 10th in production/operations, 10th in entrepreneurship and 13th in accounting. Its Kelley Direct online MBA program ranked third.
“The Kelley School is unique among Big Ten business schools in that all its programs — undergraduate and full-time, online and evening MBA programs — consistently are considered among the nation’s best,” interim dean Idalene Kesner told IU Communications.
School of law
The IU Maurer School of Law ranked 25th overall, also moving up one position from last year. It was eighth among law schools in public institutions.
“The Maurer School of Law’s ranking is a direct reflection of the commitment of its faculty, staff, and alumni,” interim dean Hannah L. Buxbaum said. “It’s a privilege to be recognized among the leading law schools in the country.”
The Department of Sociology in Bloomington ranked 12th overall and sixth among public universities for its doctoral programs. The IU Bloomington program in social psychology ranked second.
Other doctoral programs in the College of Arts and Sciences were also highly ranked, according to IU Communications. They included: English, 22nd overall and 10th among public institutions; history, 23rd overall and 10th among publics; political science, 25th overall and 12th among publics, psychology, 26th overall and 13th among publics; and economics, 42nd overall and 21st among publics.