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Carnegie Classification

The fall 2010 census led to significant changes at my institution. We discovered that the 2010 realignment of Carnegie Classification categories affected the ability of our division, a professional and continuing education unit, to grow beyond boundaries strictly defined and regulated by the Carnegie Classification system. For an entrepreneurial continuing education unit, this realignment significantly affected the programs we could offer and the number of students we could recruit. The result has altered our business process and models. We are careful about recruitment, careful about the number of FTEs we have each fall (the time of the census), and careful to keep the number of graduate students within set limits. Our division was not the only unit affected by the realignment; all divisions of the university ultimately were affected, if only by the setting of a maximum number of FTEs that each division can enroll as of the census date. The connection of the Carnegie Classification to other measurement and ranking tools, like US News & World Reports rankings, is fraught with concerns about power politics, monetary influence, and manipulation of rankings based on Carnegie Classification.

Library of Congress Card Catalog: CC-licensed image from Flickr user Glyn Lowe