This Forbes article describes the ranking systems in higher education and how they can be misleading to prospective students, parents and the general public.
Purdue is a highly ranked university in nearly every ranking system in the world. But do those rankings really provide the information needed, especially by students and parents who are looking for a university? I believe the motivations for most students and parents to better understand the quality of the education at a university is misaligned from how the rankings are created.
Quality metrics such as job placement, starting salaries, and affordability are left out of most rankings. Rankings also only evaluate traditional disciplines and in many cases do not drill down far enough to determine the quality of individual degree programs. This is especially problematic for colleges of technology and related technology degree programs. Without a ranking system in place, it is hard for us to judge how we compare with others.
Although we desire to be one of the premiere technology programs in the nation, we can only guess through anecdotal information how we compare to others. I believe that rankings systems have some value, and there should be an effort to better align ranking systems with the needs of students and parents instead of stroking the egos of college faculty and administrators.