Please do not let Clemson's US News rank fool you. They are not on par with VT or NC State academically. They have moved from #38 public (about 100th overall) to #21 public (mid-60s) by cheating their assess off on the US News metrics.
Originally Posted by Mercury
How?: The worst thing they did, which is not mentioned in the article, was sabotage the reputations of their peers. A large part of the US News rankings is the result of reputation surveys sent to peer institutions, Clemson intentionally put all their peers (including VT presumably) as "very poor" hoping that would give them a tiny edge. They also manipulated class sizes to make it look like they have small classes, they would make sure all sections were 20 or under besides the last one which was overwhelmed (for example, 4 profs, 100 kids, 25 per section right, nope, Clemson would go 3 x 20 and 1 x 40, then claim that 75% of their classes were 20 or under). They also really screwed the good kids who didn't look good on paper; basically they refused to take anyone that wasn't in the top 30% of their class, and they focused almost elusively on GPA/SAT instead of intangibles (which US news can't measure). For example, a kid with a 1350 SAT is better than a kid with a 1340 who also plays two sports, is on the debate team and won a state science fair, or a kid with a 3.9 GPA from some terrible rundown high-school is better than a kid with a 3.85 from a magnet school. This really screws the well rounded kids, just to maximize the appearance of elite admissions standards. Totally the opposite of what a land-grant should be doing. Finally they manipulated the heck out of payroll data to make compensation look greater (actually did raise salaries some, but not by as much as they imply to US News).
In short, they are highly overrated. But, since they specifically gamed US News metrics, the other ranking systems still list them as totally mediocre. QS lists Clemson as 701+ (globally), VT is listed as 316 globally. Times UK lists Clemson as 350-400, and VT as 276. Shanghai Rankings list Clemson as 300-401, and VT as 151-200. Even US New's own departmental rankings put VT way ahead of Clemson in virtually every category. So why is Clemson is ranked ahead of us overall US News? Cheating.
Clemson is not even a Carnegie Tier I (RUVH) research school, which even Louisville and VCU are. So I don't think WVU to Clemson is that abnormal a move at all. I laugh when they flaunt their US News ranking, both VT and NC State is head and shoulders better than them.
Originally Posted by Article