Monday, May 24, 2010
Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA), Ranking Faculty Quality:
The core problem is to separate out three levels of metrics: those that measure the quality of an individual article (an article level metric), those that measure the quality of an individual scholar (individual level metrics), and those that measure the quality of a law school as a whole (an institutional level metric). It's not self-evident to me that metrics useful at one level tell us anything about the other levels. ...
I'm not sure what the right solution would be. We could try adapting a multi-factor index, such as a variant of the faculty scholarly productivity index, but it would have to be highly refined to be useful for law. The FPSI relies on factors that simply don't apply to law, such as peer-reviewed journals (we all know that issue), research awards (few in law), and federal grant awards (ditto).
Or we could let a thousand flowers bloom. Folks who want to measure faculty quality should use a bunch of different metrics, report them all, and let users make of the results what they will.