TCU looks to similar institutions for ideas

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TCU departments are looking to similar institutions across the nation for ways to help the university grow and improve.

Chancellor Victor Boschini said he considers Tulane, Vanderbilt University, Baylor and SMU to be TCU’s main competitors. Boschini said all five universities are peer institutions because they are about the same size, focus on undergraduate education, teaching and research.

In 2004, the TCU Comparison Group gave planning assumptions to improve the university’s ranking.

TCU was ranked No. 82 in the 2016 U.S. News and World Report ranking, jumping 17 spots and achieving the goal of being ranked in the top half of Tier II universities.

Boschini said he does not chase rankings because “rankings are just one indicator of a school,” but he recognizes that the U.S. News ranking does draw attention nationwide.

Boschini said his goal for the university is to be ranked in the top 50 schools in the nation.

Many departments at TCU look at peer institutions for ideas on different ways to better the school.

The interim dean of the John V. Roach Honor Sarah Robbins said she gathers information from peer institutions to guide evaluations and planning.

“We might borrow ideas from a small private school for one program and from a big flagship university for another,” Robbins said. “We’re out to find the best models.”

Altheria Gaston, a graduate research assistant in the Honors college, looked at universities across the country to evaluate how their faculty works with honors students and compare TCU’s faculty fellows program.

First-year Honors student Andrew Entzenberger researched honors colleges across the country to get ideas for offices, conference rooms, student lounges and computer labs for the future Honors building.

The TCU College of Education also looks at other institutions to see the best way to promote their school’s accomplishments.

Strategic Communication and Marketing Coordinator for TCU College of Education Jenny Moore said they look at schools’ webpages, like Illinois University, for ideas on how to better market TCU College of Education’s accomplishments.

The college of education is currently ranked No. 129 in the U.S. News rankings, but Moore said that she expects move up with a more visually appealing website.  

Faculty members at  TCU and the UNT Health Science Center are looking at similar institutions to determine the best practices and organizational structures for the new joint medical school opening in 2018.

UNT’s director of media relations Jeff Carlton said administrators from the new medical school will visit the University of Texas to learn about its plan for the new Dell Medical School that is soon to open.

“The new medical school represents a unique collaboration between a public grad school and a private university,” Carlton said. “We definitely are looking far and wide at medical schools that are new or well established.”