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World rankings show UNC’s reputation sliding

Academics falls outside my usual hodgepodge of interests, but I couldn’t help noticing — hat tip, slate.com — the 2013 World Reputation Rankings published by Times Higher Education.

According to the magazine, “The world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey [is intended] to provide the definitive list of the top 100 most powerful global university brands…. The table is based on nothing more than subjective judgement — but it is the considered expert judgement of senior, published academics — the people best placed to know the most about excellence in our universities.”

In 2013, UNC Chapel Hill is included among those colleges clustered between Nos. 51 and 60 — a position most colleges can only envy, of course. In 2012, however, UNC ranked No. 46 and in 2011 No. 41.

Does anyone dispute that this decline in reputation is real?… Or that it is justified?