Lauren McDermott, Associate Professor | Arizona State University
Schools of architecture, engineering, art, and other disciplines are ranked by various organizations and publications. There is no current ranking for industrial design educational programs. In the competitive marketplace that industrial design programs find themselves in today, measurements of success, including how a program ranks against the competition, are expected. Potential students, their parents, new faculty, and faculty looking to move on, as well as program heads, deans, and other university administrators all may look for how programs rank when making decisions.
Whether or not program rankings are valid depends on the criteria used to establish the ranking and the relative importance of the criteria to those who wish to know how one program compares to the others. Industrial design faculty members and administrators need such information to support the recruitment, retention and promotion of faculty members, increase or maintain program budgets and faculty salaries, and to achieve recognition for their programs on their own campuses. Programs wanting to expand or simply maintain quality programs need relevant information to make their case with their own university administration. External evaluators of faculty being considered for tenure and promotion need current information to write compelling arguments. Because the retention of qualified faculty depends on this information so does the future of industrial design education.