Daily Debriefing

by Marissa Lilly | 11/5/12 11:00pm

Dartmouth College has the most attentive and seventh smartest student body in the country, according to a study conducted by Lumos Labs, a cognitive research laboratory. Lumosity, the company's cognitive training site, published a Nov. 1 study that analyzed the cognitive performance of more than 60,000 students at 403 universities nationwide. Data scientist Daniel Sternberg examined gameplay data focused on cognitive speed, attention, flexibility, memory and problem solving. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology finished first overall, while Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was first in memory, Harvard University performed best at speed of processing and Yale University ranked highest in flexibility.

The most cost-effective professor-to-administrator ratio is 3:1, according to Centre College economics professor emeritus Robert Martin and Louisiana State University economics professor Carter Hill. In an October paper, the economists said that while their findings enabled them to reach a definitive number of tenured or tenure-track faculty, it is often difficult to measure the ratio at universities because there are no concrete definitions for administrators. The researchers concluded that universities will often hire more administrators than is financially prudent. In 1987 the administrator-educator ratio was .96, a nearly one-to-one ratio that slightly favored administrators. By 2008, the ratio was .56 faculty to administrators.

Last month, Iowa's Board of Regents which manages the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa eliminated its policy of earmarking 20 percent of in-state tuition revenue for financial aid aimed at lower-income students, Inside Higher Ed reported. The board plans to use these funds to lower the overall cost of attending the three universities by $1,000 per student. The board will try to account for the $40 million previously used to fund need-based aid through increased fundraising efforts by the universities' development offices. If these foundations fail to raise an appropriate sum, it is likely that funding for need-based aid will come from the universities' tuition revenue. The move has increased ignited public debate in Iowa about whether it is fair for public institutions to redistribute tuition money they receive from higher-income students for financial aid, Inside Higher Ed reported.