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Ranking I-O Graduate Programs on the Basis of Student Research Presentations at IOOB: An Update

Michael A. Surrette
Springfield College

A topic that has received attention for decades has revolved around the most appropriate way to rank graduate programs. Historically institutions have been ranked on the basis of their reputation (e.g., Carter, 1966; Roose & Anderson, 1970), by their faculty productivity (Cox & Catt, 1977; Gibby, Reeve, Grauer, Mohr, & Zickar, 2002), as well as by the number of faculty who hold positions on editorial boards of APA journals (Jones & Klimoski, 1991). In the March 1995 issue of U.S. News & World Report, the results of a survey were published listing the top six I-O psychology programs. Shortly after this publication, Winter, Healy, and Svyantek (1995) revisited the results of this survey and provided a more objective and comprehensive way to rank I-O psychology programs. Winter et al. (1995) addressed many of the biases that may exist in alternate methods used to rank programs. A similar article by Gibby et al. (2002) followed the 2001 rankings published by the U.S. News and World Report.

In 1989, Surrette ranked I-O programs on the basis of the number of presentations made by students at the Annual Graduate Student Conference in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior (IOOB). IOOB is a national conference run by graduate students for graduate students. The conference was first held in 1980 at Ohio State University and most recently (2002) at the University of South Florida. Seven of the top 10 schools in the Gibby et al. (2002) ranking have hosted IOOB.

The idea behind Surrettes (1989) ranking was that other attempts to rank programs focused on faculty productivity, whereas the use of presentations at IOOB focused solely on student productivity. The purpose of this paper is to update the Surrette (1989) ranking. To do so, student productivity data were collected for an 11-year period (19922002). Each paper, poster, or symposium presentation at IOOB was awarded 1.0 point towards the institutional total. As shown in Table 1, institutions were then ranked according to the total number of points received. Institutions with fewer than four total points were eliminated to make the table manageable.

To investigate the relationship between an institutions student productivity and the institutions faculty research productivity, the number of IOOB presentations was correlated with the faculty productivity score from Table 1 in Gibby et al. (2002). This analysis revealed a small, but statistically significant correlation of .19, suggesting that student productivity may add information that is not included in some of the other forms of ranking institutions.

The results of this study provide yet another way to look at the excellence of graduate I-O programs. As shown in Table 2, the method used to rank programs produces varied results as only Bowling Green, George Mason, Penn State, and the University of Akron made the top 10 in all four studies.


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