Articles by Robert L. Oprisko


Placement Efficiency: An Alternative Ranking Metric for Graduate Schools

By Robert L. Oprisko, Kirstie L. Dobbs, and Joseph DiGrazia Graduate school is a period of apprenticeship that aspiring academics must pass through before they may enter the professoriate. When selecting a graduate program, prospective students may factor in institutional and departmental rank, geography, the financial cost/benefit analysis, the appeal of professors’ research, and opportunities specific to…

Pushing Up Ivies: Institutional Prestige and the Academic Caste System

By Robert L. Oprisko, Kirstie Lynn Dobbs, and Joseph DiGrazia Not all university professors are equal; they are not all peers. In academic hiring, candidates are often evaluated almost entirely upon their research output rather than their teaching prowess or service. Using Oprisko’s procedural theory of honor, we can understand the hierarchic nature of academia as…

Superpowers: The American Academic Elite

By Robert Oprisko On September 21, 2010, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas criticized the use of academic prestige in the hiring of law students after he was made aware that four of his clerks were called “third-tier trash” on Internet message boards. The students—who hailed from George Mason, Rutgers, George Washington, and Creighton—were considered inferior to…