“The next time you do a job search break your committee into two groups. Have one group evaluate the candidates without reference to the institution from which they graduated and have the other evaluate the candidates with all of the institutional information included. I can almost guarantee that the short lists will not be the same. And I believe that anyone who is honest with him or herself about how this process works will agree. If you think I’m wrong, try it. Or at least try it as a thought experiment.”
Mitchell Aboulafia (Manhattan College) suggests that an emphasis on ranking schools leads to us overemphasizing the importance of candidates’ schools in making hiring decisions, at his blog, Up@Night.