CT Among Worst States For Business, Chief Executive Survey Says

Connecticut dropped one slot closer to the bottom of the list in this year’s Best & Worst States for Business, ranked by Chief Executive magazine’s survey of more than 500 CEOs nationwide.  The state was ranked 45th this year, down from #44 a year ago. Connecticut’s Northeast neighbors were mostly in the same neighborhood on the rankings list, with New York (#49), New Jersey (#47), and Massachusetts (#46) also in the bottom ten, along with Vermont, ranked #41.  In the middle of the pack, Maine was ranked #30 and New Hampshire was #21.best

According to Chief Executive, which is published in Greenwich, the results of the 11th annual survey show that CEOs favor states with progressive business development programs, low taxes and a quality living environment.  States are measured across three key categories to achieve their overall ranking: Taxes and regulations, quality of the workforce, and living environment, which includes such considerations as quality of education, cost of living, affordable housing, social amenities and crime rates.

The top ranked states were Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada and Arizona.  Texas and Florida were also ranked one-two last year.  Texas has topped the list for a decade.  Tennessee and North Carolina traded places from a year ago. 61u-av0cWvL._SY300_

Among the CEO comments highlighted by the publication:  “A difficult tax structure like the ones in New York or Connecticut makes incentive-giving easy, but penalizes existing businesses. The climate for coming is better than the climate for staying.”

ctOf a maximum five stars in the CEO ratings, Connecticut received 1.5 for Taxation and Regulations, 3.0 for Workforce Quality and 3.0 for Living Environment.  The data used in determining the states' rankings included state GDP for 2013 vs. 2012, the unemployment rate in December 2014, state debt per capita in 2013, and state-local tax burden.  Key companies in the state highlighted by the website reporting of the survey include General Electric Company, Xerox Company, Aetna Corporation, The Hartford, and Stanley Black & Decker.

Indiana ranked first in the Midwest and sixth nationwide as the best place to do business. It was the only Midwestern state ranked in the top 10.  Among neighboring states, Kentucky ranked 28th, Ohio ranked 22nd, Michigan ranked 43rd and Illinois ranked 49th.  Among the largest moves up the list were Idaho (from #28 to #18), Pennsylvania (from #42 to #35), Iowa (from #19 to #13) and Maine (#36 to #30).

Chief Executive magazine is a bi-monthly publication for top management executives published by the Chief Executive Group LLC., founded in 1977, and headquartered in Greenwich.  According to the publication, state governments use the survey results to help determine how to improve their regulatory environments to attract more businesses, while corporations use the data to decide where to build facilities and attract vibrant workforces.

Last fall, Connecticut economic development officials and leading companies were featured in videos touting the state's efforts to attract and retain businesses.




Charter Oak State College Among Top 20 Online Bachelors Programs in Student Engagement; Three CT Colleges Reach Top 100 Online

Student engagement and on-line courses may seem incompatible, but Connecticut's Charter Oak State College is among the best in the nation at bringing those two concepts together effectively.  Charter Oak  ranked at #90 in the nation in the newly published U.S. News & World Report ranking of the top online bachelors programs in the country, and at #17 in student engagement.  In other categories, the online institution, based in New Britain, ranked #187 in faculty credentials and training, and #139 in student services and technology. Charter Oak State College is Connecticut's public online college offering bachelor's and associate degree completion programs for adults. The college was established in 1973, and offers degree completion programs in a number of high-demand fields including business, health care, public safety, information systems and cyber security. U.S. News indicates that all of the online classes are recorded and archived so students can access lecture material at their own convenience.generic-bachelors

The magazine ranked a total of 219 institutions offering online programs, with scores ranging from 100 (Pennsylvania State University-World Campus) to 44 (University of Wisconsin-River Falls).  Charter Oak’s score was 69. U.S. News evaluated several factors to rank the best online bachelor’s degree programs, including graduation rates, faculty credentials and support services available remotely.  Nearly 85 additional schools were analyzed but did not reach thebachelor's program rankings. Charter-oak-state-college-logo

U.S. News indicates that the new student retention rate in 2014 at Charter Oak was 82 percent, and that 63 percent of students graduate within six years.  Total enrollment is 1,898, according to the publication.

In offering the rankings of on-line programs, U.S. News noted that many schools are enriching their online degree programs as student interest in distance education  continues to increase.

Among private institutions in Connecticut, the University of Bridgeport ranked at #68 overall, spurred by faculty credentials and training, which ranked at #19.  Student engagement ranked at #94, and student services and technology ranked at #132.  The most popular online major, according to U.S. News, is dental hygiene and related health professions.  UB’s overall score was 74.  In addition, UB has the #13 ranked online graduate Information Technology program and #48 best online graduate engineering program.

Sacred Heart University ranked at #87 among on-line bachelors programs.  The category breakdowns for Sacred Heart were: #27 in student services and technology, #44 in faculty credentials and training, and #52 in student engagement.  Sacred Heart’s overall score was 70.  The institution also ranked #70 among best on-line graduate nursing programs.

Enrollment for each of the institutions on-line programs is predominantly female: 64 percent at Charter Oak, 84 percent at University of Bridgeport and 93 percent at Sacred Heart.

U.S. News assessed schools based on four general, weighted, categories:

  • Student engagement (40 percent): Quality bachelor's degree programs promote participation in courses, allowing students opportunities to readily interact with their instructors and classmates, as is possible in a campus-based setting. In turn, instructors not only are accessible and responsive, but they also are tasked with helping to create an experience rewarding enough that students stay enrolled and complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Faculty credentials and training (20 percent): Strong online programs employ instructors with academic credentials that mirror those of instructors for campus-based programs, and they have the resources to train these instructors on how to teach distance learners.
  • Student services and technology (20 percent): Programs that incorporate diverse online learning technologies allow greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance. Outside of classes, strong support structures provide learning assistance, career guidance and financial aid resources commensurate with quality campus-based programs.
  • Peer reputation (20 percent): A survey of high-ranking academic officials helps account for intangible factors affecting program quality that are not captured by statistics. Also, degrees from programs that are well respected by academics may be held in higher regard among employers.

The reliability of the U.S. News rankings continue to be criticized by many in the higher education field for a variety of reasons, ranging from the self-reporting of institutions to the assessment criteria used.

Yale University Breaks into Top 10 in World University Rankings

Yale University edged into the top 10 in the annual World University Rankings for the first time, ranking tied for 9th place on the 2014-2015 list with Imperial College in London.  For the three previous years, Yale was ranked #11. Leading the new list were California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, University of Oxford, Stanford University and University of Cambridge.  The next five are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and University of California - Berkley, just ahead of Yale and Imperial College.  The University of Chicago slipped from 9th to 11th in the rankings.24677_wur-2014-2015-news

Eight of the top 10 universities are in the United States, the other two in the United Kingdom.

From other nations, the top finishers were Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at #13, University of Toronto at #20, University of Tokyo at #23, Ludwig-Maximilins-Universitat (Germany) at #29, and University of Melbourne at #33.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015, powered by Thomson Reuters, are the only global university performance tables to judge world-class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The top universities rankings employ 13 performance indicators to provide “the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available,” which are “trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments,” the organization’s website points out.  Institutions provide and sign off on their institutional data for use in the rankings.Yale ranking

The 13 performance indicators are grouped into five areas:

  • Teaching: the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of the overall ranking score)
  • Research: volume, income and reputation (worth 30 per cent)
  • Citations: research influence (worth 30 per cent)
  • Industry income: innovation (worth 2.5 per cent)
  • International outlook: staff, students and research (worth 7.5 per cent).

The U.S. has 74 universities in the top 200, down from 77 last year. Some 60 per cent of those institutions rank lower than they did 12 months ago, with an average fall of 5.34 places per university, according to Times Higher Education. Canada and the United Kingdom also slipped slightly in the overall rankings, while Asian universities trended higher, with 24 universities in the world top 200, four more than last year.

When the top world universities are broken down by academic disciplines, Yale ranks #7 in arts and humanities, #7 in life sciences, #7 in social sciences, #10 in clinical, pre-clinical and health, and #13 in physical sciences.  Yale finishes outside of the top 100 in engineering & technology.

Times Higher Education, which produces the rankings, is based in the United Kingdom.

THE  Watch the video presenting top 10.