NU tops B-school rankings

Elaine Helm

Kellogg School of Management now sits atop of two business school ranking lists.

Kellogg was ranked No. 1 in BusinessWeek’s biannual list of the nation’s top business schools in the magazine’s Oct. 21 issue. The school unseated University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, which slipped to No. 5 after holding the list’s top spot since 1994.

Just one day after BusinessWeek released its list, Kellogg hit No. 1 in an international ranking of business schools. The Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of The Economist magazine, put Kellogg at the top of 100 full-time, international master’s of business administration programs.

Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain attributed Kellogg’s rise in the rankings to the school’s “culture of innovation and change.”

He said: “We have a very entrepreneurial culture. We are able to execute changes faster than our competitors.”

The University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business moved up to the No. 2 spot in the BusinessWeek’s rankings.

“It’s very good for the city that Chicago has two of the best business schools in the world,” Jain said. “You don’t want to get too attached to the rankings, but in some sense it’s market validation.”

Jain will have dinner tonight with Edward Snyder, dean of the University of Chicago’s business school, to talk about how the two schools can work together, he said.

Although the two magazines reached the same conclusion about Kellogg, they used different methods to compute the rankings.

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 18,000 MBA students and alumni to rank full-time business schools, and BusinessWeek used student and alumni satisfaction ratings as 45 percent of each school’s score. Another 45 percent of BusinessWeek’s scores came from a survey of MBA recruiters, and the remaining 10 percent is dependent on the number of times a school was referenced in 18 academic journals.

BusinessWeek and The Economist rankings represent two of many lists available to recruiters and prospective students. But students said they use the rankings for different purposes.

“Despite the fact that we don’t want people putting all their emphasis on rankings, we are happy that these are the ones we did well with,” said Barry Grant, president of Graduate Management Association, Kellogg’s student government. “They’re both important, just in different parts of the world.”

Kellogg’s international reputation is important, because about one-third of Kellogg students come from outside the United States, Grant said.

Mark Moore, GMA vice president of academics, said a big part of Kellogg’s appeal is the role students play in shaping programs.

“The students at Kellogg are as energetic, as enthusiastic, as ambitious as the students at any other business school,” he said. “They make things happen for themselves and for their school.”

As a first-year student, Moore participated in a Global Initiatives in Management trip to Ghana, which he cited as an example of a student-focused program at Kellogg.

GIM involves about 400 students — two-thirds of the incoming class — who spend 10 weeks in the classroom working on a business leadership enterprises and then two weeks abroad focusing on intense field study and research analysis for their final projects.

Although Kellogg never has slipped below No. 3 in the BusinessWeek rankings since the rankings began in 1988, the move up comes in a year when more people are considering attending graduate school.

University President Henry Bienen, Provost Lawrence Dumas and Jain attended a weekly gathering of Kellogg students Friday to celebrate the school’s showing in the rankings.

Poor job prospects in today’s economy have pushed many bachelor’s degree holders into graduate schools. But the Kellogg’s prestige inevitably attracts more applicants, Dumas said.

“Everybody wants to go to Kellogg,” he said. “That’s easily explained.”