The University Record, September 10, 1996
Business School gets top ranking from U.S. News
By Julie A. Peterson
News and Information Services
The U-M Business School is ranked first in the nation for its undergraduate programs, according to the 1996 rankings released Sept. 5 by U.S. News & World Report.
The University's overall undergraduate ranking remained unchanged at 24. The only other two public universities ranked in the top 25 were the University of Virginia, which dropped from 19 to 21, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, ranked 25. The University of California, Berkeley, which had fallen one place out of the top 25 last year, slid another notch to 27 in this year's rankings.
The College of Engineering slipped to 10 from a seven-way tie for third last year.
"We are pleased to be among the top 25 overall. Yet, it is clear that the U.S. News methodology continues to favor private institutions. Michigan, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley, should obviously rank higher than they do. They are clearly the top public universities in the U.S.," Baker says.
"We continue to work with U.S. News on the methodology. We believe strongly that it should account for the differences between private and public universities. We have met with limited success in this regard---the odds are still stacked heavily against our public peers," Baker notes.
"We consistently rank high in the key measure on this survey---academic reputation. In the end, the best determinant of high rankings is reputation, and we consistently do well in every ranking based on this measure. News magazines have a role to play in `rating' universities, but the rankings that truly count are done by our own faculty and their peers around the world."
Yale University took the top spot in this year's rankings away from Harvard, which slid to third place. Princeton University held on to the second-place ranking.
The U.S. News rankings are based upon a number of criteria including a reputational survey of college administrators, student selectivity, student-faculty ratio, retention and financial resources. Each year the methodology is adjusted slightly, which accounts for some of the movement of various schools within the top 50 places.
The most important adjustment made for this year's rankings was the addition of a "value-added" measure. Intended to measure "the value added by colleges in the process of educating students," it focuses on the difference between a school's predicted graduation rate---based on the median entrance exam scores of entering students and the educational expenditures per student---compared to the actual graduation rate. According to U.S. News, the U-M's actual graduation rate of 85 percent compared favorably to its "predicted" rate of 78 percent.
However, the University's academic reputation, as measured by a survey of college presidents, deans and admissions directors, dropped from 8 last year to 11 in the current rankings.
The Business School tied for first place with the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, up from third place in last year's rankings. The business and engineering rankings, done for the second year, are based solely on a reputational survey of deans and administrators.
Six specific disciplines in the Business Schools ranked in the top five nationally: general management (1), marketing (2), accounting (3), finance (3), international business (4) and production/operations management (5).
"I'm very proud of our faculty, students, and staff and feel this recognition is well-deserved," Business School Dean Joseph White says.
MIT's Sloan School of Management and the University of California, Berkeley, tied for third place in the business school rankings. Six schools shared the fifth-place spot.
The U-M College of Engineering, ranked third last year in a tie with seven other schools, held the 10th-place position in this year's ranking. Engineering programs for the first time this year were split into two categories, those granting Ph.D. degrees and those without Ph.D. programs. Stanford University topped the list of engineering schools offering doctoral degrees, and four schools each shared both second place and sixth place.
Three departments in the College of Engineering were ranked among the top in the nation: aerospace (2), environmental (2) and industrial (3).
The U.S. News rankings issue appeared on newsstands Monday.
Dearborn's School of Engineering
The U-M Dearborn School of Engineering has been ranked among the top undergraduate engineering schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The school tied for 19th place in the magazine's ranking of engineering schools without doctoral programs.
"Because more and more students are choosing a school on the basis of quality of a particular undergraduate major, U.S. News continues to rank the best undergraduate programs and departments in two of the most popular majors---business and engineering," the magazine says.
Subrata Sengupta, dean of the School of Engineering, notes that while "this sort of ranking is always somewhat artificial, we are very pleased to be recognized as one of the top schools in the country. It's an indication of the dedication of our faculty and the quality of our students."