University of Texas – Dallas

Do we really need another B-school ranking?

June 2, 2011: 10:29 AM ET

The dean of UT Dallas' business school explains why he joined a crowded field of business school ranking competitors and what separates his approach from the others.

Interview by Neelima Mahajan-Bansal, contributor

Hasan Pirkul

Hasan Pirkul, dean of the School of Management at University of Texas at Dallas

(poetsandquants.com) -- A few years ago, Hasan Pirkul came across an article ranking the operations management departments of different universities. Pirkul, the dean of the School of Management at University of Texas at Dallas, thought the ranking was incomplete, but it got him thinking. What if he could compile a database ranking various business schools by their research output in leading journals? "This way we, as B-schools, could benchmark ourselves based on the publications in these journals," he says.

Pirkul and his colleague Varghese S. Jacob, senior associate dean at the School of Management, put their heads together and the UT-Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Rankings was born in 2005. BusinessWeek and The Financial Times include an academic research component in their rankings, but the UT-Dallas take may well be the single best measurement of business school scholarship currently available.

The latest global survey, which tracks published articles over the past five years from 2006 to 2010, was updated this past March. It has Wharton in the lead, followed by the business schools at Duke, Michigan, NYU, and Harvard. Only two non-U.S. schools made the top 20: INSEAD at No. 10 and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology at No. 18. 

Like every other ranking, this one is not without controversy. For one thing, the list fails to take into account the size of the faculty at each school. It's silly to compare Wharton, with 459 faculty members, to Dartmouth's Tuck, with just 76 professors, without adjusting the data for size.

And there is the issue of UT Dallas itself. How is it possible that this business school -- whose full-time MBA program fails to make four of five of the major rankings -- is ranked 16th, beating out Berkeley, UCLA, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Yale? In the following interview, Pirkul explains the rationale behind his research rankings and responds to the criticism: More

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