Carlson undergraduate program ranks among top 15 nationally

Nathan Halverson

The Carlson School of Management received validation last week that it is still a premier business school.

For the second year in a row, the school’s undergraduate program ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 15.

“It continues to be good news,” said Larry Benveniste, dean of the Carlson School.

In April, U.S. News ranked Carlson’s full-time master of business administration program 24th in the nation.

Good rankings bring positive recognition to the school, which can attract more students and professors, Benveniste said.

Also, the publicity draws the attention of philanthropic supporters.

Mixed reviews

the U.S News ranking comes on the heels of some less favorable evaluations.

The Wall Street Journal’s annual master of business administration rankings – released in early September – dropped Carlson from its top 50.

And London’s Financial Times lowered Carlson’s ranking to 71st in 2002, down from 61st the year before.

Benveniste said the disparity in ranks is partly because of

different methods used to rate the schools.

U.S. News evaluates business schools by surveys administered to deans and senior faculty at accredited business schools, according to the publication.

The Wall Street Journal compiles rankings by interviewing 2,221 masters of business administration recruiters online about both U.S. and foreign business schools, according to Harris Interactive, the research firm that administered the survey.

Benveniste said the school has never done well in either the Journal or the Financial Times rankings.

Business students tend to work for local companies after graduating, resulting in Carlson School not getting the recruiters other schools get, a key component in the rankings, he said.

Benveniste said the two newspapers’ reports don’t reflect the quality of students or faculty.

“They both focus on nonacademic standards,” he said.

Benveniste said the Carlson School excels academically.

And a research paper published in the Academy of Management Journal supports his claim.

The research ranked Carlson 13th in business school research for 1997-2001.

However, Carlson’s rank was down from its previous placement of 7th from 1986-1998.

Benveniste said faculty members are working to improve the factors that lower Carlson in the rankings.

Benveniste said the school is working to draw more students and out of state corporate recruiters, and increasing their national focus by marketing and communicating better.

This year, the financial firm Citigroup is recruiting at Carlson for the first time, he said.

But all in all, Benveniste says he doesn’t put too much credence in the rankings from year to year, likening them to stocks.

“I tell my students not to pay attention to them,” he said. “People who know our school know how good we’re doing.”


Nathan Halverson welcomes comments at [email protected]