The December issue of the Academy of Management Journal has ranked the business school 15th in the nation for research productivity, placing it ahead of such institutions as Duke, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley.
"We're very proud," said Julie Collins, Kenan-Flagler senior associate dean of academic affairs.
"This is very important to us because UNC-CH is a research university that also excels in teaching. We view academic research as the academic engine that ... students can then benefit from."
UNC's ranking was based on the amount of work faculty members had published in 20 prestigious professional journals, said Alan Dennis, who helped conduct the study.
"One of the big debates was which journals matter," said Dennis, chairman of Internet systems at Indiana University. "There are dozens of journals in each area."
But James Dean, associate dean for the master's in business administration program, said the ranking is not that important to the school, mostly because professors rather than prospective students will read it.
"Our mission is complex," Dean said. "Any ranking is a simplification of what we try to accomplish."
While the study only focused on research productivity, Collins said having a strong research background helps the school provide its students with a cutting-edge education in the classroom as well.
"The school aspires to excel in both research and teaching," Collins said. "It aspires to be superb in both because it views both as going hand in hand."