The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday February 3rd

Kenan-Flagler Gains Distinction In Research Field

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."

Management Professor Hugh O'Neill, who has spent eight years at UNC, said the article highlighted the positive direction of Kenan-Flagler.

"I think that this article depicts a good trajectory for the business school," he said. "It suggests we're getting good results from hard work. It is some very good company to be ahead of."

Collins also said rankings like these add to the school's prestige, which usually helps attract students and faculty.

"(Kenan-Flagler) was one of the main reasons I came to UNC," said Brian Anderson, a junior business major. "I am really happy with what I've learned. I think being in (the school) has given me a higher opinion of it."

Despite the excellent ranking, faculty recognize that there is room to grow.

"We're always trying to bring in stronger students," Dean said. "We continue to experiment with curriculum. We continue to improve career services. Our philosophy is you can always get better."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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