UNC Business School Slams 'Fortune' Rankings

UNC's business school attacked methods used to compile a Fortune 'Top 50' list that left it out, and the magazine said it would be there next year.

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Kenan-Flagler Business School
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Angry outbursts would be unbecoming for any newly minted MBA, but UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School left no doubts Friday about what it thinks of a recent Fortune magazine list of top business schools that never mentioned Chapel Hill.

The magazine appears on its Web site to have conceded the point.

"I write to express our shock at the shoddy, inaccurate, and inappropriate research methods employed in the Ranking of Top 50 Business Schools," Associate Dean Valarie Zeithaml wrote in a letter e-mailed to Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer and distributed by the school Friday.

"In every major business publication that ranks MBA programs–Business Week, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal–The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is ranked in the top 20 of all business schools. The Wall Street Journal ranking, based solely on recruiter ratings and the closest to the purported methodology used by QS, places us No. 8 in the nation."

QS is the organization that assembled the list for Fortune.

The list was taken down from the magazine's Web site for a time Friday evening, then reappeared with a link to the UNC school's Web site and a note saying, "Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was incorrectly listed in the 2006 QS recruiter survey and thus does not appear in this year's rankings. The school will be included in next year's survey. We regret the error."

UNC said that it had spoken with QS, a European firm.

"They explained our exclusion by saying that they confused our business school with another North Carolina school (NC State) that is not even ranked by the major ranking publications," UNC told Serwer.

NC State's School of Management was ranked 25th.


Ron Gallagher, Web Editor

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