Chicago’s Booth vs. Northwestern’s Kellogg School

Rankings:

In the latest rankings, Chicago has been beating Kellogg fairly decisively across most of the major polls in recent years. Only U.S. News & World Report has ranked Kellogg ahead of Chicago and only by one position. That hasn’t always been true. In fact, Kellogg had regularly beaten Chicago for many years. No school, for example, has been number one in the BusinessWeek rankings more often than Kellogg which has had that honor for five of 11 times over a 22-year period. Chicago has topped the BusinessWeek rankings twice, the last two times under the leadership of Booth Dean Ted Snyder who has now left the school for Yale. Kellogg has done very poorly in the Financial Times and The Economist rankings, both of which we give the least credibility. So these are clear anomalies. The P&Q rank–which factors into consideration all the major rankings weighted by their individual authority–puts Kellogg at number 7 and Booth at number three. These are the up-to-date rankings from each ranking organization.

MBA Rankings Kellogg Booth
Poets&Quants 7 3
BusinessWeek 3 1
Forbes 8 4
U.S. News & World Report 4 5
Financial Times 23 9
The Economist 15 4

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Historical Rankings by BusinessWeek:

The most fascinating battle between two rival schools in any survey has played out in the BusinessWeek ranking of both Kellogg and Booth over the years. The Kellogg School has had the best of this competition over the 22-year period of BusinessWeek rankings as pointed out above. The beneficiaries, of course, are the graduates of these two schools and the corporate recruiters who continue to rate both institutions very highly. When BusinessWeek began ranking business schools, Chicago debuted at number 11 while Kellogg took top honors as number one. In the last BusinessWeek survey in 2008, Chicago edged out Kellogg with a second consecutive number one ranking, while Kellogg was number three. The recent departure of Dean Ted Snyder at Chicago may not bode well for the institution. Snyder was a master at managing customer satisfaction, even putting the recruiters’ lounge next to his office.

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Historical Rankings by The Financial Times:

Unlike BusinessWeek’s rankings, The Financial Times includes business schools from all over the world. So the FT is ranking both Chicago and Northwestern against such places as London Business School, which ranked number one in this survey in 2010 and 2009, and INSEAD, which ranked fifth these last two years. Chicago is the undisputed winner in this survey, besting Kellogg in all 11 years charted below. Chicago’s Booth best showing was in 2002 when the FT ranked the school third. It’s weakest outing? In 2009, when the FT ranked Booth 11th, the only time it got a ranking outside the top ten. Kellogg has especially turned in very weak performances in recent years with its lowest FT rank ever in 2010 at number 22. We wouldn’t take this all too seriously: The FT survey has had some head-scratching results over the years. Instituto de Empresa in Spain, for example, is ranked the sixth best school in the world by the newspaper. Eight years earlier, it was ranked 35th. Meantime, Hong Kong’s UST, ranked 9th by the Financial Times in 2010, had a rank of 69 in 2004. These wild swings in the rankings undermine their credibility and authority.

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