Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which topped the 2014 list, the first time Duke has ever been No. 1 in any of the five key rankings, is an exceptional school that regularly attracts first rate students and a highly diverse group of corporate recruiters, among the most diverse of any business school in the world.
That Duke managed to dislodge Chicago Booth from its top perch is especially remarkable because the Fuqua’s student scores were the lowest ever for a No. 1 Businessweek MBA program. Duke’s student satisfaction rank was 22nd, twice as low as Chicago’s 11th place finish two years ago in this part of the ranking. It is evidence that other changes made to the student poll by Businessweek’s editors have effectively rendered the student component of the ranking–despite the fact that 10,605 MBAs filled those surveys out–meaningless.
So is Duke really better than Wharton or Stanford, which is ranked behind it? Or Harvard, which is ranked eighth? Or Darden, which boasts the best MBA teaching faculty in the world, at 20th?
A LOOK AT DUKE’S HISTORICAL EMPLOYER RANKINGS
All you have to do is look at Duke’s historical employer rankings since Businessweek began publishing its biennial ranking in 1988. Up until this year, through 13 separate surveys over 26 years, Duke averaged an employer ranking of slightly higher than 10th place. It’s lowest rank was 14th in both 1994 and 1992. It’s highest rank before this year was seventh in 2012 and 1998. Moving to a rank of second from an average of 10.2 is an aberration, the result of flawed methodology.
For every school that won advantage due to the methodology revamp, there were numerous schools that were penalized, including Harvard, Kellogg, Michigan, Cornell, and Berkeley–all of which scored well below their historic averages on the newly changed employer survey.
Bloomberg Businessweek EMPLOYER Rankings From 2014 to 1996
|2014 Rank & School||’12||’10||’08||’06||’04||’02||’00||’98||’96|
|1. UPenn (Wharton)||2||2||3||2||5||3||1||1||1|
|2. Duke (Fuqua)||7||8||13||8||12||9||8||7||10|
|3. Chicago (Booth)||1||1||1||3||1||5||4||3||5|
|4. Stanford GSB||5||7||2||10||7||7||12||9||7|
|5. Northwestern (Kellogg)||4||4||6||1||3||2||2||2||2|
|8. Yale SOM||27||37||33||26||28||20||23||27||30|
|9. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)||17||20||21||13||15||18||14||15||26|
|10. Michigan (Ross)||6||5||10||5||4||6||6||5||3|
|11. Virginia (Darden)||9||16||14||14||13||11||9||8||11|
|12. MIT (Sloan)||10||14||5||9||14||8||7||14||8|
|13. UNC (Kenan-Flagler)||14||17||14||18||17||15||16||23||27|
|14. Dartmouth (Tuck)||11||15||11||15||11||12||17||13||12|
|15. NYU (Stern)||16||22||13||12||10||10||11||10||9|
|16. UCLA (Anderson)||19||26||18||17||21||23||13||18||17|
|17. Emory (Goizueta)||23||31||30||36||27||30||34||NA||NA|
|18. Indiana (Kelley)||20||18||9||11||18||19||20||20||13|
|20. UT-Austin (McCombs)||15||29||22||19||23||22||18||12||15|
|21. Cincinnati (Lindner)||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|22. Cornell (Johnson)||12||23||15||16||8||13||10||11||18|
|23. UC-Irvine (Merage)||50||NA||45||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|24, Vanderbilt (Owen)||31||43||27||32||36||35||24||NA||40|
|25. Wake Forest||40||51||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek rankings
The same can be said of Businessweek’s attempt to rank intellectual capital by measuring the number of articles in 20 business journals authored by a school’s faculty. The fact that UC-San Diego’s Rady School of Management was ranked first on this metric—ahead of Stanford, Chicago Booth, Wharton, Berkeley, and Columbia, among others—is plenty reason to scratch one’s head. Duke came in second here, just behind UC-San Diego.