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McCombs Researchers Lead the World

UT Tower with students walking

Faculty Outrank All Other Public Business Schools in Research Productivity

 

From the fall 2015 issue of McCOMBS, the magazine for alumni and friends of the McCombs School of Business.

By Matt Turner

The McCombs School of Business faculty is ranked No. 1 in the world among public business schools for research productivity according to the 2015 Top 100 Business School Research Rankings from the University of Texas at Dallas.

UTD tracks faculty publications in 24 leading business journals over a five-year period and awards points based on university affiliation at time of publication. The current ranking covers the years 2010 to 2014, during which McCombs’ faculty authored 241 articles among these A-list journals.

If private schools are included in the mix, McCombs slides only to fifth place behind these prestigious heavyweights: 1) Wharton, 2) Harvard, 3) MIT, and 4) NYU.

That ties the highest rank McCombs has achieved in the 11-year history of the survey. Last year McCombs pulled ahead of private heavy-hitters Chicago, Stanford, and Duke. This year it ousted Michigan from the top five to claim the top public-school rank.

According to Laura Starks, dean ad interim of McCombs and prior associate dean for research, two key incentives give our professors a leg up research-wise: summer grant money and extra research time during the long semesters.

Over the past decade, the school has used time and money for research “to attract the best and brightest among new instructors,” says Starks. The enticements designate McCombs as “a place where research is taken seriously and where the administration creates a welcoming environment to foster it.”

While all faculty members are eligible to apply for the benefits, two groups receive them automatically: new tenure-track hires and newly tenured professors. The former receive them as an expectation of their promise; the latter as a reward for their hard work and proven talent.

Starks points to myriad other factors that support research around the school. Research excellence grants, awarded to those with promising ideas, defray costs for experiments, research assistants, and travel. Extensive databases provide access to invaluable, hard-to-get data. Research centers provide funding for certain areas of investigation. Finally, the vibrancy of the Ph.D. programs — 100 doctoral students across five departments — adds to the research fervor and intensity.

“Being at the forefront of research speaks not only to McCombs’ prestige among business faculties but also to our potential impact on industry and society,” says Starks. World-class research has practical implications for students. “A powerhouse research institute provides the venue for our students to be exposed to the cutting-edge ideas and innovations that will be driving the economy of tomorrow,” she says. “Students who study with knowledge leaders are better prepared for the challenges of an increasingly dynamic and sophisticated business world.”

World-class research has practical implications for students. “A powerhouse research institute provides the venue for our students to be exposed to the cutting-edge ideas and innovations that will be driving the economy of tomorrow,” she says. “Students who study with knowledge leaders are better prepared for the challenges of an increasingly dynamic and sophisticated business world.” 

 

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