Eller College of Management’s Management Information Systems graduate department was ranked No. 1 in public universities for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report.
The MIS undergraduate program was also ranked No. 1 in public universities for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report.
Both programs are ranked third nationally, behind two private insitutions: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University.
Sue Brown has been the MIS department head within Eller for about three years. She said she was very excited when she heard the graduate program was ranked No. 1.
“The reason it’s particularly exciting is that we’re ranked number one at the undergraduate level as well, which means we are the number one public program for MIS,” Brown said.
Patti Ota, former UA vice president under Peter Likins and current associate professor for the MIS department, said she was not surprised that MIS was ranked so highly.
“We’ve always been in the top one, two or three since I’ve been at the university,” Ota said.
U.S. News & World Report started its rankings in 1998. Eller’s MIS programs have been among the top five programs in the country for 30 consecutive years since the rankings began.
“I think it’s a testament to the quality of the faculty as well as the quality of our curriculum and the fantastic staff and students that we have,” Brown said. “This ranking doesn’t happen if you don’t have good faculty who are well respected or if you don’t have a good staff who can support us all.”
Ota said the ranking enables the MIS department to attract the best faculty and helps them recruit students into both Eller and the MIS department.
U.S. News & World Report uses certain criteria to rank the universities, including a peer assessment, a recruiter assessment, employment rates for for full-time MBA program graduates and mean undergraduate GPA.
“For graduate programs, our ranking relies very heavily on our reputation. U.S. News & World Report goes out to business-school deans and department heads and asks them, ‘Who are the top programs?’ and then they basically create this ranking list based on ‘Who do people in the field, people within the discipline, consider to be their strongest peers?’” said Anne Thwaits, director of marketing, communication and events for the MIS department.
Thwaits said to stay in this top ranking, the department works hard to recruit the best possible students. She said student success is very important to them, including making sure students have good work placement after they leave the program.
Due to the consistent high ranking of the program and the research the faculty do, the MIS department is able to continuously bring in top faculty that allows it to be such a good program, according to Thwaits. She said getting such a good ranking also ensures the faculty’s hard work does not go unrecognized.
“It really confirms what we know about our faculty: that they are highly regarded by their peers, that they are doing research and scholarship that is being recognized by people at other institutions, by peer review journals,” Thwaits said.
Mark Patton, senior lecturer in the MIS department, said it feels good to work for such a great department with so many qualified faculty members.
“It just speaks to the capabilities of the faculty both within MIS and frankly across Eller,” Patton said. “This brings some awareness of Eller to other universities and to students.”
Brown said the department is continually reviewing its curriculum to ensure it is offering the most current topics in courses. She said without the dedication of its faculty and the value of its students, it would not be such a highly ranked program.
“It’s a combination of the reputation of the faculty and the quality of the students,” Brown said.
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