By Marty Murad
The Center for World Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University recently recognized the Department of Economics at the Sam M. Walton College of Business in their ranking of 200 economics departments worldwide. The department fell into the 76-100 group among AACSB International-accredited schools, ranking in the group with the two highest ranked SEC economics departments, the University of Florida and the University of Georgia.
Bill Curington, chair of the Walton College economics department, said the global nature of the ranking is significant. “It means that our efforts to improve the reputation of the department are starting to pay off. That’s important because it opens doors for our students,” Curington said. “If our faculty and our department are well respected internationally, our students are recognized internationally.”
Thousands of economics departments exist worldwide. The Walton College’s distinguished faculty and their innovative research make the department stand out from among the rest, he said. “Faculty research is the dominant factor in these rankings. Professors we have added over the years have generated a great volume and quality of research in this department. From this we have gained increasing visibility,” Curington said.
According to www.shanghairanking.com, institutions are ranked according to their academic or research performance in each subject field. Ranking indicators include alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes, Fields Medals and Turing Awards, Highly Cited Researchers and others. Recently, a new factor was added: the percentage of papers published in the top 20 percent of journals of each field.
Curington outlined a plan of action for Walton College’s continued success. “We are attracting high quality faculty and maintaining and supporting a high quality faculty,” he said. “The faculty produces research and creates an educational program that will attract a high quality student body. These students act as a quality product that builds our reputation as a prestigious university.”