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Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Monday, January 30, 2012

IU's Kelley School among the Financial Times' elite MBA programs worldwide

Jan. 30, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kelley School of Business made a major move upward in the Financial Times' annual survey of the top 100 MBA programs in the world. In rankings released today, Jan. 30, the school rose by 27 positions into the top 50 worldwide.

Kelley School of Business

IU Kelley School of Business

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Kelley achieved the largest improvement of any business school in the U.S. and the second largest improvement among all schools in the ranking.

Kelley's Full-Time Master of Business Administration Program ranks 46th overall among more than 8,000 business schools around the world and is fifth among all U.S. public institutions and third in the Big Ten.

Helping to bolster Kelley in the rankings were placement activities for graduates during a challenging global economy. The school ranked fourth in the world in terms of its placement success -- 90 percent of MBA graduates were employed within three months following graduation.

Kelley School Dean Dan Smith said the progress has come at a time when many traditional MBA programs in the United States have faced growing competition from new schools worldwide. Half of the MBA programs in the top 50 overall rankings are based outside the U.S., across Europe and increasingly in India, China and elsewhere in Asia.

"We are certainly pleased by the improvement in our Financial Times Global MBA ranking. There are over 8,000 business schools globally, including more than 3,000 in the United States. Being ranked in the top 50 overall and fifth among all U.S. publicly supported schools clearly places us among the world's elite programs," Smith said.

"We are in a global competition, and these rankings reflect the extraordinary quality of our faculty, who possess a world view and are committed to constant innovation," Smith said. "We do not focus on rankings, but this information confirms that others appreciate that we provide a truly world-class student experience that has benefited them during these challenging economic times."

The Kelley School has long been recognized as being among the nation's leading business schools in terms of the long-term success of its graduates, many of whom have become senior executives of major companies such as Nestle USA, Eli Lilly, Simon Properties, Cisco Systems, Starbucks and Whirlpool to name but a few. Not surprisingly, Kelley scored well in surveys of both students and alumni. The school ranked 16th in the category of how well the curriculum and faculty met student expectations.

"What this shows is that we are very good at developing talent that rises to chief-executive levels -- decision-makers such as chief operating officers, chief financial officers and chief marketing officers as well as corporate entrepreneurs -- a large number of them globally," said M.A. Venkataramanan, associate dean of academic programs and the Jack R. Wentworth Professor.

M.A. Venkataramenan

M.A. Venkataramanan

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"Our alumni are happy because we provide them with a core skill set that allows them to advance into important leadership roles," Venkataramanan said. "Our alumni recognize that what they learned here was immediately applicable to their careers, and they in turn share that with our prospective students, which helps to ensure that Kelley is a destination point for high quality of students."

The Kelley School was also recognized for the research productivity of its faculty. The school was ranked 20th for its research activities. The Financial Times also recognized the global diversity of the Kelley faculty, one-fourth of whom are from nations other than the U.S., and more than half of the faculty has international experience.

The school also ranked in the top 10 for its accounting and marketing programs.

Philip Powell, faculty chair of the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program, noted that students appreciate the many opportunities for action-based learning through its academies and special study programs.

Of special note is the program's emerging markets experience program that recently sent students to Ghana, Peru, India, Brazil, Fiji and the Marshall Islands. On these trips, students gained leadership skills through completion of consulting projects for small businesses and nonprofits that serve local markets.

The program's signature professional development curriculum, Me Inc., instructs students on how to build their personal brand and competitively position themselves in the job market.

The Financial Times, which is published in 22 countries and has a combined print and online readership of 2.1 million, last year ranked the school's Kelley Executive Partners program 28th worldwide among international non-degree programs.

The Financial Times rankings follow similar recognition by Bloomberg Business Week, which ranked the program 19th; and U.S. News & World Report, which ranked it 23rd. More information about the Kelley School's Full-Time MBA Program is available at

A year ago, the school was 73rd in the Financial Times' rankings. Other Indiana schools in the Financial Times ranking were Purdue University, which was ranked 59th; and the University of Notre Dame, 85th.