March 17, 2020

Nebraska Tops Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance Rankings

Ranked No. 1 in Research Productivity for North American Business Schools
Nebraska Tops Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance Rankings
Dr. Yijia Lin, N.Z. Snell Life Insurance Professor, discusses research with Sue Vagts, director of the Actuarial Science Program and Ameritas Faculty Fellow, and graduate students.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln achieved the top spot among North American business schools in the Risk Management Insurance & Actuarial Science research rankings for 2015-19. The UNL Global Research Rankings of Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance™ quantifies and ranks institutions and authors for research placement in the top five actuarial and risk management and insurance journals for business schools and non-business schools.

Nebraska also ranked No. 7 in the world for business schools for the five-year time period. Sue Vagts, director of the Actuarial Science Program and Ameritas Faculty Fellow, helped lead the growth of the Nebraska program during the past decade.

“In the past 10 years, not only has our student population in Actuarial Science and Risk Management doubled, but our faculty has as well. We now have six tenured or tenure-track faculty who are producing impactful research in top-tier journals. This ranking reflects the intelligence and creativity of these professors, and helps us maintain our designation as one of 17 Centers of Actuarial Excellence in the United States as designated by the Society of Actuaries,” said Vagts.

The ranking system, developed by faculty and staff at the College of Business, includes criteria based on publication in top journals. The journals include Journal of Risk and Insurance (JRI), Insurance: Mathematics and Economics (IME), North American Actuarial Journal (NAAJ), ASTIN Bulletin: The Journal of the International Actuarial Association (ASTIN) and Scandinavian Actuarial Journal (SAJ).

The methodology for the rankings follows what was adopted by the Naveen Jindal School of Management in the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) for ranking schools in leading business journals. Data used to compile the rankings dates from 1990 for the JRI, IME, ASTIN and SAJ, and from 1997, the inaugural year for the NAAJ.

Dr. Yijia Lin, N.Z. Snell Life Insurance Professor, recognized the need for an actuarial science ranking application. She helped lead the project to develop the tool which launched online in 2019.

“Many schools adopt the UTD rankings to measure their research productivity,” said Lin. “Unfortunately, actuarial science and risk management and insurance did not have a similar ranking system. Our faculty talked about how there was a need for a ranking system, and with the help of Dean Kathy Farrell and the college, we received funds from Ameritas to create our ranking application.”

The impact of the new ranking system resonates with professionals in actuarial science throughout the world. Dr. Andreas Milidonas, associate professor of finance at the University of Cyprus, believes the new resource is a great benefit to fellow researchers.

"It was a pleasant surprise to see such a great job done by Nebraska in ranking the journals in our field,” said Milidonas. “The application is very easy to use. It allows people to drill down into a specific article and also provides a long history of how these rankings have evolved."

To view rankings and detailed methodology for the UNL Global Research Rankings of Actuarial Science and Risk Management™, visit: https://business.unl.edu/actuarialrankings/.