The Starship Enterprise Lands On Yale’s Campus

by John A. Byrne on

The new home of Yale University's School of Management: Evans Hall. Photo by Chris Choi

The new $243 million home of Yale University’s School of Management: Evans Hall. Photo by Chris Choi

Captain Kirk would be pleased—and befuddled, bemused and bewildered.

The newest version of the Starship Enterprise formally opened today (Jan. 9) as the new home of Yale University’s School of Management. It is an ultra-modern structure that gleams rich blue colors, features mountains of reflective glass, and boasts some of the most magnificent curves ever seen in a building.

It is bigger than anything Captain Kirk has flown. The centerpiece of the 240,000-square-foot building is an expansive courtyard surrounded by a glass facade that allows people to see from one area to another across the campus. It features 16 classrooms, 22 breakout rooms, three library spaces, 13 interview rooms, and office space for some 120 faculty and 195 staffers.

FROM STATELY MANSIONS TO 4 MILLION POUNDS OF STEEL & 16 MILLION POUNDS OF CONCRETE

To complete the $243 million building that would replace the school’s stately mansions on Hillhouse Ave., it took four million pounds of steel, 16.2 million pounds of concrete, 2.25 million pounds of glass for the exterior facade alone, along with 123 miles of copper wire and 500 doors—not to mention the money of 1,400 individuals, 1,300 of them SOM alums.

The concourse in the new Evans Hall. Photo by Tony Rinaldo

The concourse in the new Evans Hall. Photo by Tony Rinaldo

Architecturally, it may not exactly blend in with the red brick college and secret courtyards and gardens of Yale University. Some professors, who had moved into the structure in mid-December, were already complaining about the heat from the sun that streams into the building’s south side during the day. Others say they miss the creaky charm of the old Victorian homes.

If the building has a visible flaw, it is where SOM has placed its office of admissions. The staff whose job it is to welcome and greet applicants is hidden in a corner of the first floor, behind the most unflattering steel door, an entry way that is more appropriate for a fire escape. By mere location, it seems the most unwelcoming admissions office of any major business school in the world. The school says that applicants will be greeted at a table in the lobby of the building.

 A BOLD SYMBOL OF THE SCHOOL’S AMBITION TO BE THE FIRST GLOBAL B-SCHOOL IN THE U.S.

Still, the complete structure, erected on a 4.25-acre plot at 165 Whitney Avenue, is nothing less than a stunning work of contemporary art in and of itself. It is also a bold symbol of the school’s ambition to be the first global business school in the U.S., a strategy launched by new Dean Edward “Ted” Snyder. “I think of this as a high point event in the school’s history,” said Snyder, who was recruited to Yale after successful deanships at the University of Chicago’s Booth School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School. “High point events give an institution a sense of what it is and what it can be.”

“Breathtaking” is how Yale University President Peter Salovey describes the new facility. When Salovey and his wife snuck into the then empty and quiet building during the Christmas break for an early glimpse, he said the emotions he felt were “jealousy and envy.”

And yet Salovey was not able to take the new technology in the building for a test drive. He could not try out the high-definition video conferencing and student microphones with on/off switches in every classroom that allows lectures and class discussions to be beamed around the world. He couldn’t use the custom faculty lecterns with the tilted 3M flat screens that even include a cup holder for a professor’s coffee. And he couldn’t test the wireless screen sharing in the breakout rooms and classes that will allow students to mirror their laptop or smartphone screens on a large screen when collaborating with each other.

For all the modern gadgetry in the shiny new building, the person who stole the show at the school’s opening was a 99-year-old man in a three-piece gray suit who was pushed on stage in a wheelchair. William Beinecke, who has been called the founder of the school, received a standing ovation for a compelling speech he read aloud in the school’s new 350-seat auditorium.

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  • neo

    Nice new digs for sure

  • James

    Beautiful.

  • Leapfrog

    This has to put Yale back in the top 12 discussion.

  • Porter

    ^lol

  • Snowman

    Nice pile. I hope that Yale SOM has some funds left after its building spree for Financial Aid and scholarships. Yale is way behind in this matter.

  • Socrates

    LOL! Yes, because the education doesn’t matter when trying to get a job – – it is the quality of the building! Sheesh.

  • Jersey Girl

    Yale’s actually ahead of the pack in funding people who seek less lucrative careers. I do hear the logic that a smaller, and less wealthy alumni base should mean less generous financial aid, but from what I know of fellow admits this really is not the case.

  • Renault

    There’s really no such thing as a top 12. Everyone commenting on P&Q should know that.

    1) HSW
    2) MIT, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth
    3) Tuck and Haas
    4) The rest of the top ~16-17

    What care about individual places when it’s the tiers that matter?

  • Orange1

    This reminds me of the arms race (no pun intended) with training facilities for major college football programs. Once you get past the basic equipment, does the nice carpeting, sound system, etc.make any difference? After a while there is a law of diminishing returns with building spends.

  • OhDenny

    You should see our old building, and then you’ll understand the need for the upgrade. Financial aid is next – Dean’s priority.

  • Cmoney

    1) Harvard and Stanford, it is more less a fact Wharton is second tier

  • Princeton

    It looks horrendous!

  • SOMAlum

    I only applied to HBS, Stanford and Yale. Where I come from in LatAm, these are really the only places that people know (MIT is also known as a great engineering school). HBS interviewed/wait-listed me. Stanford didnt give an interview. Yale accepted me and far exceeded my expectations.

    If you are that concern about MBA rankings go ahead apply anywhere in the top 10. They are all great schools. I was more concern about getting an top Ivy League education and do PE in LatAm (which is what I’m doing now) and later politics (where the Yale name has special recognition).

    You can take a lot of great MBA classes (even online)… but what you can only take at places like Harvard and Yale are classes with former presidents, head of states, ex CEOs etc.

    Keep playing/arguing about the rankings.

  • Orange1

    True. 4) probably runs out to a about 20 schools.

  • Clover

    Top unique selling points for Yale MBA
    Ivy League name, Jumbo GMAT and a new building. Good in non-profit. hmmm, I think other B-Schools have a stronger fit in terms of career development. Yale is known for financial aid conservative.

  • YaleOrFail

    Definitely one of Yale’s game-changing movements. At the rankings’ core are students’ caliber and the school’s funding, which in turn affect recruiting and faculty, respectively. Keep at it, Yale!

  • JohnAByrne

    Clover,

    I think you’re selling SOM short. There are several other “unique selling points” for an MBA from Yale that you missed:

    1) An incredibly strong alumni network. Yalies–including those in the wider university network–are a powerful and connected bunch. They identify with each other in ways that make the Yale degree enduringly valuable. Just think about this: The school was able to raise $160 million smack in the middle of the Great Recession! That is nothing less than remarkable and a testament to the loyalty of its alumni base and their success in the world.

    2) An exceptional faculty with an extremely low student-to-professor ratio, one of the lowest of all the elite business schools. Yale has the cache and the resources to pay absolutely brilliant faculty and to establish extremely high standards for its professors.

    3) The overall quality of the university which is arguably one of the top two in the world with Harvard and certainly among a handful of the very best with Princeton, Cambridge and Oxford. An unusually high percentage of the MBA candidates are taking dual degrees and those who don’t typically take advantage of the offerings in other schools and departments, especially law and the environment.

    4) One of the most proven and successful business school deans in the past quarter century. Ted Snyder is an ambitious and bold leader who already has staked out a strategy that includes a unique global network of schools that is making Yale far more global than most business schools.

  • Justin

    Tuck and Haas? Really?!

  • Jimmy

    Hi John, how do you think Duke’s Fuqua school of business is going to perform in the coming years? I have been hearing excellent things about it, and it’s one of the schools that I would love to attend (alongside others like Yale).

  • avivalasvegas

    Any Top 5 Business school has former presidents and CEOs. You didn’t get into H/S because your candidacy, as presented, wasn’t good enough as compared to your competition. Its the harsh reality as it stands. You were, however, good enough for a top 10 school, which is where your satisfaction should stem from vs. trying to convince yourself and us that Yale SOM is top tier.

  • Oxbridge1

    so, could we say it about oxford and cambridge as well? :)

  • Observer

    something most people don’t know: the original “O” in Yale SOM is from the original name of the School ( Yale School of “O”rganizations and Management) because Yale as mother university was not motivated about having a “business” school just like Harvard or the other “less ethical” institutions! but at the end they realized the real world and changed the name of their degree from MPPA to MBA some 20 years ago! and ironically a significant portion of the graduates go to pure finance jobs which seem to be in contrast with the school aspiration. my humble view is that it is a good school that belong to a great university but need some time to be close to Columbia or Chicago and definitely a long time to be comparable to Harvard, Stanford or Wharton.

  • A.theYalie

    Yale trains leaders that rule the world, others, aside from a few (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton) trains to get you into a good job. As a Yale alum the conversations your involved in and the access to power that comes with it is unrivaled. When I was deciding between b-schools and mentioned to two mentors (both Yale College HBS alums, 1 Rhodes Scholar) that I got into 6 “top 10″ schools with most higher ranked than Yale and was trying to decide which to go to they each said it was no brainer, and that I should go to Yale. They both were right. Because of that decision I have been on a much faster track then my peers. I could go into greater detail about my experience but it is unnecessary. Bottom line if you are foolish enough to believe that the rankings apply to Yale SOM and that it is indicative of the student experience, job opportunities (McK, Google, then JPM are our top recruiters) or future growth you are completely misinformed and misguided.

  • Guest

    Booth has surpassed Wharton. The true rankings are:

    1) H,S
    2) Booth
    3) Wharton, Kellogg
    4) The rest of the top 10

  • fc2349

    1) H,S
    2) Booth
    3) Wharton, Kellogg
    4) The rest of the top 10

  • Waleed

    Absolutely thrilled about the new campus. It is simply out of this world. I entered the building at 8AM and came out at 9 PM, and wanted to go back in again and spend rest of the night there…totes perf!..

  • rly?

    Seriously they said no-brainer to take SOM over Columbia? Over Kellog & MIT? I get the point but saying it’s a non-decision seems kinda far…unless you’re set on public something or healthcare or whatever, is that it? Or are they biased by being Yalie Undergrads, so it’s because you didn’t get in to HBS they next auto-move right to Yale? I’m not sayin 2 be rude, genuinely curious. SOM looks great these days, but WHY
    .

  • Niron

    here is the true ranking: 1)HBS 2)Wharton 3)Stanford 4)Chicago 5)Columbia 6)Kellogg 7)MIT 8)Tuck 9)Fuqua 10)Haas 11)Darden 12)Ross 13)Stern 14)UCLA 15)Cornell 16)Tepper 17)UNC 18)Emory 19)Rice 20)Rice 21)UT Austin 22)Olin…after long observation from an international student, this is the lost that make sense with that order. if you add the top three schools in europe, IMD, LBS and INSEAD and, they most likely to be at 9, 10 , and 12 respectively.

  • SOMAlum

    Thanks for the comment. I’m really not trying to convince anybody about the MBA ranking tier etc. My point is more the following:

    I personally didn’t and still don’t care about the MBA rankings and even the MBA education at certain level. My opportunity cost to do the MBA was already quite high from giving up a higher salary/bonus than what HBS or any MBA grad gets after the first 3 years (based on HBS’ reported numbers). In fact, a couple of my contemporaries and close friends were making significantly more than any MBA makes after 10 years post-graduation. So to me the MBA was really a big cost. So I wanted (a) recognizable brand name in my region and (b) an education that went beyond an MBA. I applied to the joint HBS/HKS program and Yale. Yale’s DNA is not an MBA but a Master in Private and Public Management, which appeals to me a lot more given my future political aspirations.

    In part, I agree with your comment on my “candidacy, as presented, wasn’t good enough as compared to your competition”. I applied to HBS/HKS with a low GMAT of 650 in the first round (got interview and waitlisted). That indeed made me not “good enough” compared to other candidates and their 700s. I have always done quite bad at those tests given that I only learnt English at age 17 and my country’s education system is not geared towards those type tests (SAT/GMAT/GRE). Funny enough Yale has one of the highest GMAT averages. No excuses though.

    Would I have been happier and better if I had made it to HBS? of course. But in the medium to long term does it make a difference in my career? Nop. In fact, it took me a long time (4 months after graduation) to land a job better than the one that I had before the MBA (the same happened to a close friend at HBS). THE MBA IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY COST! if you want to do consulting or investment banking, and MBA works great. But if you want another career like PE, it’s very very tough to land those jobs and have companies value your pre-MBA experience…. whether you are at HBS or a top 50 school.

    p.s. the proportion of former presidents and ministers at Yale is much higher than any Top 5, except HBS. I also assure you that my employer could care less about this or anything that I learnt during my MBA.

  • stating the obvious

    ^fail list

  • YaleOrFail

    INSEAD and LBS would be between Wharton and Chicago actually with INSEAD ahead of LBS.

  • Renault

    Yes. Tuck and Haas are both generally seen as a step above the rest. They are closer to being peers with the M7 schools than any of the other top ~20 are, and the rankings always reflect that.

    This is not a controversial viewpoint.

  • Nelson

    in term of quality, IMD is better than both INSEAD and IMD. in fact, many say that IMD is the Tuck of europe. INSEAD degree is negatively affected by the huge number the spill out every year..>1000 MBAs thats far from elite and prestigious. LBS is seen as finance school though they send many to consulting and corporate worlds. the reason why both INSEAD and LBS ranked higher than IMD is because the size of their class, but when ignore this factor IMD easily wins as it did in Forbes ranks. Just take it from this prospective: the school brings some 60 elite recruiters for the only 90 students. If you are a HR manager at a multinational corporation or top consulting firm and you know there are only 90 students in the class, you would be hesitant to go there and dedicate time and effort, however that is not the case for IMD because it is highly respected and known by the recruiters.

  • Stanford_dream

    Which business school did you attend? Let me use my psychic powers…..Tuck or Haas? What a coincidence!

  • BackFromBeijing

    Go to China, and strike up a conversation with someone.
    They’ll have heard of three schools:

    • Harvard
    • Yale
    • Stanford
    • (and sometimes MIT)

    That’s really it.

  • YaleOrFail

    Both HBS and Wharton graduate about ~1000 per year as well. So I don’t think your argument stands. IMD is usually not deemed equal to INSEAD or LBS among the top tier business schools.

  • Nelson

    Sorry, HBS is 900 or so, Wharton is something around 800! not >1000. there is big difference. IMD is better than LBS and INSEAD. But it is for mature people. So, I guess thats why you don’t like it.

  • YaleOrFail

    I was commenting on the general public’s view of leading global business schools from which IMD is absent.

    As far as I know, INSEAD actually has on average 500 students per class while HBS and Wharton indeed have ~1000 and >800 per class. So again, your argument doesn’t stand.

  • Nelson

    another sign you do not know what are you talking about. INSEAD spill out more than 1000 PER YEAR NOT PER SIX MONTH! they have TWO intakes per year. people who know MBA Know well that IMD is a top school and the best quality outside US! and yes IMD has ONLY 90 PER YEAR. you see it PER YEAR!!

  • semi34

    insead has two classes every year, while one class at wharton.

  • Andres

    The same happens in Latin America… only the people who did MBAs would know the MBA rankings… which is a very small % of the business population. A lot of high profile executives and wealthy families wouldn’t know any names besides Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge.

  • YaleOrFail

    I said “per class”. They have two classes per year. Those in the know all think LBS and INSEAD as top in Europe, not really IMD.

  • Nelson

    “Per Class” for wharton is different than “per class” for inseed! So, the comparison should be How many MBA the school send to the market every year! inseed send more than 1000 every year! the problem is that many “naive” applicants couldn’t see what happened to the “BOTTOM” 200 to 300 students every year and what kind of jobs they end up with! I guess it is not that good with a class of >1000. on the other hand, being one of only 90, guarantee that you will be having a full attention and you are not just a number. more than that, THE IMPORTANT POINT IS HOW RECRUITERS THE SCHOOL BRINGS TO ITS GRADUATES, no single school can beat IMD in this area…Why the top recuiters come to IMD when they already know that it is only 90 people there?! It is the BRAND QUALITY!

  • YaleOrFail

    Frankly, at every school, the bottom percentile suffers. What matters are the brand names of INSEAD and LBS. INSEAD, as I know, is a one year program so it makes sense for them to have two “classes” per year while HBS and Wharton, being two year programs, have two classes spread over two years. It seems you go to IMD. Good luck.

  • Nelson

    No, I didn’t go to IMD and not planning to do so.But I had executive education course there last year and really impressed by the “quality” of education there. You feel in every aspect, from facilities, media arrangements, courses schedule, even cleaners and restaurants there are just five stars. I really appreciate the quality in education. I hate so much mass production of the MBA degree as it certainly affects negatively the value of the degree and has not good impact on the prestige. Also, I regard highly the way IMD works in the admission process,..i.e selective, personal, intimate, and careful selection of their participants. Side info, IMD is the only top school that makes money, it generate profits out of its business! and this fact led me to the conclusion that they really know how to do business practically not just theoretically. INSEAD and LBS are good school and top tier no question about that, but for me it looks like Toyota vs Rolls Royce.. 😉 in term of one year, not really true if you offer one year then you need two intakes per year! Oxford, Cambridge, and in the US kellogg 1Y, Cornell AMBA, all offers one year mba yet they have one intake per year.

  • avivalasvegas

    Very well balanced and thoughtful response. Good luck to you!

  • YaleOrFail

    I have never heard of or come across such a crazy comparison! LBS and INSEAD = Toyota vs. IMD= Rolls Royce?! What are you smoking? You should share!

  • Nelson

    It is a metaphor . and yes, it is close to reality. I can change if you want..say VW vs Bentley. IMD is similar to Tuck, in BW ranking, it is lower than Tepper and Fuqua, but hardly to find someone choose them of Dartmouth…Tuck and IMD share many similarities.! by the way, I do not smoke.

  • YaleOrFail

    Despite your insane car comparison, I can guarantee, except extremely rare and insane occasions, nobody will choose IMD over LBS or INSEAD. I understand and agree with Tuck over Tepper and Fuqua.

  • SOMadmit

    So stoked to join the Yale SOM class of 2016, the first one to get to spend our entire two years within this epic starship building! As a Princeton undergrad, I am used to quite nice facilities and resources and look forward to more :)

  • Mr Bean

    Yeah, the guy is right, IMD is top quality, somehow above INSEAD and LBS. What matters most is the brand anyway and to create a powerful brand I guess the size matters, this doesn’t mean there aren’t big brands with a few people, but at least for B-Schools these brands are backed by mother universities. With a larger class size you create more connections, more people from your school in companies all over the world.

  • PARIA

    I think the main reason is that the flagship of IMD business is the executive education programs not the degree programs. IMD is in fact the world’s best executive education provider, and their MBA is somewhat a side business, However, yes it is a unique and excellent quality program.

  • IMnotD

    I can attest to IMD: I applied and interviewed, it’s a great school and a great culture no doubt. However, I have spoken with a number of alums from the full-time program who haven’t been able to find a job. Worse, they say recruiters often have never heard of the school. Who really cares about rankings, what we care about is will the time and effort open future doors? IMD is a phenomenal executive teaching program, lots of C-level execs take classes there. The full-time MBA, unfortunately, is designed to attract as many nationalities as possible and not necessarily the highest quality applicant pool. My personal opinion is Insead just lures high gmat scores and tries to put as many butts in the seats as possible. The only global MBA brand outside the US that holds water compared to the top US schools is LBS. Period.

  • P&Qreaders_reallynow?

    somehow I felt like the above IMD vs INSEAD/LBS talk seems like two undergrad jr/sr arguing about a school they have yet to be in. I’m probably wrong, but the internet does ‘great’ things…

  • Federal_Reserve

    that was very nice of you…than you very much..

  • Fabian

    since you have been at IMD, I’d love to have your thought on how to compare it with Cornell AMBA, the one year MBA program offered by Cornell University in Ithaca Campus. I’d like to know your opinion about those two programs? thank you in advance..

  • DukeBlueDevil

    *you’re

  • YaleOrFail

    People regard INSEAD and LBS as the top schools outside the US. Period.

  • rly?

    Hey! Still baffled by this…doesn’t quite click for me because they’re top 1 or 2 in every area they play in (UG, law, med, env) except MGMT! I am applying to SOM and really do hope I get in, but their cross-admit with anyone in, say, top 10 isn’t favorable, let alone dominant. I just don’t see it. What’s your industry that it’s fast tracked you so severely? Are you sure you can attribute it to SOM – I see it if Healthcare…Thanks!

  • Fede65

    compared to Cornell , IMD is away better and more prestigious for both two and accelerated MBAs.

  • IvyAddict

    cornell is an ivy league and very prestigious university, just like Harvard and Yale. IMD is an executive short courses institute. no question, Cornell is away better …

  • Suzliz

    When can we get some Yale SOM vs. other top school comparisons published on p&q? Those are super helpful, thanks!

  • OpenEyes

    Not true at all. I went to IMD and 80% of my classmates who applied to INSEAD got in. Those who applied to LBS got in and chose IMD. People who get in to IMD go to IMD. In my year, 5 went to Mckinsey, 5 samsung, 3 google, 3 siemens, 2 bain, 2 jnj, 2 hilti, 2 amazon, etc. List goes on. Highly doubt other schools can match the recruiting that goes on at IMD.

  • JohnAByrne

    Thanks for sharing those details. Will be very helpful to our readers.

  • OpenEyes

    Another tidbit too while we’re on the subject. In case people forgot, IMD was ranked in the top in the late ’00s; in fact, it was ranked #1 in the world rankings by FT, I believe. Yes, new schools came in and shook up the rankings a bit, but the old stalwarts back then are still hanging around the top (or near top) today…except IMD. Guess what? Many of the IMD professors who were around back when IMD ruled the rankings know exactly why it slipped to its current position, as does the new director. His strategy will turn the program around, I guarantee it. John, you might want to prep yourself because the IMD turnaround story will be one you’ll want to watch.

  • JohnAByrne

    IMD is a great school, but it has never been ranked first by The Financial Times. In fact, the best rank it has ever achieved in the FT global MBA ranking is 11th place. It has been as low as 19 (in 2013). See the FT’s historical rankings here:

    http://poetsandquants.com/2012/04/23/financial-times-historical-mba-rankings/

    And the last two years here:

    http://poetsandquants.com/2014/01/26/harvard-retains-no-1-ft-rank/

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