Dean Of The Year: The Three-Peat Change Agent

Yale School of Management Dean Edward 'Ted' Snyder

Yale School of Management Dean Edward ‘Ted’ Snyder

Yale SOIt is not an overstatement to say that when Yale University announced that Edward ‘Ted’ Snyder would become the new dean of its School of Managment expectations were extaordinarily high. After all, Snyder would be coming to his position with two successful deanships already behind him, at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the University of Virgina’s Darden School of Business.

Just four and one-half years into the job at SOM, Snyder has not merely met those high expectations. He has clearly surpassed them. On virtually every single metric of quality—from application volume and average class GMAT scores to MBA rankings and starting compensation for graduates—Yale SOM can boast major improvements. For bringing Yale SOM new prestige and prominence, the 62-year-old Snyder has been named Dean of the Year by Poets&Quants. It is an honor that has been bestowed on only four other business school deans since 2001.

The facts speak volumes on his accomplishment. This year’s entering class of 326 students—up from just 231 when Snyder took over—claimed a class average GMAT of 721, up two points on the previous year. the school’s acceptance rate has dropped three full percentage points to 20.7% from 23.7% in 2014. And for the first time since Poets&Quants has been ranking the top MBA programs, Yale became a Top Ten U.S. school this year, up from a rank of 14th when Synder arrived. indeed, the school’s rankings from The Financial Times, Bloomberg Business, and The Economist have all substantially improved in the past five years. It also helped that Snyder opened the doors to a new $243 million ultra-modern home for the business school, once scattered among several creaky mansions on campus.


Mostly, however, the school’s gains have come from a major repositioning as a business school that is more deeply connected to its home university and one that is the most global of the U.S. business schools. “We had a big global brand at the university level, but not at the school level,” says Snyder. “The organizing idea was to move us as far away as possible from a standalone business school. Being at Yale made that relatively easy, and that was the big idea coming in.”

The full embrace of all that Yale University offers has worked like a charm. The most recent academic year saw some 1,030 non-business school students come to SOM to take electives, while as many as 900 MBA students went out to take courses at other Yale schools and departments. Some 72% of SOM students now take at least one course outside Yale, and SOM is reserving 10% of the seats in elective classes for students from such Yale schools as law, medicine, public health, divinity and drama.

Most notably, Snyder has led the development of the first global network of top business schools, a group that leverages faculty and students across 25 countries. The latest school to join the network is UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, giving the group a strong West Coast presence in the dynamic Bay Area. Snyder also introduced a one-year Master of Advanced Management degree for graduates of the Global Network for Advanced Management.  This later program gives SOM a far more global flavor than it would ever have had, putting an extra 65 graduate business students on campus each year.


The changes have made the school far more attractive. After a massive 24.8% increase in applications to its MBA program last year, the school says that the number of candidates in this year’s round one pool rose by 29%. “What’s driving the increase is the clarity of our strategy, the new building, better rankings and job placement, but also the activation of the global network,” says Snyder, who is now going through the reappointment process.

His previous experience helped. Coming in, he knew he had to have more firepower at the top so he recruited two highly accomplished deans from Wharton and IE Business School in Spain, respectively Anjani Jain and David Bach. As senior associate deans, Jain runs the MBA program, while Bach leads executive MBA and global programs. Both of them could just as easily serve as business school deans themselves.

But their agreement to work selflessly as a team with Snyder has allowed the triumvirate to accomplish far more than otherwise would be possible. Asked if the trio have any disagreements, Bach says the arrangement has worked well. “Ted starts every conversation thanking people,” he says. “A lot of what we’ve done benefits from each other’s areas. In nearly four years, we haven’t had a single conflict.”

  • Sonya

    Agree 100%. I had multiple friends that turned down HBS (5 of them turned down HBS), Wharton & Booth for Yale (no scholarship $) this cycle. The Yale brand is powerful, especially in China/Korea. Yale SOM will be #1 or #2 in USNews next year, mark my words.

  • red

    Kindly define Top 10 School.

  • red

    “No one cares about an MBA unless its from an M7 or Tuck/Yale”

    OOOOH, really???
    I turned down 4 M7 schools, including Peen-Wharton, for Berkeley-Haas, and I think I certainly made tje right choice.
    I never applied to Yale, though I could have been rejected if I did, but I couldn’t care less if it had happened, because I don’t think I will be considering of attending Yale having a Berkeley-Haas or Wharton acceptance anaways. Besides, I’ve always knwon Yale-SOM as a good fall back school for a Top9 b-school. No pan intended.
    Peace everyone.


    It’s certainly not an easy task to have raised the class size from mid 200’s to around 330, while raising GMATs and lowering the admit rate. For those who bicker that SOM is following in the footsteps of other schools–hence not differentiating itself–there is a reason the top M7 schools follow a certain pattern/strategy that other schools cannot just “copy. The more applicants, the better talent, the better talent, the better job prospects, which likely means higher salaries. More successful alumni means the school has more money to raise funds from, which leads to better facilities, more money to hire the best faculty, more scholarships, etc.

  • Guest

    Yale University students are protesting its mental health policies again after a business school student suffering from depression was expelled when he missed his required course load by a half credit.

    Grant Mao, a former student at Yale’s School of Management, fell short of the requirements to stay enrolled last spring after, among other things, his fiancée broke off their engagement and his mother suffered a heart attack. Mao says he was struggling with clinical depression, which made it impossible for him to complete assignments. He says he presented documentation of the diagnosis to Yale, but was turned away.

    He appealed the decision and lost. Now Mao is helping to lead a growing movement of students who demand that the school change its approach to mental health problems—and allow him to continue his studies.

    “I don’t think my experience is unique,” Mao said. “This is a big issue at Yale. I don’t want what happens to me to happen to anyone else.” In fighting his expulsion, Mao has teamed with the Graduate Employees & Students Organization—a group seeking to be formally recognized as a union of graduate teaching assistants at Yale. On Dec. 8, Mao and fellow students delivered a petition demanding his reinstatement and staged a rally outside the School of Management. The same day, the union filed a collective grievance—including a list of specific demands for improvements in psychological care—stressing what it called inadequacies in mental health services at Yale. They complained of long waits for students wanting to meet with a therapist, the limited time students say they can spend with mental health professionals, and the loss of medical coverage when students take a leave of absence.

    This isn’t the first time Yale students have criticized the university for how it handles mental health. Earlier this year, they publicly demanded the administration do more to support students suffering from depression after a student died in an apparent suicide. In April, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway announced several changes to university policies that were intended to make it easier for students suffering from mental health problems to take a temporary leave of absence.

    In the case of Mao, Anjani Jain, an associate dean of Yale’s MBA program, confirmed he was no longer enrolled at the business school but declined to offer any more details, citing confidentiality.

    Mao, who is Chinese, says he experienced deep culture shock the moment he set foot on Yale’s New Haven, Conn., campus in the fall of 2014. Over the next few months, things would get even more unbearable, he says.

    First his fiancée broke it off. Then, in December, his mother fell ill. Mao was unable to fall asleep at night, and when he did, he slept for only short periods. That left him exhausted during the day, adding to a growing reluctance to leave his room for activities that involved interacting with other people, including going to class.

    Mao says he spoke with officials at the School of Management in January, explaining that he wasn’t handling his mother’s condition well and that the stress of applying for summer internships was making things worse. He says he was never offered psychiatric help.

    Jain said the school tells every MBA candidate about “psychological counseling and mental health resources” during a mandatory orientation at the beginning of the year.

    “The reason I chose Yale is that Yale School of Management was known for nonprofit and social business,” says Mao. “I naively thought they cared about society, that they cared about people, that they cared about their students. But my experience didn’t tell me anything about that.”

  • Guest

    Yale Triggers Protests After Expelling Depressed Student

    Article on Bloomberg worthy of notice

  • C. Taylor

    Thanks, and no problem.

  • aeom

    To be honest, I don’t think this is an incredible achievement. Please comment if you think I am wrong. (No feelings attached, I just want to discuss how this can happen and how much a difference one person can make)

    1. Chicago and Yale are both prestigious schools already itself. So there is no issue with its name and brand, which I believe is one of the main factors a person would look at when they choose a school. For this, Ted doesn’t need to overcome.

    2. GMATs and GPAs, since all top 20 schools have relatively strong candidates who are applying, he could easily choose the ones with good looking stats -> GMAT and GPA. In many countries, especially China and India, where applicants have high scores (eg: getting a 760 but still going to a 15-30 ranked school happens frequently) but have less competitive working background, interpersonal skills and essays. These are the people the school would target.

    3. Many finance background candidates already have a high salary compared to industry candidates and the pay will likely rise after the degree is granted.

    A good combination of Brand name + High GMATs/GPAs + Salary will contribute to a better rank.

    Please let me know if you believe there is something else unique about Ted’s strategies, I would really like to share it with the faculty from my school.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Sonny Tai

    This is a blog, not NPR. Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

  • Sonny Tai

    You should be proud of your school and your accomplishments. Getting into and graduating from a Top 20 MBA is a great accomplishment and provides employment prospects that place you in the top 5% of young Americans. Don’t bother feeding the troll, you don’t owe him an explanation.

  • Sonny Tai

    Considering that a Top 20-25 school such as Emory University’s Goizueta has a job placement rate of 97% to lead all business schools, and a median first year pay package of around 120k or so, such institutions clearly still provide value to its graduates. Your argument has no merit. I can only hope that you are not actually an HBS alum and simply are a wannabe running his mouth on an online forum.

  • Sonny Tai

    That was the rudest comment I have ever read on here, clearly uncalled for and untrue. Go away.

  • JohnAByrne

    Thanks for reminding our readers to put rankings into some perspective. Your advice is right on.

  • C. Taylor

    Don’t get so hung up on rankings. But while we’re on the topic . . .

    Movement of one or two places doesn’t mean much and is even normal. Stern’s been ranked ten or eleven since ’07 on USN. It gradually moved from upper teens to mid teens to low teens to where it is now, ten or eleven. I could go over the other rankings covered by P&Q but they cumulatively tell a supporting story. Don’t agonize over which school to attend based on rankings.

    Rankings are imperfect gauges based on metrics which shift around and don’t tell the whole story, if they are even related. You need to understand the underlying data and what that means for you. Average GMAT scores and acceptance rates, for instance, represent student demand for a program’s brand–not necessarily better programs.

    Look at which programs are best at moving people with your background into the jobs you seek with the compensation you desire. Then figure out which one manages this in the way best suited to you.

  • Objectivity

    Thank you for your prompt reply…..I don’t think we will ever get an answer on why you choose to push certain schools and not other… as you prefer.

  • We have always moderated comments and the system blocks any comment using obscene language. We also take out personal attacks on readers–but not myself. So tell all us what your beef is with Yale and who you are. You certainly know who I am.

  • Objectivity

    Well John,

    a) you have blocked (put a moderating tool) your website
    given the fact that “apparently” some of the comments are objective and not to your advantage (your never reply with a clear
    answer) Perhaps they speak the truth…???? Think about it.

    b) 99% of the writers stay anonymous so your request has
    no base

    c) The insults from other writers have basically no
    effect and completely miss the point

    d) I don’t think my comments are offensive as many others
    have written worse things which I don’t deem interesting

    e) You can’t deny that you constantly write about certain
    schools (Yale#1) and provide little coverage on many others

    f) It’s funny that you blocked your website and reply
    only to the comments you deem necessary…..see a)

    g) Will you publish this one or will you block it as you
    have blocked others?

    h) Be objective thanks

  • Orange 1

    Used to be #10 USN. Now tied for #11 with Yale sure to pass it, which means it goes to #12 or #13. BW ranking not even top 20.

  • C. Taylor

    It has not. Even if it had, it would not necessarily be of concern.

  • Orange 1

    Then why does Stern keep going down in the rankings by a spot or two?

  • AGreaterInterest

    Agreed, but that sure is some sour grapes! And Cornell is a really solid program anyway with a bright potential future. If anything Yale SOMs success should show Cornell that upside exists for well-branded schools that work at it…

  • Orange

    I’m pretty sure he has some allegiance to Cornell’s MBA program based on some of his prior posts. Seems like sour grapes that a rival program is surging…..

  • B. Wana Mia, IV

    You made the right choice before you read the article: Yale is Yale. Good luck.

  • C. Taylor

    Stern is solid. Study, learn, progress.

  • AGreaterInterest

    But what if your school is ranked top 10 in 1 or 2 rankings but top 15 to 20 in several others and so hat it is a consensus top to 15 -20 ranking but not absolute? Since you are the expert witness here – should I/we still just believe we are worthless or is there any glimmer of Hope for us poor souls who could not do better?

  • RolMikeIn

    I choose Yale SOM (w/$) over Booth and CBS. This article made me feel like I made the right choice!

  • HBS18883

    Almost everyone I know at a real business school would rather continue to work than go to anything outside of T10 schools. Saying you go to top 20 school means nothing, it may as well be top 1000. Getting into the 20th ranked business school is as easy as getting into the school ranked 1001. They should vet kids like this from even posting, their insight is not valued.

  • orange1

    You have no proof, and spew false accusations without posting a name. You have no integrity and are probably a loser troll (Objectivity)

  • JohnAByrne

    Your comments are offensive and without merit. Why not show a little courage and tell us who you are and why you feel the way you do about Yale?

  • AGreaterInterest

    Thanks for the insight. Incidentally, I clearly stated that the man has talent beyond my simply stated steps.
    Many schools would take these steps if they had the resources to Weather a few years of lost revenue from initial drops in enrollment due to raising gmats and lowering acceptance rates.
    Also, it is nice of you to have resolved the top 15 to 20 ranking puzzle for so many who debate such things. Great to know they are online equivalents and this from a master source. Case closed I suppose. Cheers!

  • NervousWhartonGrad

    Wow apps up 30% in round 1! Last year they were up 25% year before. Yale SOM is actually on pace to have more apps than Columbia, Booth etc with much lower acceptance rate. Now they have higher avg. grad salary, employment %….is it possible they climb higher than anticipated?

    John is it possible they supplant an M7?

  • HBS18883

    AGreaterInterest….if its so simple and straightforward why doesn’t every program do the same thing?

    Congrads on being at a top 20 program…anything after top 15 might as well be an online program. Acceptance rates are over 50% and no one cares about an MBA unless its from an M7 or Tuck/yale

  • Objectivity

    As largely anticipated dear John you are overselling this school and apparently you are way too biased towards Yale…. Every other article is about this school and you are clearly demonstrating that you are sold to it…. It’s a real pity and following all of my posts on your website you have clearly confirmed once again that you lack credibility and are basically being paid by these institutions… the new year comes around look at yourself in the mirror and think about these words and how they can affect your long gone integrity……… Happy 2016 John! You are sold!!!!

  • C. Taylor

    No one has a monopoly on these concepts. I’d imagine those seers in your program would be more than willing to set you on a relevant course of study. Truly wonderful stuff.

    As ’tis the season, à ta santé, l’ami!

  • T10 Bound By Being Basic

    I think from the profiles of an earlier article SOM is looking to raise its stats with scholarships and bat an eye for Ivy UG. Nothing against the strategy but it’s a pretty basic formula. I haven’t looked at the employment report but my guess is you’ll see a higher number going into banking and consulting as well to raise up those starting salaries. I think SOM will have a solid place in the T10 amongst the M7/Tuck/Haas albeit by relaxing it’s social sector presence for more traditional (initial) career paths.

  • AGreaterInterest

    If you say so – right…
    You sound a bit more like a brochure for the school though in my opinion than an actual business school prospect. Lot of good b-school stuff here too: core values and value proposition. Nice.

  • C. Taylor

    Looks like he identifies core values/strengths and reorients the MBA program around better delivering on them in the present and future. This is where alumni make donations and newly designed buildings come in. Note the related change in admissions strategy. The article does a good job of articulating his impact.

    Yale has certainly advanced its value proposition under Snyder.

  • AGreaterInterest

    Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale. Snyder, Snyder, Snyder, Snyder. Congrats to Yale and I am certainly envious on the one hand as my top 20 school has not had the same momentum/success.

    However, I ask readers and not just the Yale folks congratulating themselves, on this thread what is truly new and original here? Snyder’s formula was also used at Chicago and Virginia. I mean congratulations but what is truly original here versus just playing to the system the way it wishes to be played. Seems more like a successful Investor Relations strategy that gives Mr. Market what it think it wants versus any true game changing philosophy.

    Hire Snyder and get the Snyder formula.
    1) Raise GMAT scores
    2) Cut admit rates
    3) Rankings organizations reward the higher prestige measurements with a better ranking
    4) Build a new building
    5) Await praise and accolades from P&Q and other industry participants
    6) Gain student interest

    Clearly the man has talent beyond these simply stated steps, but again what is truly original or authentic here?

    Still – the formula appears to work, but it is a formula.


  • HaterAlert

    no …no…he is actually the man.

  • YaleGirlly

    As a current student it is so nice knowing this man is at the helm. He is guiding this school nicely into its deserved Top Ten placement.

  • JonasClark

    Quite the contrary – Nick is a fantastic person as well as a superb teacher and a world-class researcher.

  • MBA prof

    True favs. (autocorrect)

  • MBA prof

    I’m an associate prof at Yale and I can say that we love Nick. He’s one of the true fans here, as a researcher and teacher. He’s world class.

  • Barbara Coward

    What an impressive leader and a fascinating look at the connection between internal/external partnerships and enrollment growth. Thank you for an insightful article.

  • OhDenny

    Agreed with Dan. Nick is hilarious, generous, and nearly-universally loved by SOMers. You’ll likely hear nothing but a full-throated defense from us.

    Good luck with your applications!

  • Daniel Kent

    On the contrary, Nicky B is a delightful professor and one of my favorite professors at SOM.

  • Sergio Hidalgo Bronfman

    I am a proud 2015 Alumni from Yale SOM. Can’t find words to thank Mr. Snyder’s and David Bach’s hard work and commitment, building one of the strongest Business (Management) Schools in the world. A strong mission, a clear strategy and a true passion for excellence are paying off.

  • Nick R

    Nicholas Barberis sounds insufferable.

  • linacosta6135

    BFT< There are correlations between stock indices such as the Dow Jones and the Nikkei which are positively correlated. So if you were confident that the Dow Jones index would rise you would buy a Dow Jones “Call,” and, as the Nikkei index was positively correlated with the Dow Jones, you could also buy a Nikkei “Call” option. In addition, the Nikkei index is positively correlated with the USD/YEN currency pair so if you were confident that the Nikkei index was falling, you could buy a Nikkei “Put” option and buy a USD/YEN “Put” as well.

    official site this link,—-►

  • Econ Takin Over

    Curious why you see most bschool professors (and later deans) coming with a PhD in Econ vs a business discipline. Thoughts?


    Well deserved merit!!! Glad SOM is receiving its highly over-due recognition. Its mission, down to earth/tight-knit student body, and campus (the SOM building, and larger Yale campus), are unparalleled. It’s only uphill from here 🙂

  • tenderX-MBA-watch


    Happy new year. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you the best of the best, personally and professionally. You are a great man.