Harvard | Mr. Upward Trajectory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Fish
GRE 327, GPA 3.733
Harvard | Mr. Italian In Tokyo
GMAT (710-740), GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Community Impact
GMAT 690, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Blockchain
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Digital Health
GMAT 720, GPA 3.48
Wharton | Mr. Colombian M7 Deferral
GMAT 710, GPA 3.84
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Healthcare Geek
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
IMD | Mr. Gap Year To IMD
GMAT 660, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. Brazilian Banker
GMAT 600, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3

Can “Ted” Snyder Work His Magic On Yale’s School of Management?

Departing Booth School of Business Dean Ted Snyder

Ever since Yale University launched its School of Organization and Management in 1976, the place has been something of an unconventional business school. Its founders envisioned a school that would be small, communal, unorthodox, and steeped in theory and research, able to groom leaders for both business as well as the public and non-profit sectors.

But the decision to create not another me-too business school has had some unintended consequences. For years, Yale’s School of Management has unsuccessfully battled the misperception that it is merely a school of non-profit management, a haven for do-gooders outside the MBA mainstream. And despite basking in the halo of one of the world’s most valuable educational brands, the school has never been able to develop the stature of any of its Ivy League rivals.

Enter Edward “Ted” Snyder, the 58-year-old veteran dean who signed on as SOM’s new leader last fall. He arrived with extraordinarily high expectations. “I like what I do so I don’t feel pressure,” says the soft-spoken Snyder. “I feel really good about the prospects here. I’ve been at business school deaning for awhile so it gives me the credibility to say, ‘Folks, this is what we face.’”

Snyder is more than just another dean in a hot seat. Having served as dean at two other major business schools—the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia–he’s something of a business school physician. He worked magic at Chicago’s Booth School of Business, bringing in the largest gift to any business school ever–$300 million—nearly doubling the school’s endowed professorships, tripling scholarship assistance, and moving Chicago to number one in BusinessWeek’s influential rankings.

THE SCHOOL IS UNDER-FUNDED AND UNDER-MARKETED

After seven months at Yale, what’s his diagnosis? Snyder believes the school has been under-funded and under-marketed. There’s been too little effort devoted to leveraging the university’s formidable brand, no advertising budget, and mediocre scholarship support to get the best students. The small size of the school has made it difficult to gain critical mass, so that its alumni network isn’t as strong as it should be and many corporate recruiters find the MBA pool too small to fish in. And like most other U.S. schools, SOM lags in getting up to speed on globalization.

A good comparison is with Cornell University’s Johnson School, a similarly sized Ivy League institution. Although SOM’s $536 million endowment is more than three times the size of the endowment at the Johnson School, its annual operating budget is roughly the same: about $60 million. If Yale spent at the same ratio of endowment to budget as Cornell, SOM’s operating budget would be more than triple its current outlays. That money could be spent to improve the quality and the size of its faculty, to provide a more sizable support staff, to fund more scholarships to entice the best applicants, and to more aggressively promote Yale’s positioning via marketing and advertising.

Cornell’s money, moreover, has been put to better use over the years. Both the school’s faculty and career services office regularly outperform Yale’s in student satisfaction surveys. And Cornell has consistently outperformed Yale in several key MBA rankings, especially the BusinessWeek list, which currently places Yale at a rank of 21st vs. Cornell at 13th.

‘WE’RE PLAYING WITH A BB GUN WHEN SOME SCHOOLS HAVE BAZOOKAS.’

Another problem. Yale is woefully behind in scholarship funds to get the best talent in the door. Currently, SOM has a scholarship kitty equal to 6% of its gross tuition. That comes to less than $1.5 million. Harvard Business School, by comparison, doles out $28 million annually in scholarships, accounting for 30% of its gross tuition. Vanderbilt University’s Owen School, with nearly 100 fewer full-time MBAs than Yale, is providing $3.9 million in scholarship support this year, equivalent to 26% of its gross tuition. Concedes Bruce DelMonico, head of admissions, “We’re playing with a BB gun when some schools have bazookas.” The result: more than half of the applicants accepted to SOM turn it down, partly because they are also applying to more higher ranked schools that accept them.

All that said, Snyder is starting off with some very strong assets, including the Yale brand, a modern MBA curriculum launched four years ago, a new $222 million home for the school that will open late this year, as well as a handful of faculty stars and exceptional students who come to SOM with highly impressive credentials not all that dissimilar from the MBA candidates at Harvard, Columbia, Wharton, Dartmouth and Cornell.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.