Snyder, previously dean at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the University of Virginia’s Darden School, was recruited to Yale to gain greater recognition for its business school. He assumed the deanship of SOM in August of last year.
The losses are not entirely surprising because Yale has remained a relatively small and unambitious player in the business school market, with a high faculty-to-student ratio, a small student enrollment, and few executive education offerings. Even so, it’s somewhat shocking that the school lost that much money given the prestige of its brand during what were widely considered boom years for MBA education.
According to the story, Snyder has a five-step plan to transform a school into a leader in the field:
1. Start by focusing on the sectors where the school has strong relationships and build from there. Or, as Snyder says, ‘‘Give up the undifferentiated, multi-brass-ring strategy of best recruiters, best students, best facilities, blah, blah, blah.’’
2. Embrace a mix of faculty, particularly those with real-world experience. ‘‘You’ll still want some strong, fast-ball-discipline types in areas like economics, finance and psychology to teach how markets work and function,’’ Snyder says. ‘‘But get fewer of them.’’
3. Calculate the cost of things — any things! ‘‘Be very focused on and systematic about collecting data and sharing data with other schools around the country and the world,’’ he says. ‘‘Collect data on industries and on markets. It’s really valuable for students to do that, and you’ll make your school valuable for insight and information.’’ Extra credit: ‘‘It’s good for branding.’’
4. Offer a broader mix of programs, including part-time ones. ‘‘That’s more affordable in today’s economy and where the market at business schools is going.’’
5. Book your ticket to Gdansk! ‘‘If you’re going to be global, be selective and try to identify a less well served country like Vietnam or Poland instead of China. Pick places with young populations that don’t already have a lot of business schools.’’