U.S. News Ranking: The Deans Respond

S. Selcuk Erenguc (Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Programs), University of Florida (Hough) (Rose 1 Index Point) 

“This ranking reflects the notable achievements of our first-rate students, talented faculty and devoted MBA staff.”

Our Take: Achievement? You dropped 5 spots! Don’t schools stop giving awards for participation after 8th grade? Then again, maybe he’s sending a message (or just trying to change the subject).

Sarah Neher (Associate Dean for Admissions) University of Virginia (Darden) (Rose 1 spot)

“What’s different for business schools is that there are five [important] rankings, and U.S. News is just one of them. When we put the five together it tells us something about how we compare…As long as we feel like we’re the best teaching school, we’re fine being 11. But in The Economist we’re number 4 in the world … [and] they use a lot of teaching metrics.”

Our Take: So there! Take that! Darden defends its turf: ‘We’re a teaching school, first-and-foremost. If you don’t value teaching, we could care less about your ranking. And if you do, we’ll be happy to cite your ranking.’ One thing: Comparing five rankings is like building the Tower of Babel. Trust us on that one.

Kerry Healey (President), Babson (Olin) (#65)

This continued success reflects the commitment of the Babson community to educate and prepare entrepreneurial leaders who create economic and social value everywhere.”

Our Take: What else can she say? Babson has been the top entrepreneurship program for 21 straight years! When you’re the best, you don’t need to say much.

Rajeev Tyagi (Interim Dean), U.C.-Irvine (Merage), (Rose 4 Spots)

“The rise in GPA of our incoming students and the ability to be more selective in our acceptance rate are indicators of our momentum and the rigors of our programs. We are also receiving positive reinforcement from recruiter assessments which, along with rises in salary and bonus rates for our graduating students, is driving a continued positive impact on our rankings.”

Our Take: Tyagi takes a page from Cincinnati’s Symanski’s playbook: ‘Our rankings are rising because we’re enrolling less riff-raff than previous years. As a result, our program has grown more rigorous.’ Take heart, Merage alums. At least these new students are making your MBAs more valuable, in theory at least.

Edward Watson (MBA Program Director), Louisiana State (Dropped 6 Spots) 

We did not have the splash factor of the new Business Education Complex opening, like last year, to influence peer review factors. Given the nature of this market, we held up extremely well.”

Our Take: Just what any stakeholder wants to hear: ‘Last year was based off a gimmick’ and ‘It could be worse.’ Now, that’s salesmanship! Just one question: What’s in the pipeline to influence the peer review next year?

Dean M. Moshe Porat, Temple (Fox) (Rose 10 Spots)

“The Fox School’s continued ascent in national and international rankings is affirmation by the marketplace of our high-quality programs, but we will not rest on our laurels. As always, we want to keep Fox on the forefront of management training and are accomplishing this by focusing on competency-based education that emphasizes cross boundaries – in terms of disciplines, cultures and much more.”

Our Take: Top 50? Not too shabby. And the allusion to Adam Smith’s ‘hidden hand’ is a nice touch. You have to respect Porat’s emphasis on pushing onward and upward. As he’ll realize, getting into the top 50 is actually easier than staying there.

Dean Eli Jones, Arkansas (Walton) (#55)

“At a time when general public sentiment is that college graduates are struggling to get jobs, it is especially gratifying to know that Walton graduates are not only securing careers, they are getting a higher starting pay, on average, than past years. This reflects the powerful connectivity we have to corporations and is a testament to the work of our outstanding faculty, staff and students.”

Our Take: It’s all about jobs and pay. And Jones is hitting all the right notes, alluding to opportunities for internships and experience.  Despite a 92% placement rate within three months of graduation, Walton still needs to work on that $64,664 starting salary though.

  • Matt

    I have been seeing a lot more about Mendoza lately. I can’t say what it is but something intangible really attracts me to that program. Maybe it’s all the talk about integrity and whatnot. Also obviously the reputation of Notre Dame in general.

  • Agreed

    He’s even got a “could care less” in this article. A personal pet peeve.

  • Phil V

    Roger Huang is the dean of Notre Dame … excuse me … he is the “Martin J. Gillen Dean AND the Kenneth R. Meyer Professor of Global Investment Management” quite the title I know, but yeah you have it wrong in the article

  • MitEngineer


    It is funny how elitist P’s&Q’s can be for a site that constantly makes grammatical mistakes, has an alternative agenda and writes headlines as pure “click-bait.” The standards at this website are just too low. No one is clamoring for the latest rambling of why #14 school fell to #16. Take the time and get it right I say. Additionally, to have Sandy Kriesberg (sp?) on here as a resource, but to then have him pitching his service all the time is just a conflict of interest. In short realist…you should expect this kind of behavior.

  • Grant

    Agree. The article is not in the theme of the others on this site. In general I see people call out the nay-sayers in the comments section. If our community doesn’t tolerate it from users, why should we tolerate it from the P&Q staff?

  • Realist

    Meant to write “as obnoxious as”

  • Realist

    Jeff, I am fortunate to have been an alumnus of two top business schools (ranked higher than almost all the schools listed here), but I am disappointed with your elitist attitude. Many of these schools are part of public universities with relatively limited endowments and funding. Realistically, these schools do the best they can based on a second-tier student population and resources. Granted, some schools seem to have the PR down better than others, but I think your responses were just as obnoxious than the sheer inanity of hyper focus to the B-School rankings. I personally would rather the schools use the resources they allocate to maximizing their rankings and give it back to student and faculty resources.

  • Duke Alumnus

    I thought Darden was 12th last year. Now they’re 11th so wouldn’t thise be a 1 point rise?