8. Biggest Jump In Ranking? Case Western’s Weatherhead School of Management
There’s no doubt that Case Western University’s Weatherhead School boasts the most interesting home for a business school in the world. Designed by Gehry Partners, the Peter B. Lewis building features a novel stainless steel surface that resembles an undulating, unbroken ribbon. The decentralized design is intended to facilitate informal interaction among faculty and students.
But that’s really old news. The big news today is that no school rose higher on the U.S. News list than Weatherhead–at least among the full-time MBA programs that had been ranked last year. Weathered jumped 22 places to rank just outside the Top 50 at 55th, after placing 77th a year ago.
This is a school that seems to go up and down with nearly every ranking. In 2015, the school was ranked 63rd by U.S. News. The following year in 2016 it fell to 71 before dropping to 77 last year. Now it’s back to an even higher place at 55th. The challenge for Weatherhead will be to build on this much improved ranking next year and avoid the usual yo-yo routine.
9. U.S. News Updates Its Ranking Methodology
Ranking methodologies rarely stay static. They evolve over time, often quietly and without notice. That’s partly because small changes can have big effects. This year, U.S. News made note of several changes to the way it ranks schools.
This year for the first time, MBA programs that received fewer than a total of 10 recruiter and company contact ratings in the three most recent years of recruiter survey results received the lowest score in this indicator achieved by any ranked MBA program for the purposes of calculating the rankings. These MBA programs display an “N/A” instead of a recruiter assessment score.
This year MBA programs that reported that less than 50% of their full-time fall 2017 entering students submitted average GMAT scores and average GRE quantitative and verbal scores received less credit for those test scores in the rankings.
This is how U.S. News explains the impact: “Specifically, their weighted percentile distributions were adjusted downward by the proportion of the percentage of the student body that submitted test scores in relation to the 50% threshold. For example, if 25% of the entering class submitted test scores, then the test scores were reduced in value in the ranking model by 50%t. For the purposes of determining the proportion of full-time fall 2017 entering students with scores, the percentage submitting GMAT and GRE were totaled.”
The change is unlikely to impact the more highly ranked schools where 100% of the enrolled students submitted a GMAT or GRE score to get in. But it could play a role in second- and third-tier schools that sometimes waive the standardized test for some students.
10. Missing In Action: Temple University’s Fox School of Business
Only last year, the full-time MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business in Philadelphia ranked 32nd in the country, up nine places from a year earlier. This time around Temple doesn’t make the list at all. That’s because the school withdrew from U.S. News’ full- and part-time MBA rankings in the immediate aftermath of a rankings scandal.
In January, U.S. News tossed the No. 1 ranked online MBA program at Fox School of Business off its ranking for misreporting critical GMAT data used in its methodology. The school had initially reported that 100% of the students in the latest incoming class submitted GMAT scores to get into the program. In fact, the school acknowledged that only 19.6% submitted GMAT scores.
When the school hired the law firm of Jones Day in early February to conduct what it called a comprehensive review of its business school’s rankings data and processes, it decided to bow out of the other rankings, potentially a signal that there could be problems with the data the school had already submitted.