The Yale School of Management dropped eight places in a national ranking released this week by BusinessWeek magazine, but University officials said the survey is an anomaly and cited other polls this year in which the SOM has risen.
The SOM was ranked 22nd in the BusinessWeek study, landing behind prestigious business schools at Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as business schools at public universities such as Indiana and Purdue, among others. Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School, which has ranked first for at least the last four years, held on to the top spot.
In the poll, which the magazine releases every two years, Yale’s SOM fell eight places from its 14th-place rank in 2002.
SOM Dean Jeffrey Garten said Wednesday he does not think the BusinessWeek poll is as reliable as others, such as the Wall Street Journal or Forbes Magazine studies.
“This is the only poll that places so much emphasis on surveys,” Garten said.
The BusinessWeek rankings were based upon three separate categories: feedback from recruiters, students’ feedback, and the school’s ‘intellectual capability,’ according to the magazine. The standings are primarily determined by the results of a 46-question survey the magazine conducted on the Internet.
As Yale’s SOM fell in the BusinessWeek poll, the Wharton School at Pennsylvania rose two places to occupy the third spot this year, and the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University moved from 11th in 2002 to seventh this year.
Although Northwestern consistently places high on national rankings, school officials said they did not make a concerted effort to sway the results.
Northwestern spokeswoman Peggy King said the school does not put too much emphasis on its ranking.
“We just view the rankings as one measure of our success,” King said. “In large part our success in really due to the students, our exception faculty, our alumni network and all our partners around the world.”
At Yale, SOM Director of Admissions Ann Coyle said the school’s decline in the rankings is an aberration. She said the SOM climbed four places from the 10th to sixth in a Wall Street Journal study.
“We have actually seen a consistent climb in the rankings in recent years,” Coyle said.
Garten said the polls were a deviation from the norm and said that one must look at overall trends, not annual markers, in order to judge how a business school is doing.
“In the past five years, we have been moving up in nearly over all of them,” Garten said. “Our standing overall is really quite good.”
He said rankings in general do not accurately measure the SOM’s strengths.
“There is no way they can measure the vibrancy of our learning environment or the diversity of our student body,” Garten said.
Coyle said the rankings have not kept the SOM from attracting applicants.
“I think a lot of what happens here is independent of the rankings, the number of people who apply has more to do with the momentum we have going and positive changes we have made,” Coyle said.
Although the rocky economy has led to a sharp decline in application statistics nationally, the SOM only saw a 4 percent decrease in applications last year, Coyle said.
“We actually had a very good year last year relative to our peers,” Coyle said. “All of the tops schools saw signs of a decrease in applicants from previous years admissions, some as much as 25 percent.”