SOM climbs to ninth spot



The Yale School of Management has risen to become the ninth-best business school in the world according to a survey released Monday by the Financial Times — a welcome announcement for a school that is pushing to cultivate a reputation for global excellence.

In its 2005 worldwide M.B.A. survey, the international newspaper ranked the SOM ninth, tied with New York University’s Stern School of Business and behind the Harvard School of Business and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, which tied for first place. Yale leapfrogged four spots since last year, when the Financial Times ranked it 13th. When only compared to business schools in the United States, Yale’s SOM fared even better this year by placing seventh.

SOM Dean Jeffrey Garten said he was pleased with the results, but emphasized that this ranking is just one example of the SOM’s recent rise in national and international rankings. Notably, the SOM climbed four places from 10th to sixth in a Wall Street Journal study and was ranked fifth in the country by Forbes Magazine last year.

“The faculty has set some very major goals and one of the goals was to make this a real center for learning — not just a job machine, but a place where people get the skills and ideas that will put them into great stead later on in their careers,” Garten said.

The SOM fell eight places in an October report released by BusinessWeek.

The Financial Times ranked the schools based on career progress and employment after three months, aims achieved, value for money and alumni recommendations.

“The Financial Times is the most significant of all the rankings,” Garten said, noting that global business leaders tend to be loyal readers of the newspaper. “I think it has the reputation of being the most thoughtful of all the daily business press.”

Garten said the SOM does not pay attention to individual rankings, but rather evaluates general trends in multiple rankings. Still, he said the Financial Times ranking is especially noteworthy because it measures the percentage increase in salary for graduates in the three years after they earn an M.B.A.

Yale SOM graduates had the highest average salary jump in the Financial Times report with a salary increase of about 174 percent.

The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, which consistently ranks high on national and international surveys, dropped two places in the Financial Times report since last year from fourth to sixth.

A spokesperson for Chicago, Allan Friedman, said that although the school’s leaders have not yet analyzed exactly why Chicago fell this year, they are not convinced the drop represents a broad trend.

“We don’t run our school based on rankings,” Friedman said.

Yale also kept pace with its peers in the percentage of female faculty and students at business schools. The faculty of the SOM is 13 percent female, while women make up 34 percent of the student body, according to the Financial Times report.

SOM professor Heather Tookes said the number of women in business schools around the country seems to be improving, but that Yale has a better track record than most schools.

“Yale has done particularly well in that area,” Tookes said.

The SOM has made a concerted effort to attract more female students, Garten said.

“We have a really tough female faculty here,” he said. “I would say the best of any business school in the world, and they will have a significant impact in drawing females.”

SOM Admissions Director Anne Coyle said a high ranking will likely boost the quality or quantity of applicants to the school.

“We hope that many of our prospective applicants are reading the Financial Times,” Coyle said. “We do not want to live by the rankings because you can die by them, but we are always happy when a ranking like this confirms what we already believed.”

Garten, for one, is hoping to build on the momentum from the Financial Times rankings.

“We do better and better,” Garten said. “Our ultimate goal should really be to be in the top five everywhere, all the time, and I believe we are on course for that.”

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