THE BUZZ ON B-SCHOOL RANKINGS
The BUSINESS WEEK ranking of B-schools is the only one with any meaning for MBA students ("The best B-schools," Cover Story, Oct. 21). When the University of Chicago dropped five spots in the recent list, the university's administration called an emergency meeting to discuss student concerns. Over half of the students attended.
As a second-year University of Chicago student, I agree with the ranking. As the article indicates, students considering Chicago, which was ranked eighth overall, must be prepared for poor administration and a weak placement office. The survey also shows, however, that graduates of Chicago's MBA program have the best finance skills, as judged by recruiters.
When studying the rankings, the serious reader should look past the first page--the overall rankings--for the truest picture of the MBA world.
University of Chicago
I feel compelled to express how materialistic and superficial I find your survey. Like anything else in life, business school is what one makes of it, whether attending No.1 or No.100. Business school is not about rankings and corporate recruiters. You do an injustice to all the students, faculty, and deans of every school who did not make your "short list."
Scott M. Beber
Class of '97
J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management
Congratulations on adding return-on-investment data to your business school issue. That gives prospective MBA students another piece of useful information for choosing a school. But your assumption of 10% post-MBA annual salary growth for all schools is too conservative. While doing research for a book in 1994, I found that post-MBA annual salary growth during the first five years after graduation varies greatly, ranging from about 10% for lesser-known schools to nearly 30% for the best schools. It averages about 19% for the schools in the BUSINESS WEEK survey.
The bottom line is that an MBA degree from a quality program is even better than the article indicates.
Ronald N. Yeaple
William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
University of Rochester
Why not seek out a few lesser-known but equally competent business schools around the country? Much to my dismay, I never read in your ratings about any small, progressive, less expensive college and universities.
I graduated from Point Park College in Pittsburgh in 1990 with a masters in international business management. While my school is small, I was able to gain the knowledge I needed for the real world of international business and start a company overseas. Please, BUSINESS WEEK, leave the best-and-worst lists to Mr. Blackwell.
Dina Al-Hifidh Arpaciogullari
You dismiss tenure, saying it is "not the only way to foster free inquiry" ("Tenure: An idea whose time has gone," Commentary, Oct. 21). But you do not specify a better way.
The long experience of the American Association of University Professors, since its founding by John Dewey, the great philosopher and educator, indicates tenure is the single most crucial guarantor of free speech, due process, and academic freedom for teachers and professors.
In an imperfect world with varied and frequent attacks against teachers--ever since the case of Socrates and the hemlock--tenure has proved to be the optimum policy to address a critical social problem.
Your commentary on university tenure reflects only a partial understanding of the system. Tenure may pose some problems, but so do constitutional guarantees of free speech--which most editors guard fiercely, and properly so. If tenure is up for discussion, why not consider administrator performance as well?
Karl O. Magnusen
College of Business,
Florida International University
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