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Excellence Across the Board

11/5/2009 --

Ross is now the only school in the Top 10 of BusinessWeek's rankings for executive MBA, part-time MBA, and open and custom enrollment executive education programs, as well as for full-time MBA and BBA programs. In other rankings, the school scores top marks in sustainability, leadership, and career prospects.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The latest rankings from BusinessWeek affirm that the Ross School of Business is one of the best all-around business schools in the world.

BusinessWeek has announced that the Ross School ranks among the Top 10 for its Part-time MBA Program (No. 5) and Executive MBA Program (No. 7) and for its open enrollment (No. 8) and custom enrollment (No. 10) executive education programs for 2009. The Ross School currently ranks No. 5 for its Full-time MBA Program and No. 4 for its BBA Program, according to rankings previously released by BusinessWeek.

The Ross School is currently the only business school worldwide to be rated among the Top 10 in all six of BusinessWeek's biennial rankings of business school programs.

This year marks the first year that the Ross School participated in BusinessWeek's survey of part-time programs, a ranking of nonexecutive programs throughout the United States. For the third straight time, the school is ranked in the Top 10 for its Executive MBA Program.

In executive education, the Ross School has now ranked among the Top 10 for open enrollment in eight straight surveys and improved eight spots to its No. 10 ranking this year in custom enrollment executive education.

"We've put a lot of thought into all of our academic programs, including our executive and part-time programs and executive education," says Ross School Dean Robert Dolan. "To the degree that the BusinessWeek rankings reflect the feelings of our graduates about the school, I'm thrilled. It tells us that our students find their time at Ross rewarding in the broadest sense, and that's what we aim for.

"We want our students to have a transformative educational experience that benefits them for the rest of their lives," he continues. "I think these rankings are an affirmation of our commitment to action-based learning. Students in our part-time and executive MBA programs, who are juggling their education with their current jobs, really appreciate the relevant, hands-on nature of our curriculum."

BusinessWeek's executive MBA rankings are based on surveys of EMBA graduates and program directors. Responses by graduates account for 65 percent of the final ranking, while the survey of program directors contributes 35 percent.

"One of the reasons our graduates are so high on our EMBA program is the level of personalized attention they get," says Sue Ashford, associate dean for Leadership Programming and the Executive MBA Program. "Our program is designed for executives. They receive customized leadership development and, in many cases, we're able to tie the strategy and problem-solving elements of the curriculum to challenges they face in their current positions."

BusinessWeek's rankings for part-time MBA programs are based on a 50-question student satisfaction survey and a six-part academic quality questionnaire completed by the schools. The school survey measures GMAT scores, work experience, number of tenured faculty, class size of core courses, number of electives, and program completion rates.

Paul Clyde, academic director of the Ross Part-time MBA Program, is pleased with the school's No. 5 ranking and says the addition of a new two-year Weekend format beginning in May 2010 should broaden the appeal of the Ross Part-time MBA.

"For years, we've delivered the Part-time MBA Program in an Evening format," Clyde says. "We're pleased now to be able to offer two part-time formats so students can choose how best to integrate their studies with their other commitments and responsibilities."

The core curriculum for both the Weekend and Evening formats is virtually the same. In addition, the Ross School's distinctive Multidisciplinary Action Project course is a core requirement of the Weekend format.

"In the world of part-time MBA programs, one size does not fit all," says Valerie Suslow, associate dean for degree programs at Ross. "It's important, especially during a difficult economic time throughout our region, to offer as many options as possible. Both formats offer a great general management education and draw on the Ross School's commitment to connecting business education with real business through action-based learning."

Like the part-time MBA, the one-size-fits-all model is not always the best method for executive education, either, says Melanie Barnett, chief executive of the Ross School's Executive Education program.

"Our approach to custom programs—where we co-create the initiative with the partnering company, and it becomes part of their strategy implementation rather than 'a program'—has been so well-received," Barnett says. "It was gratifying to see that pay off in a move back into the Top 10."

School Nets Top Marks from Aspen Institute, Princeton Review, and more.

In other rankings, Ross is the best business school in the United States for integrating environmental, social, and ethical issues into its MBA program, according to the Aspen Institute's 2009-10 Beyond Grey Pinstripes report. The biennial survey and ranking of business schools placed Ross at No. 2 overall. The Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto is ranked No. 1 in this year's survey. Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, which was ranked No. 1 in 2007, is ranked No. 4 this year. [See complete story.]

Meanwhile, The Princeton Review has ranked Ross No. 1 for career prospects for graduates in its "The Best 301 Business Schools: 2010 Edition." The rating measures "the confidence students have in their school's ability to lead them to fruitful employment opportunities, as well as the school's own record of having done so. Factors include comments from student surveys, assessing the efforts of the placement office, the quality of recruiting companies, level of preparation, and opportunities for off-campus projects, internships and mentorships." According to the Princeton Review, "the University of Michigan is home to a 'powerful and active alumni movement,' meaning that MBA graduates have exceptional access to career opportunities." [See complete story.]

In addition, Leadership Excellence magazine has chosen Ross as its top business school for leadership development [see complete story], and Ross professor C.K. Prahalad once again tops CrainerDearlove's "Thinkers 50" list of the Most Influential Business Thinkers. In 2007, Prahalad also placed No. 1 on the biennial ranking of the Top 50 management thought leaders worldwide. [See complete story.] Prahalad is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Wharton School Publishing).



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu