School of Business rank not altered by e-mail

Business Week ranked GW’s undergraduate business school 51 out of 96 schools in 2008. The jump – two-notches higher than last year’s rank – was not significant enough that magazine officials considered it tainted by a suggestive e-mail sent by the school to its seniors last year.

In November, School of Business deans Susan Phillips and Larry Singleton sent an e-mail to all seniors encouraging them to participate in Business Week’s student survey, reminding them that the survey influence’s the school’s rank and that the rankings affect the value of their degrees.

“I think originally I was kind of upset that that whole issue had occurred because I thought that it would somehow convince students to respond in a more positive way than they would otherwise,” Business Week Staff Editor Geoff Gloecker said. “As that came in, we kept a close eye on GW’s responses to make sure nothing was out of whack compared to last year and the year before.”

The student survey, which asks students what they think about several areas of the program, counts for 30 percent of the school’s overall ranking. Last year, GW was ranked 53 out of 93 schools. Two years ago, in its first year ranking undergraduate business schools, the magazine ranked GW 41 out of 61 schools.

About 170 students, or 44 percent of School of Business seniors, completed the survey. The national average was 28 percent student participation in the survey, including schools with low response rates. If a school does not receive a certain level of responses, they are not considered for the rankings.

Gloecker said, “We have two professors from a local university to look over the data once it comes in to make sure that there are not huge jumps negatively or positively. If there happened to be a big jump in the positive direction, I told Larry Singleton that we might remove them from the ranking this year.”

Teaching quality this year got an “A,” a category that was given a “C” in 2007. The facilities and service grade stayed at the same “B” score.

GW was given a “C” for job placement, down from a “B” last year. But Gilbert Yancey, executive director of the F. David Fowler Career Center at the School of Business, who was recruited in February of last year to help improve career services, pointed to the school’s more impressive recruiter rankings.

Business Week’s career-related rankings have “improved leaps and bounds from last years when SoB was ranked 90 out of 93 for career services and this year is ranked 54 out of 96,” he said, referring to the school’s recruiter ranking, which count sfor 20 percent of the total score.

These rankings were formulated by polling 618 corporate recruiters about which schools they think have the best curricula and career services. Thirty-nine percent of recruiters responded.

The magazine reported that of the 88 percent of GW seniors seeking full-time employment in business, 39 percent received their first job offer by graduation and 56 percent did not report having accepted a job offer.

Senior Dan Magness, who did not fill out the survey because he “did not know about it,” said about a quarter of his friends who searched for jobs were offered jobs.

The number of jobs business students are interviewing for increased by 69 percent between 2006 and 2007, and the number of GWork internship postings has increased 120 percent, Yancey said. The school recently partnered with Lee Hecht Harrison, a global career management firm to provide specialized career services. He added that innovations in career services will have even more of an effect in a few years.

Yancey said, “We have an aggressive push to change and promote our needs in the market place, and to see SoB as a source of top talent in the marketplace.”

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