Business School Fifth in the Nation

Rank Is Lowest Ever, Wharton Gets #1

Harvard Business School (HBS) achieved its lowest rank ever in Business Week magazine's biennial ratings of America's top business schools, released this week.

According to the publication, the fifth-place finish reflects graduates' dissatisfaction with a static curriculum and unresponsive administration.

But the B-School administration didn't seem too concerned about its showing in the survey.

"We find [the ranking] interesting, because we have the highest application rate, yield, placement in jobs and average starting salary," said an HBS official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

HBS spokesperson Loretto Crane failed to return repeated phone calls asking for comment.


Other officials and faculty members contacted, including Associate Director of Admissions Jamie Miller, refused to comment.

The school earned a number-three ranking from corporate America, but was apparently pulled down overall by its 17th place ranking among its graduates.

Business Week does not base its rankings upon test scores and average starting salaries, opting instead for a two-part survey involving graduates from 44 top business schools and representatives of 254 companies that actively recruit these graduates.

According to the article, business school graduates were asked to judge their own schools on teaching quality, program content and career placement. Responding graduates answered various questions on a scale from one to 10.

For instance, the survey asks, "How would you judge the school's performance in providing you with numerous ways of thinking and approaching problems that will serve you well over the long haul?"

Harvard graduates, according to the report, were dissatisfied with the slow pace of curricular change and the "exorbitant fees" for everything from housing to case materials.

The school's administration was judged to be the least responsive of any Top 20 school. One 1994 graduate called Harvard an "archaic dinosaur."

But some current students disagreed with Business Week's results.

"I think the business school has been changing dramatically to fill the needs of the students and the business community," said first-year business student J.B. Lyon. "The administration just has not done a good enough job of publicizing the change that has occurred."

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School surged from fourth in 1992 to number one, unseating three-time champion Kellogg School at Northwestern University with what Business Week called the "most dramatic curriculum changes at any elite school."

Stanford climbed to fourth from seventh in 1992, while Dartmouth's Amos Tuck School fell to 13th from sixth

Recommended Articles