By John A. Byrne, contributor
(Poets&Quants) -- Ever since Yale University launched its School of Organization and Management in 1976, the place has been something of an unconventional business school. Its founders envisioned a school that would be small, communal, unorthodox, and steeped in theory and research, able to groom leaders for both business as well as the public and non-profit sectors.
But the decision to avoid creating another me-too business school has had some unintended consequences. For years, SOM has unsuccessfully battled the misperception that it is merely a school for non-profit management, a haven for do-gooders outside the MBA mainstream. And despite basking in the glow of one of the world's most valuable educational brands, the school has never been able to develop the stature of any of its Ivy League rivals.
Enter Edward "Ted" Snyder, the 58-year-old veteran dean who signed on as SOM's new leader last fall. He arrived with extraordinarily high expectations. "I like what I do so I don't feel pressure," says the soft-spoken Snyder. "I feel really good about the prospects here. I've been at business school deaning for awhile so it gives me the credibility to say, 'Folks, this is what we face.'"
Snyder is more than just another dean in a hot seat. Having served as dean at two other major business schools -- the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia -- he's something of a business school physician. He worked magic at Chicago's Booth School of Business, bringing in the largest gift to any business school ever -- $300 million -- nearly doubling the school's endowed professorships, tripling scholarship assistance, and moving Chicago to the very top of BusinessWeek's influential rankings.
What's the matter with Yale?
After seven months at Yale, what's his diagnosis?
Snyder believes the school has been under-funded and under-marketed. There's been too little effort devoted to leveraging the university's formidable brand, no advertising budget, and mediocre scholarship support to get the best students. The small size of the school has made it difficult to gain critical mass, so its alumni network isn't as strong as it should be and many corporate recruiters find the MBA pool too small to fish in.
And, like most other U.S. schools, SOM lags in getting up to speed on globalization.
A good comparison is Cornell University's Johnson School, a similarly sized Ivy League institution. Although SOM's $536 million endowment is more than three times the size of the endowment at the Johnson School, its annual operating budget is roughly the same: about $60 million. If Yale spent at the same ratio of endowment to budget as Cornell, SOM's operating budget would be more than triple its current outlays. That money could be spent to improve the quality and size of its faculty, to provide a more sizable support staff, to fund more scholarships to entice the best applicants, and to more aggressively promote Yale's strengths via marketing and advertising.
Cornell's money, moreover, has been put to better use over the years. Both the school's faculty and career services office regularly outperform Yale's in student satisfaction surveys. And Cornell has consistently outperformed Yale in several key MBA rankings, especially the BusinessWeek list, which currently ranks Yale at No. 21 versus Cornell at 13. More
Just in time for the holidays, Yale's School of Management received a $50 million donation from Ned Evans, former chairman of Macmillan Inc., capping off a banner year for donations to elite business schools.
By John A. Byrne, contributor
(poetsandquants.com) -- Santa Claus came early to Yale's School of Management this year.
The former chairman of publishing house Macmillan Inc. pledged a $50 million gift to Yale's School of Management to help MOREDec 20, 2010 3:51 PM ET
|McDonald's gives Charles Ramsey free food for a year|
|Doomsday investors betting on market crash|
|Where your donation dollars go|
|The 'chicken poop' credit and other bad tax breaks|
|Exclusive: Better Place to file for bankruptcy|