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Sloan Falls in Ranking

Rebecca Hitchcock -- The Tech
The Sloan School of Management dropped from ninth to 15th place in Business Week's ranking of the best business schools in the United States.

By Kristen Landino

The Sloan School of Management dropped from ninth to 15th place in Business Week's latest ranking of the best business schools in the United States.

The major reason for the drop in ranking was dissatisfaction with Sloan among both students and recruiters.

Computed on slightly different criteria than other ranking projects, Business Week's biannual ranking takes into account not only company hiring statistics but also employer and student views on the institutions.

Sloan placed ninth in 1996, 10th in 1994 and 13th in 1992.

Students responded to questions about the teaching quality, program content, and career placement of their institutions; employers rated schools based on student's skills, and the quality, as well as success rate, of graduates in their companies.

Students commented that Sloan professors hadn't integrated the curriculum well and that the school did not meet demand for some electives. In one particular semester, fewer corporate finance choices resulted in excess demand for a class taught by Professor Jeremy C. Stein which could not be met.

Also contributing to the slip was the frustration of recruiters who hoped to hire Sloan graduates based on their technological skills, but many decided not to join large corporations and instead went to start-up companies. Interim Dean Richard L. Schmalensee '65 wasn't unhappy with this, however, telling Business Week "If there's one thing you want to be unhappy about," he said, "it's when you hear I tried to hire your students and couldn't.'"

Pennsylvania again leads ranking

The University of Pennsyl-vania's Wharton School of Business retained the top spot this year, which it has held since 1994. The Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University moved up to second place from third a year ago. The University of Chicago placed third, with the University of Michigan at fourth. Harvard University's School ofBusiness, which was fourth in the last survey, placed fifth this year.

Rounding out the top ten were Columbia University, Duke University's Fuqua School, CornellUniversity's Johnson School, Stanford University, and Dartmouth University's Tuck School.

Business Week also complied data from schools on the average salaries and number of job offers of their graduates. The median pay package, including salary, bonus, stock options, and moving expenses of MBA graduates among the Top 25 ranked schools, increased by 19 percent from 1996, to $111,420.

At Sloan, graduates received an average of 3.7 job offers and ended up with an average compensation package of $130,000. Before entering Sloan, the median salary of the group of $47,000.

While recruiters complained about the absence of recruits, they continued to give Sloan high marks, with an "A"in all areas except team work, which received a "B."

Meanwhile, students ranked the school lower, giving it a "C"ranking on curriculum but a "B" ranking for placement after graduation.

Students also faulted Sloan professors for putting their research ahead of teaching.

Another component of the assessment was the length of time required for a graduate to earn back the cost of his or her education. Business Week found the University of Pittsburgh to have the fastest return rate on a student's educational investment, while Boston University was found to have one of the slowest return rates.

Business Week used the results of questionnaires from 6,020 students and 259 companies in determining its ranking.