The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration fell from 29th to 42nd in a ranking of business schools by the Financial Times this year.

The recent drop in ranking has left the school’s administration largely unconcerned because they believe the overall quality of the school has been maintained. A place in the Financial Times’ top 100 is an honor earned consistently by the school.

Dean of the Simon School Charles Plosser said in a press release, “While we continue to work hard to do as well as we can in the many rankings published by the media, we will stay focused on our major objectives, which are to provide our students with the highest quality management education possible, to support them in achieving their career goals and to promote an intellectual environment that fosters research and the creation of new knowledge that provides the very foundation of management education.”

Other school officials agree with Plosser. “We’re not worried,” said Director of Public Affairs at the Simon School George Tomczyk.

“The only worry we have is the amount of faith people put in the rankings. Parameters change and the message changes each year.”

Criteria used by the Financial Times in compiling these rankings include the possibility of career progression, diversity of experience and quality of research at each school.

“We do not know at this time what the major contributing factor was to the disparity between the results,” Plosser said.

“About 50 percent of the 2002 rankings depend on survey results from the classes of 1996, 1997, 1998 and we know that the Financial Times made some changes in the way they calculated a number of the measures,” Plosser said.

“However, it is my view that the school has significantly improved in the last year,” Plosser said.

Enrollment at the Simon School has remained fairly consistent over past years. The school graduated 235 from the class of 2001, and for the 2001-2002 school year, 185 spots were open in September, with an additional 65 for January.

Of the 1,431 individuals who applied for admission for the class of 2004, 32 percent of Simon applicants were admitted. The average undergraduate GPA has also remained stable between 3.15 and 3.21, and average GMAT scores have remained in the 640-650 range.

All of these numbers aside, the Simon School remains at the top of both national and international business school rankings.

Besides placing 42nd in the Financial Times survey for its MBA program, the school ranked fifth for finance in the same review, 26th in the United States among top business schools by U.S. News & World Report, and 27th by the Wall Street Journal.

“We have no control over the rankings,” Tomczyk said. “We are still among the top business schools in the world.”

“We always like to do better in the surveys, but the reality is that the pollsters change their criteria and methodology we will be buffeted by ups and downs that are, to some extent, beyond our control,” Plosser said.

Both Plosser and Tomczyk only look toward upcoming classes and surveys. “I think we will be higher in the future,” Tomczyk said.

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