The annual Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive survey of the world’s top business schools ranked the Simon Graduate School of Business fourth out of 51 schools in its regional category. The results of the survey were published in a special section of the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 17.

This ranking represents a rise from sixth on the list in the 2006 survey; in 2005, Simon was ranked 17th. The 2007 survey also ranked Simon Business ninth in finance.

“We’re real proud of it,” Dean of the Simon School Mark Zupan said. “It’s incumbent on us to stay focused on the fundamentals: recruiting good people (whether it’s faculty or students), what goes in their curriculum, and making sure that their career progression meets with our highest possible expectations. That said, we’re very pleased with this latest news. We want to keep with our University motto, Meliora-ever better.”

The rankings are organized into three categories: national, regional and international. These categories are grouped according to which schools share corporate recruiters. The groupings were created by a multivariate analysis.

Recruiters include company employees and managers, human-resources professionals and independent consultants. The survey was given in the form of an online survey to 4,430 recruiters between Dec. 19, 2006 and March 23, 2007 regarding 185 leading U.S. schools and 79 non-U.S. schools. Recruiters are asked to rate schools on 21 attributes. Among these, recruiters say that interpersonal and communication skills, teamwork orientation, personal ethics and integrity, analytical and problem-solving abilities and strong work ethic are the most important Perception of the school on the 21 attributes is one of three elements that determine the rankings. The others are

supportive behavior – plans to recruit from the school and hire its graduates – and finally mass appeal, which for national and regional schools means the number of recruiters who reported that they recruit from a particular school.

The 2007 Wall Street Journal rankings list the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University in Utah as number one among regional schools, with the business schools at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Ohio State University following as second and third. Schools listed shortly after the Simon Graduate School of Business in the ranking include Indiana University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University and Michigan State. The full Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive survey rankings can be viewed online at

The Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive survey ranking is the latest instance of Simon’s long-established pattern of placing among top schools, particularly over the past few decades. Other recent sources of recognition include the Financial Times of London, which ranked Simon 38th among the world’s business schools and fifth for finance, Business Week, the U.S. News and World Report and Forbes. Simon also traditionally performs excellently in finance and accounting and is highly praised for return on investment. This last statistic measures the overall monetary gain that students at the school earn as a result of their studies.

“The Simon School is clearly recognized as a world leader in finance and accounting, but what I feel really sets our students apart from other business schools is the problem solving skills developed from our economics-based curriculum,” Executive Director of MBA Admissions and Administration at Simon Business Greg MacDonald said. “Recruiters hiring our graduates routinely say that Simon students are among the best at solving business problems, which is obviously a skill in high demand in any industry. This lends itself to the strong ROI rankings that Simon is known for around the world.”

Zupan said that Simon produces problem-solvers through a fact- and economics-based framework that continually receives positive feedback on annual surveys of the students. He also spoke about what sets Simon apart from other schools.

“We have provided a greater sense of personalization to the classes than any leading school. We’re the smallest school in the top tier of all the privates,” he said.

Zupan commented that Simon is also distinguished from other business schools by its innovative spirit. One example of this is the Early Leaders Case Competition. The competition invites undergraduate students to participate in a simulation of cases like those that business leaders find themselves dealing with every day. Originally an idea from the Simon faculty, it is now being copied by Harvard Business School because of its success. The 2007 competition will take place on Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10; the registration deadline is Oct. 15.

The Simon School was established under the University President W. Allen Wallis in 1964. Since that time, it has worked hard to cultivate an international reputation for excellence. This year’s Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive survey proves that this reputation is still growing. Its continued rise is embodied by Zupan’s academic and business philosophy.

“The future is the margin that matters,” he said.

Ahsan is a member of the class of 2011.

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