This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson looks at the thriving industry of elite business schools and finds out how Yale missed out.
During the M.B.A. gold rush of the past three decades, the Yale School of Management accomplished the unthinkable. As the number of prospective business-school candidates shot up to more than 750,000 a year and tuition payments cleared $100,000, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago and other schools hired star faculty members, built gleaming buildings, established themselves as global brands and brought in tens (and sometimes hundreds) of millions in profits to their universities each year. Meanwhile, Yale somehow lost money.
Specifically, Yale "lost $15 to $20 million over the last 15 years," says Edward Snyder, the new dean of the Yale School of Management. It remained small (400 students), maintained an unusually low student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1 (most top schools are closer to 20 to 1) and offered only limited versions of some of its industry's most lucrative products (like part-time and executive M.B.A.'s). Most significantly it developed a reputation as a bastion of socially minded do-gooders who were less focused on maximizing profit. According to Bloomberg Businessweek's latest rankings of the top M.B.A. programs, Yale placed 21st, right behind Michigan State.
Read the full column to learn how successful business schools have become major businesses themselves.