Earlier this week, Bloomberg BusinessWeek released its 2012 ranking of “The Best Undergraduate Business Schools.”  The publication ranked 124 colleges that met stringent quality criteria using 5 measures, including survey responses of more than 28,000 graduating seniors at top schools and a poll of undergraduate recruiters. Babson ranked 34 overall.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek also calculated letter grades on teaching quality, facilities and services, and job placement based on a student survey. Babson rated an A+ for teaching quality. Combined with a top 20 ranking for overall student satisfaction, this shows our students’ appreciation for the excellence of their Babson living/learning experience. The decline year over year however from an A to a B for job placement indicates an opportunity to further strengthen relationships with recruiters.

Relatedly, a significant change in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s employer survey methodology impacted Babson negatively while allowing other schools to see large gains in the recruiter ranking section. We are working to deconstruct the dimensions of this change and its impact so that we can then take appropriate actions to improve our future position in ways that advance our undergraduate program. I have plans to travel to New York shortly to hopefully meet with the publication to assist  in our understanding of this process.

Most regrettably, we have discovered that a data point that lowered our academic quality and overall ranking was an incorrectly reported student/faculty ratio – conveyed by us as 32:1 in lieu of 22:1. We have been in conversation with the publication to rectify the information and while they will not adjust the reported rankings, they have agreed to update our profile listing.

We are disappointed by the ranking and frankly, perplexed by the new methodology and results. Despite this, we acknowledge the importance of key rankings as an indicator in the marketplace and are therefore committed to better understanding the data. We have a long history of top rankings and expect that our entrepreneurial approach in analyzing them will lead to our return to the same high standard within this BusinessWeek ranking we have enjoyed in recent years. We also understand however that our success is not defined by the rankings but instead by the incredible impact our students, faculty, staff, and alumni have on campus and in organizations of all types and sizes around the world.

We will share more as we learn more. In the meantime, thank you for all that you do to define the success of our incredible school.

Best Wishes,
Dennis Hanno

The complete list of the top undergraduate business schools as ranked by Bloomberg BusinessWeek can be found at: www.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/ugtable_3-20.html. For more on the methodology visit: www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-20/how-we-ranked-the-schools.