Bloomberg Businessweek Undergraduate Business School rankings were released online Tuesday morning, and the Robins School of Business fell 30 places from No. 16 to No. 46. In response to the fall in rankings, Nancy Bagranoff, Robins School of Business dean, and Jim Monks, the associate dean of undergraduate business programs, sent emails to business school students.

Students received Monks's email on Tuesday, April 19:

Dear Robins School of Business Students:

The Bloomberg Businessweek Undergraduate Business School rankings were released online this morning. As expected, we did not fare as well as in previous years. The new methodology employed by Bloomberg no longer even considers Academic Quality as a criterion in determining the rankings (and we used to be ranked 2nd in this area), and places significantly more weight on the Employer Survey results. We have never scored well on the Employer Survey as many of our top employers refuse to participate. This has placed us at a real disadvantage. This year we were ranked 24th in the student survey (35% of the weight in the final ranking), 23rd in average starting salaries (15% weight), and 26th in the percent of students with internships (10% weight). Our Employer Survey ranking was 85th(40% weight). This is not a reflection of our employers’ actual level of satisfaction with our graduates, but rather a reflection of our employers’ reluctance to rate and rank the various schools from which they hire students. Overall, we came in ranked 46th in the Bloomberg Businessweek undergraduate business school rankings.

Bloomberg has informed us that this will be the last year that they will rank undergraduate business and part-time MBA programs. Clearly, they too are unhappy with the results.

Best,

Jim Monks

Students received Bagranoff's email on Wednesday, April 20:

Robins School Students -

I know that some of you have voiced concern about the recently released Bloomberg Businessweek rankings. While we understand the disappointment associated with this ranking, we want you to know that the movement in the ranking is entirely related to a methodological change by Bloomberg and does not reflect substantively any change whatsoever in the high quality of a Robins School education here at the University of Richmond. Other programs across the nation saw similarly dramatic changes in their ranking due to the change in Bloomberg’s methodology.

We were very disappointed when Bloomberg decided to remove Academic Quality as a component of the ranking as this is where we have always excelled. The new ranking resulted in a number of curious inconsistencies and these are being noted in the media and in many conversations following the release of the rankings. Interestingly, before the rankings were even released, Bloomberg announced that it had decided to end their annual ranking of business schools.

Our employers highly value our students, a point that is powerfully demonstrated in our very high placement rates with many of the most selective employers. We remain committed to providing an outstanding business education that will continue to compel business employers to seek our graduates for prestigious internships and jobs. You can be very proud of your school for many reasons, not least of which is you - our highly talented and well respected student body!

We will include information about the ranking and the change this year in our next newsletter to parents and alumni. We want to be sure everyone is aware that this one-time survey has not changed who we are or what we do. In the coming weeks I look forward to celebrating commencement and the many other accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff. This is a joyous period in an academic year. Please, as always, feel free to let me know of any concerns or suggestions you may have so that we can continue to provide you with the high quality business education for which we are so well known.

Nancy A. Bagranoff, Dean and Professor of Accounting

Bloomberg announced that this would be the last year that it would rank undergraduate business schools and MBA programs.

Contact managing editor Lindsay Schneider at lindsay.schneider@richmond.edu

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Collegian.

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