The UW Foster School of Business has seen a decline in status, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The publication’s recent ranking, based on “measures of student satisfaction, post-graduation outcomes, and academic quality,” ranked the undergraduate business school at the UW 55th in the nation.
The ranking placed the UW within the top half of the nation’s business schools, above other institutions such as American, Syracuse, and Seattle University. But it’s not a compliment to the UW.
Amid a backdrop of budget cuts and tuition rises, the UW’s ranking has steadily declined over the last three years. It was 33rd in the nation in 2010.
Despite this, Douglas L. MacLachlan, UW chair of marketing and international business and professor of marketing, believes that Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2012 rankings are “bizarre,” arguing that a lot of it is due to the “reputation of the university in general.”
MacLachlan said that even though University of California Berkeley’s department is rated higher, he doesn’t believe that this is justified.
“[University of California] Berkeley’s business department is no better than ours. … Recruiters have found that our students can perform at the same level,” MacLachlan said. “The problem is that students pay attention to rankings.”
MacLachlan said that despite the ranking, he believes the Foster School of Business has been very successful over the last three years.
“Our research has improved in quality and quantity with the hiring of people with better research skills,” he said. “We have published this in top journals.”
The Foster School of Business was committed to success, MacLachlan said.
“Our dean has emphasized the importance of the quality of students, quality of faculty, and the physical aspect (the facility),” MacLachlan said. “We will start an in-house job center this September for undergraduates.”
Business students, both majoring and pre-majoring in business, held different views regarding the current state of the business school.
Senior finance major Julie Kim disagreed with the views of Professor MacLachlan.
“The quality of teaching at the business school is moderate … depending on professors,” Kim said. “Many required classes do not have enough quiz sections.”
Kim said that during her time at the Foster School of Business things had significantly changed.
“Compared to my freshman year, a lot of resources have gone,” Kim said. “However, the rate of tuition is still fair for the resources available.”
Other students were optimistic regarding the current state of the business school. Regina Luo, a freshman pre-business major, said that she was “satisfied” with the business school.
“I chose the UW for its business program,” Luo said. “I don’t care about the ranking. I care about a platform for students to connect with entrepreneurship.”
Reach reporter Ben Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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