How Yale is beginning to crack into the elite B-school ranks

How Yale is beginning to crack into the elite B-school ranks Dean Ted Snyder has made it his mission to turn Yale’s business school into a truly global enterprise. The school’s recent rise in the rankings shows that his efforts are starting to pay off.

It’s an alluring morning in New Haven, Conn. Under a brilliant sun, the air is crisp and cool. The leaves on the trees are beginning to transform into a kaleidoscope of colors. And Dean Edward “Ted” Snyder of Yale University’s School of Management is strolling the halls of the school’s brand new $243 million complex.

Gathered in the lobby are a group of young people—a dozen or so prospective applicants to SOM—who are waiting for an admissions official to give them the pitch and a tour of the building, which looks so modern it could be the Starship Enterprise. Dean Snyder moseys over to the group and asks what interests them most about Yale’s School of Management.

The first and second people who answer his question make him nearly wince. One earnest-looking young man immediately says that it is the school’s non-profit slant. Another says it is the relatively small size of Yale’s MBA program, which this fall enrolled just 323 students, a little more than a third of the totals at Harvard, Columbia, Wharton, Kellogg, and Booth.

What Dean Snyder had hoped to hear was that these potential applicants were keen on Yale because it is, in the dean’s own words, “the most distinctively global U.S. business school.” That is, after all, what Snyder has tirelessly worked to do in repositioning the school since his arrival as dean in mid-2011. There are only two other answers that he would have preferred to hear this morning: that they’re keen to look at SOM because it is among the most integrated business schools with its home university or because it is the best source of leaders for all sectors and regions.

Those are Snyder’s three aspirations for the Yale School of Management. Becoming a truly global business school, however, has required reengineering of the school’s mission and purpose. And as the answers from the young professionals suggest, going global may well be easier than gaining recognition as global...

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