Neeley School of Business MBA program ranks No. 18

The M.J. Neeley School of Business’ MBA program was ranked No. 18 among regional programs in the nation and was the highest ranked Texas school in The Wall Street Journal Guide to Top Business Schools.The Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive conducted a survey that asked corporate recruiters and any other people who are familiar with the students and have an objective opinion to evaluate MBA programs, said Shirley Rasberry, director of graduate career services.

The recruiters rate the MBA programs on 20 different school and student attributes, Rasberry said. The key things the survey considers are if the recruiters plan to return to the schools and if they plan on hiring students from that school in the future.

TCU is considered a regional school in the survey because it tends to attract recruiters from this region, rather than national recruiters, Rasberry said.

No Texas schools were considered national schools, schools that attract many national recruiters, by The Wall Street Journal.

This ranking is the only one that is solely based on feedback from recruiters.

Dan Short, dean of the business school, said it is a great idea to solicit opinions from the recruiters, who are the customers.

“Of all of the rankings, the one that comes from the customer, will probably be the most important one,” Short said.

He said rankings are important because the school receives visibility, publicity and credibility. But he said he does not like to focus on the rankings.

“Rankings capture part of the story, but not the full story,” Short said.

Isela Rodriguez, a second-year MBA student in the business school, did not get her bachelor’s degree from TCU. She said when she was looking for a graduate school, she did look at rankings, but agreed with Short.

“It was part of the package, but not the No. 1 thing,” Rodriguez said.

The recruiters rate the schools on certain criteria, but Short said he will not let the criteria guide the vision of the business school.

“We’re not looking at the criteria,” he said. “We’re looking at the business world and how we can make our students more successful.”

Short said the vision of the business school is to fully prepare TCU students for the future, focusing on the individual. With small class sizes and communication between professors and students, the focus is on the individual.

Peggy Conway, director of admissions for Neeley graduate programs, said full-time enrollment has dropped significantly since 2002, following a national trend. Despite fewer applicants, she said the MBA program continues to attract high quality students with competitive GMAT scores, which is reflected by The Wall Street Journal rankings.