National student opinion recognizes Neeley School of Business

National recognition can say a lot about a university or academic program, but when results are based on favorable student opinion, the attention is worth even more, a Neeley School of Business official said.

The university was honored in October 2009 by Entrepreneur magazine as part of its book “Best 301 Business Schools: 2010 Edition.” The Princeton Review tallied those findings as part of its “Student Opinion Honors for Business Schools” to create a list of the top-15 schools in the U.S. and Canada based on area of emphasis, according to the Princeton Review Web site.

Programs recognized included accounting, finance, general management, global management and marketing and operations, known at the university as supply chain management, according to the site.

Bill Cron, associate dean of graduate programs and professor of marketing, said he thought this honor was more valuable because it was based on student opinion.

“They’re the ones we’re trying to help evolve to where they become more valuable to companies and to start thinking of themselves differently,” Cron said of the students. “When the question is asked if we’ve made a difference, who better to answer than the students?”

The poll surveyed 19,000 MBA students and asked them about classroom and campus experiences. Other programs in the top-15 included University of California, Berkeley, University of Virginia and the Mountain West Conference’s own University of Utah. The survey recognized a total of more than 80 schools.

Cron said the honor was especially important because the future of the MBA program is going to rest on three disciplines: finance, marketing and supply chain management. Having one of those recognized nationally will help to attract more students and the best professors, he said.

“Those three areas will account for 80 to 90 percent of our MBA students,” he said. “I think the demand for supply chain people is only going to go up, and our being ranked in there as one of the best programs is only going to help us.”

Two new professors are expected to join the supply chain management department in the fall semester, Cron said.

Kenny Adedeji, a graduate student with a focus in supply chain management, said he thinks the university and his professors were more than deserving of the honor.

Adedeji, who came to the university from Nigeria, said the professors have made his transition to America much easier than he anticipated.

“It was my first time in the U.S. last year, and everyone has been so nice to me,” he said. “People ask me if I get nervous because Texas is so big, and I say ‘no’ because TCU is making it fun for me.”

Charles Lamb, department chair of information systems and supply and value chain management and professor of marketing, said he was very proud of the way the faculty worked with students to enhance the learning experience. This was a major reason, he said, why the school was so well represented in the survey.

However, working with students was just one reason why the supply chain management program did so well, Lamb said. Program staff and faculty also made a habit of asking employers what they can do to improve and stay up-to-date in the current job market.

“Our faculty focuses on keeping our program very relevant to business and focusing on giving our students exactly those tools to be successful,” Lamb said. “Making sure the program is evolving will attract more students.”