The Owen community has enjoyed a remarkable 2012. In March, after the school climbed to #25 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual MBA rankings, I mentioned then that it reflected a momentum that has continued to gather strength throughout the year. Indeed it has. Several weeks ago, Bloomberg Businessweek’s biannual MBA rankings also placed Vanderbilt at #25, marking the second-highest increase of any school on the list.
Although rankings fluctuate from year to year, Owen achieved these latest placements at least in part by aligning school improvement efforts in a way that would also enhance our standing in various rankings.
Through one-of-a-kind offerings like the Leadership Development Program, Immersion Week, expanded opportunities for global travel and learning and increased resources in the Walker Management Library, student satisfaction has reached some of its highest levels in recent years. And the Career Management Center has worked diligently to find jobs for Vanderbilt graduate management talent with initiatives like increased on-campus recruiting and career treks focused on sectors such as energy, finance, health care and technology. These efforts have led to unprecedented opportunities for students and hiring organizations alike.
In addition, we broadened our faculty and staff talent with several exciting new hires this year. We also added a high-tech classroom equipped with audio and video capabilities designed to facilitate distance learning, along with several other needed building renovations. And after more than a year working with a top branding agency and key stakeholders at Owen, we have developed a striking new series of advertisements and promotional materials that captures the school’s intellectual vibrancy and collaborative nature, while clearly differentiating us from competitors.
Meanwhile, a record number of alumni are reconnecting to Owen through a variety of volunteer opportunities, helping create an ever-stronger network of mentors and peers.
I’m heartened to see our hard work reflected in the most recent rankings. In the latest Bloomberg Businessweek survey, for example, we rightly notched a full slate of “A” grades in career services, teaching quality, critical thinking, leadership skills and caliber of classmates.
As you may have heard by now, I will be stepping down at the end of this academic year in June. Working with the entire Owen community, we have put the school on a solidly upward trajectory, primed for a new phase of growth and achievement. This isn’t goodbye (not yet), but please allow me to share with you some of the wonderful milestones Owen has reached in 2012. Click for PDF.