Thursday, March 17, 2016

NC State Jenkins MBA climbs in US News rankings

The US News rankings of graduate programs came out yesterday; NC State's Jenkins MBA had its best performance yet.  The Jenkins Professional Evening program came in #34 in the part-time rankings while the full-time program came in at #52 in the full-time rankings.  Historically both programs have been in the 60s and 70s.  Last year full-time was #70 and part-time was #103 (which was a total outlier that none of us have ever figured out).  We moved up 18 spots in the full-time ranking, the second largest move of any school.  

What happened?  On the part-time side, the deans’ assessment score increased, selectivity increased and GMAT scores increased a lot.  For full-time, recruiter assessment was up, GPA was up, selectivity increased, starting salaries were up, and placement rates were up. 

This has been a remarkable year for the Jenkins MBA in terms of external recognition.  We have been #15 for US News Online MBA, #29 for Bloomberg Businessweek Full-time MBA, and #45 for Bloomberg Part-Time MBA.  

I think the best is yet to come.  The forthcoming improvements to the curriculum will put us on the cutting edge for working professional MBAs.  We have fantastic professional staff to enrich the applicant/student experience and enhance career success.  Add these ingredients to the outstanding opportunities that our faculty provide in the classroom and our hands-on “Think and Do” attitude and we have a recipe for continued success.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jay Bilas on how to select teams for NCAA Tournament

Puzzled why mediocre teams from power conferences (I'm talking about you Vanderbilt and Syracuse) get into the NCAA men's basketball tournament while deserving teams from smaller conferences have no chance of getting in if they lose a game in their conference tournament?  

Jay Bilas, Duke alum and ESPN announcer/analyst has a plan:
  • Tournament selection committee would meet prior to the conference tournaments and rank the top 68 at-large teams. 
  • Teams that win conference tournaments receive automatic bids. If that team is not one of the 68 teams, the lowest-ranked team in the field of 68 is knocked out.
In practice this would help the best of the smaller conference teams.  Using RPI as a measure of overall team quality, they placed 28 teams in the top 68, with 40 from the power conferences.  There are about 20-25 teams that get into the conference as automatic qualifiers that would not be in the top 68 and the displaced teams would come almost equally from the big name and smaller conferences.   

Additional advantages of this approach would be (1) enhanced transparency and (2) greater emphasis on the regular season.  As a Kentucky fan who is still trying to figure out why his team could beat Texas A&M and then be seeded behind them, let's just say I am open to suggestions for improvement.