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Mendoza climbs in rankings

Aaron Steiner | Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Mendoza College of Business moved up one spot in BusinessWeek’s annual survey of undergraduate business programs, according to the rankings in the latest edition of the magazine available on newsstands yesterday.

Now second only to the University of Virginia, Notre Dame’s program was ranked third last year, seventh in 2007 and third in 2006.

Since being ranked third, the College of Business adopted the slogan “No. 3. We’re not done yet.” Now, Dean Carolyn Woo said the phrase changes slightly.

“Our new statement is … ‘Now No. 2, still not through,'” she said. Woo said that while she can appreciate the rankings, “we’re not actually striving for No. 1.”

“It’s about striving for excellence,” she said. “It’s about challenging our students.”

The new rankings reflect the uncertainty many students feel in the job market, according the BusinessWeek report. The article stated that 54 percent of seniors surveyed did not have a job offer as of January, and schools that excelled in the rankings – including Notre Dame – put strong emphasis on job placement.

At Notre Dame, according to the report, “administrators tap the school’s well-connected alumni network to scout jobs and offer advice to students.”

Woo said while the ranking only applies to the College of Business, she credits the entire University with the College’s success, specifically noting services provided by the Career Center.

“It’s all of these areas that allow us to successful and I’m grateful,” Woo said.

The report also said Notre Dame scored better on the student survey this year, which counts for 30 percent of the final ranking.

The College received an “A+” grade in the three areas of Teaching Quality, Facilities and Service and Job Placement.

The report – and the BusinessWeek reports of previous years – lists “a focus on ethics” as a unique feature of a Notre Dame business education.

Woo cautioned that just because the College is consistently recognized for this focus, “it doesn’t mean that we should pat ourselves on the back.”

“We have to step up and live our values, not just know them,” Woo said.

Woo credited the students in the College of Business as being a primary reason for the College’s success in the rankings.

“It’s by their hard work and the reputation they earn us we succeed,” she said.

She did offer one bit of advice to students.

“Be humble,” she said. “I think that everybody should be pleased and proud, but know that the journey never ends.”

This is the fourth year BusinessWeek has compiled rankings.

The magazine uses nine measures to determine the rankings, including surveys, senior business majors and recruiters, median starting salaries for graduates, SAT scores, student-faculty ratios, class size, the percentage of students with internships and the number of hours students devote to class work.