Archive for March 26th, 2012

MBA Rankings: A 10 year perspective … and, some surprises.

March 26, 2012

There has been a lot of talk around here about the MBA school rankings.

Typically, the conversation revolves around the changes – up or down – from the last rankings.

I got curious … wanted to see the landscape change over a longer-term … and picked a 10-year time horizon of the Business Week rankings – 2000 to 2010.

My going-in hypothesis was that there would be heavy inertia … that the top slots would be occupied by the usual suspects.

And, I expected schools to show relatively little movement up or down.

Here’s what I found …

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13 MBA programs held their top 30 positions – plus or minus a spot or two – in 2000 and 2010:


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6 MBA programs that were in the 2000 Top 30  improved their position by 6 or more spots between 2000 and 2010:

  • UC Berkeley had the sharpest rise … 10 spots to #8
  • Univ. of Chicago (my alma mater) had the most impressive gain … “only” 9 spots since they couldn’t do better than taking over the #1 ranking
  • Stanford cracked the Top 10 by moving up 6 spots.


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Surprising (to me), there are 6 MBA programs that weren’t in the Top 30 in 2000 and that broke into the 2010 Top 10 … 5 just made it into the Top 30 … a proud accomplishment, but one that pales in comparison with SMU … SMU came out of nowhere – unranked as late as 2004 – and soared to #12 in 2010.


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Of course, if there are winners, there must be losers.

5 MBA programs dropped a whopping 15 places or more from 2000 to 2010.


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Another 6 MBA programs dropped 5 spots between 2000 to 2010.

  • 5 of the programs stayed in the Top 30 despite their skids
  • Cornell and MIT-Sloan dropped out of the Top 10
  • Unfortunately, my beloved Georgetown’s slip was enough to lose Top 30 status.  (Don’t worry, we’ll be back …)


Source: Business Week – 2000 & 2010 MBA Rankings

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In subsequent posts we’ll drill down to “why?” and “so what?”

Stay tuned.

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Once mighty AOL now selling off its patents … ouch!

March 26, 2012

Punch line: AOL has hired Evercore Partners to help it shop around its patent portfolio in hopes of offsetting lost dial-up business and  “accelerating shareholder value creation.”

Meanwhile, Facebook has acquired around 750 patents from IBM in order to “bolster the social network’s defenses against litigious rivals”.

Excerpted from: CNET: AOL, lacking better options, hires firm to sell its patents

Citing three people with knowledge of the hire, Bloomberg says AOL tapped Evercore to find a buyer for more than 800 patents and to “explore other strategic options” — code for a possible sale or private buyout of the entire company.

Last December, AOL announced plans to reorganize the company, combining its declining dial-up Internet service business and its Web services arm, the latter of which was recently scaled back with layoffs in the Instant Messenger group.

AOL has previously said it’s looking for ways to raise cash from its patent portfolio and is making efforts to “accelerate shareholder value creation.”

AOL’s move follows Facebook’s acquisition of some 750 patents from IBM, a deal made to bolster the social network’s defenses against litigious rivals.  Facebook has been targeted by Yahoo for allegedly infringing on a number of its patents that cover customization and advertising.

Easy to pile on AOL for its strategic mis-steps over the years (e.g. hanging with the “walled garden” too long, failing to find a way to migrate to high-speed internet service), but gotta give the company credit for its role in the Internet explosion.

And, in a timely fashion, the original owners dumped the bag on Time-Warner … walking away with a fortune …

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