IUS Business School nationally ranked

IUS Horizon

IU Southeast’s School of Business received national rankings from the Princeton Review based on student surveys solicited by the review.

The School of Business’ Master of Business Administration program has been ranked in the Princeton Review’s Graduate Business School Guide as one of the “Best 296 Business Schools” in the 2009 edition.

However, in the 2009 edition of the review IU Southeast also ranked fifth in “Best Classroom Experience” coming in ahead of schools such as the Harvard Business School and University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

“We are very pleased to be recognized by external entities that recognize we have a quality program,” Jay White, dean of the School of Business, said.

Unlike the 2007 Business Week ranking where IU Southeast came in at 18th overall and third in the region, the Princeton Review does not rank schools by overall performance.

The review uses surveys from 19,000 students from business schools across the nation that meets the review’s criteria for excellence and from data from school administrators to choose the best 296 schools in the nation.

Then the schools are ranked from one to ten in 11 different categories according to student responses on the surveys.

“The review does not believe there is a best school overall. They believe there is a best business school for the individual,” White said.

According to the review, students said IU Southeast offers the best combination of cost and quality of education while still being close to home and the faculty were knowledgeable, caring and very accessible outside of class.

Kathryn Erntsberger, professor of business administration, said the faculty as a whole thought they were doing a good job educating their students, but it is another thing for a well-respected external resource to say they’re doing it well.

“I don’t think people know the caliber of students that graduate from the program. Students are the ones who deliver. They make us who we are,” Erntsberger said. “Students learn as much from their classmates as they will from me.”

Erntsberger said the use of technology has greatly improved the classroom experience for students.

“Almost all of the quantitative classes are offered in computer labs and students can follow along on the computer with me which makes it less intimidating and more relevant to students,” she said.

Erntsberger also said the ability to teach in the Graduate Center in Jeffersonville and Oncourse has made an impact on the program because most students work a full-time job while attending classes.

She said a majority of the school’s students come from Louisville and the Graduate Center is closer and more convenient for them.

“Oncourse allows me to put material and updates online and students feel more connected to faculty through it,” she said.

John Bingham, Graduate Business Programs director, said he thought one of the attractions for students to come to IU Southeast is the combination of quality and convenience the program offers.

“The program was designed as a part-time program with working professionals in mind,” Bingham said.

Bingham said class size and student-to-teacher ratio are other reasons students rated the program highly in the surveys.

“IUS maintains low class sizes relative to our MBA competition in the region. U of L may have 40 to 60 students in a class. We have class sizes of 25 students and the faculty is focused on excellence in teaching,” Bingham said.

White said the quality of instructors is one of the things that impressed him the most when he first came to IU Southeast.

“Instructors have to be good in the classroom and we are seeing the results of that in the Business Week and Princeton rankings,” White said.

White also said although achieving high visibility in rankings is not an explicit goal of the business school, they are nonetheless very pleased to be recognized in this manner.

“The area in which we were ranked pertains specifically to the classroom experience and our faculty’s teaching skills and knowledge,” White said. “This allows the school and campus to enhance its reputation in the community.”

Staff Writer