Wall Street Journal Ranks UT MBA Fourth in South

KNOXVILLE — The Wall Street Journal has ranked the University of Tennessee Master of Business Administration program No. 4 in the South and No. 12 in the United States for MBA programs that predominately serve regional corporate recruiters.

This is the first time the UT MBA program has appeared in the ranking.

“The ranking confirms the high regard that corporate recruiters hold for our students, and the immediate value our students deliver to their organizations,” said Dr. Sarah Gardial, associate dean of academic programs in the UT-Knoxville College of Business Administration.

“We feel privileged that this highly respected group recognizes the exceptional skills of our students and considers our program to be one of the top in the country. For our inaugural appearance to be number 12 – that’s extremely rewarding,” Gardial said.

A total of 63 schools qualified; 19 serve a national recruiting base and 44 serve a regional recruiting base.

“Recruiters recognize the uniqueness and value of our innovative, 17-month program,” said John Anderson, MBA program director. “Our pioneering curriculum focuses on management skills essential to success: traditional business disciplines; career development and leadership skills; and integrated value chain management.

“Our Wall Street Journal ranking confirms that our integrated program design is responding to both corporate and student needs.”

The strength of UT’s MBA program is in its cross-functional approach, said Rod Thomas, director of logistics planning for Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and a 2000 graduate of UT’s program.

“Lowe’s recruits more logistics graduates from UT than from any other program nationwide, and it’s the only school from which we recruit year after year. The integrated curriculum focuses on teamwork and immerses students in every piece of the supply chain – dynamics that are essential for success at Lowe’s.”

Lowe’s is a recipient of UT’s 2003-2004 MBA Employer of the Year Award.

The Wall Street Journal surveyed 2,849 corporate recruiters between December 2, 2003, and March 31, 2004. Respondents rated schools on 20 different criteria, including leadership potential; teamwork skills and interpersonal qualities; and the school’s “mass appeal,” or the number of recruiters that it attracts.

Also evaluated was “supportive behavior,” defined as the recruiters’ intention to return to the school to recruit and the likelihood of extending job offers during the next two years.

The survey shows that corporate recruiters were particularly impressed with UT’s supply-chain management focus and transportation core curriculum and the level of preparedness of its students and administrators.

The survey says companies involved in industrial products and services, consumer products and services, healthcare product and services, and management consulting hired the most UT MBA graduates.

Complete Wall Street Journal ranking information is available at http://www.careerjournal.com. Complete information about UT-s MBA program is available at http://mba.utk.edu.

The MBA program-s Wall Street Journal performance closely follows its Financial Times international ranking in which it ranks No. 1 among U.S. schools for alumni value three years after graduation.

The university’s MBA program is not alone in garnering impressive rankings. Financial Times recently ranked UT’s Senior Executive MBA program No. 32 in the U.S. and No. 58 internationally among all institutions offering executive MBA programs, while Modern Physician magazine ranked UT’s innovative Physician Executive MBA program as the No. 1 MBA program for physician executives.