So they got a new dean.
In EssaySnark’s opinion, Yale has been a bit of a school adrift for some time, but there’s new life on campus now that Dean Snyder has arrived.
The brief backstory is that they lost their dean all-of-a-sudden in 2008, when Joel Podolny, who’d been there just a couple years, abruptly resigned to go head a new initiative at Apple, called Apple University – and Sharon Oster, an SOM professor, took over on an interim basis. Podolny was highly regarded, he’s the one who led Yale with the overhaul of the curriculum, but he’d taken over after Yale had been a revolving door for deans for a decade, with his predecessor being around for just a year. Sharon Oster did a good job of keeping the ship afloat but that’s about it – EssaySnark suspects that her heart was never in it as an administrator, that she much prefers to now be back as ‘just’ a teacher. One of the casualties of the merry-go-round has been that the long-promised new building on the New Haven campus never got off the ground (excuse the pun EssaySnark can’t help ourself).
All this is set to change. There’s a new sheriff in town, in from the wild (mid)west. Err, at least, from Chicago.
In case you aren’t familiar with the “name brands” in the deanships across top bschools, Edward Snyder is the shiznit. He’s like rockstar-quality in the halls of dean-dom. He’s the dude that brought Chicago Booth to prominence (new building, new prestige, new name — which came with big dollars from alum Mr. Booth). He’s not really shaking things up — but he’s definitely breathing new life into the place, stat.
The obvious areas of emphasis? We’ve noted a few:
- A very public pronouncement of which rankings that Yale will be tracking
- An emphasis on everything but nonprofit — entrepreneurship and finance seem to be the most common areas touted when the school speaks these days
- A focus on student successes in the business world — every student profile and photo on the website includes a statement of where the student interned or what plum new job they’re getting upon graduating — or what amazing business they’ve launched — again, possibly an effort to make Yale more than nonprofit
- A big shout-out to the strength of the Yale University brand, leveraging the cachet and prestige of one of the SOM’s greatest assets
- A very prominent move-forward on the new building (fueled at least in part from a nice big donation that came in the door right before Snyder officially arrived)
What does all this mean? Perhaps not much for someone already thinking of applying to SOM. Obviously you recognize the value — there was a lot to like there already, with the very innovative curriculum and the close student body. That’s already part of the Yale package, and those elements will only get stronger with such an experienced leader at the helm.
If you’re not currently considering Yale, though, you might want to. The profile of this school is most definitely going to be on the increase. And especially if you’re not going to be trying for bschool until next year (applying in 2012 for class of 2015), then Yale should certainly be given close consideration. Once that new building is open especially, this is going to be a great place to get an MBA, and it’s an easy prediction to make that Yale SOM will be moving up the rankings lists in years to come.
In fact, EssaySnark assumes that Yale will be a real contender for the top spot before the decade is out.
Not that that’s any reason to pick a bschool, right? We’re just sayin’.