College of Business Administration moves up in rank

Marquette’s College of Business Administration earned a promotion in this year’s edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges listing, with three of its programs ranking among the top 20 in the nation.

The programs in entrepreneurship and supply chain management both placed 16th in the nation, while the finance program was ranked 18th. In a separate report, research group Gartner Inc. ranked the supply chain management program 14th.

Overall, out of 382 national universities in the U.S. News & World Reports listing, Marquette ranked 81st for undergraduate business programs, an improvement from 88th last year. Topping the list was the University of Pennsylvania, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to Linda Salchenberger, dean of the College of Business Administration, the schools on the list were put there by the deans and senior faculty of other universities in a peer review process.

“In order to be ranked, our peers need to identify these programs as outstanding,” Salchenberger said in an email. “So it is an honor to be selected.”

Cheryl Maranto, chair of the management department, which houses both the entrepreneurship and supply chain management programs, said she was “thrilled but not surprised” at the recognition.

“Both the supply chain program and the entrepreneurship program have a number of outstanding and fairly unique, or at least rare, features and webs of support that make them stand out from other programs around the country,” she said in an email.

Maranto credits the college’s success to its faculty and their ability to “put together programs that go beyond the classroom.”

In the entrepreneurship program, for example, students can craft a real project for a small business. In another course, they learn about founding nonprofit ventures to address social needs.

Finance chairperson Sarah Peck added that the school’s relationship with the business community and alumni is also beneficial.

“We have an active and committed network of alumni who serve as outside class speakers and career mentors for students,” Peck said in an email. “(They) care deeply about helping MU students find a career path that suits them and giving them the tools to be successful.”

With all three programs unranked last year, Salchenberger acknowledged that the college’s recent recognition was the result “of the accomplishments of many over a long period of time.”

Much of the praise, she said, should go to her predecessor, Dave Shrock, who decided to devote more resources to develop the programs.

But while the college was glad to receive praise, administration noted the rankings painted “a very incomplete picture.”

“In general, our focus is on improving the overall student educational experience, rather than on the rankings themselves,” said Vice President of Marketing and Communication Tricia Geraghty in an email.

“I’m happy for the positive publicity and the positive results. But for a place like Marquette, our highest priority is always going to be on student success and academic quality, not the annual magazine issue,” she said.

by Matt Gozun