Behind the high US rankings

The Financial Times of London rankings don’t make or break business schools, but they do contribute to an image, wrote The Globe and Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson in a March 11 column. “So, when the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario slid to 34th last year in the FT survey, this was considered bad news. Some other Canadian schools remained steady: the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, 21st; the Schulich School of Business at York University, 22nd; and McGill, 39th. Needless to say, US schools ranked first through fourth (Harvard, Wharton, Columbia and Stanford). Eight of the top 10 schools, and 15 of the leading 20, were American.

“A cause for Canadian national entrepreneurial panic? Not really. The FT survey’s fine print explains to which factors the survey assigns weight. The most important – accounting for 40 per cent of a school’s ranking – is how much money their graduates earned,” observed Simpson. “Twenty per cent of overall marks in the FT survey are for graduates’ average salaries three years after graduation, and another 20 per cent for the increase in salaries in the three years after school. Go work in the Third World after graduation and you let down your business school alma mater.

“No wonder the US schools are at the top of the FT survey and others. Yes, they have wonderful teachers, facilities and oodles of money from high fees and wealthy donors. But no country in the world pays its rich people – and that would include hotshot young business school graduates – as does the United States,” wrote Simpson.

York grad makes Forbes magazine’s billionaire list

Alex Shnaider, who heads a privately controlled conglomerate and recently bought a Formula One racing team, has made Forbes magazine’s list of world billionaires with a net worth of US$1.4 billion, reported The Globe and Mail March 11. Shnaider, who ranked 488th on the list, was one of 17 Canadians, the same number as last year. Just 36 years old, Shnaider built his fortune buying and selling goods in the former Soviet Union. His Toronto-based company, Midland Group, now has myriad interests across Eastern Europe and about $2 billion in annual revenue. While at York University in the early 1990s, Shnaider (BA ’92 in economics) began exporting consumer goods to his former homeland when an associate led him to the steel business. He began buying up cheap metal from mills in Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere and selling it through brokers.

York basketball player named top rookie

York University’s Laura MacCallum was named top rookie this year in women’s basketball at the Canadian Interuniversity Sports awards dinner in Winnipeg, reported The Edmonton Sun. She is a first-year kinesiology student.

On air

  • Sheila Embleton, York’s vice-president academic, and other educators discussed with Education Minister Gerard Kennedy how high school libraries are suffering from lack of books, lack of staff and lack of operating hours, on CBC TV’s “Canada Now” March 10.
  • In the wake of the case of a father who threw his daughter over a bridge last Sunday, Desmond Ellis, professor emeritus of sociology and a senior scholar at York’s LaMarsh Research Centre on Violence & Conflict Resolution, discussed how to anticipate such incidents using abusive-spouse predictors he and two other York researchers have developed, in an item aired March 10 on CBC Radio’s regional stations in Ontario. Ellis was also interviewed about the warning signs on OMNI News.