The McDonough School of Business fell four spots, from 10th to 14th, in Bloomberg Businessweek’s2012 rankings of undergraduate business schools.

The drop came one year after the university jumped from 23rd in 2010 to 10th place last year.

“Once a school breaks into the very top of a ranking, the slightest variation in data can be the difference between several places,” MSB Dean David Thomas wrote in an email.

Thomas attributed last year’s increase to curricular enhancements, like the first-year seminar, and the opening of the Hariri Building in fall 2009.

Addressing this year’s drop, MSB Senior Associate Dean and Director of the Undergraduate ProgramNorean Sharpe emphasized that many measures of the school’s success are not considered when determining rankings, such as this year’s 21 percent increase in regular-decision applicants and 14 percent acceptance rate for early action applicants.

Businessweek’s 2012 rankings also listed the MSB as 49th in its student satisfaction rankings, drawing mixed student reactions.

Dimitri Roumeliotis (MSB ’15) said he has been very satisfied with his experience in the MSB so far this year.

“I think [the school has] a lot of support. The [MSB Technology] Center is really good at helping us get what we need for class, and in general they have a lot of peer advisors and deans to talk to,” he said.

However, according to Ian Lundy (MSB ’15), resources for freshmen can be limited at times.

“I would like a little more personalized attention from the counseling office,” he said. “I think I’m going to get that when I declare my major, but for freshmen there aren’t many resources to get advice.”

Adrian Mansylla (MSB ’13) also expressed concerns about student-administration interactions.

“Although I’m satisfied with my experience at the business school, working with the administration can be tough and frustrating,” he said.

While the MSB’s position fell overall, rankings for other categories that gauge student success and teaching quality remained high. The school is currently tied in second place for students’ earning the highest median starting salaries and sixth for sending students to top MBA programs. Its professors earned an A plus in teaching quality.

“I personally am very satisfied with the professors I’ve had, with the curriculum and with class sizes,” Lundy said.

Lundy expressed enthusiasm about study abroad opportunities that will allow him to explore possible majors early in his academic career.

“I’m going to Spain this summer to study international marketing and entrepreneurship,” he said. “That’s not an opportunity most freshmen would have.”

Thomas and Sharpe both argued that rankings capture only a limited part of the school’s characteristics.

“McDonough is distinguished by its tradition in leadership and service, and I envision the school being known around the world for producing graduates who are principled leaders in service to business and society,” Thomas wrote. “If we build a premier program, the rankings will follow.”

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