Posted by: Steph | January 30, 2007


So we dropped in the Financial Times rankings along with the other Canadian schools. Not good. But I would like to informally respond to the email that the Dean sent to all of us.

Dear Dean Dezso,

If you were on my 601 team I would be a little bit annoyed with you. Instead of taking responsibility for our drop in the rankings blame was placed primarily on the economy and the ranking measurements.

I think our fall in the rankings has to do with our standards. The majority of the students are fantastic. I appreciate the diversity – both in terms of where people come from geographically, and where people come from in terms of interests and experience. But the bottom 20% of the students are dragging us all down.

In first term I complained about the 5150 marks, exclaiming that my dog could pass the course. When I was given the opportunity to do some grading my suspicions were confirmed. We weren’t allowed to fail people no matter what they did or how poorly they did it, as long as they wrote something vaguely related to the course. This sets up the standards and expectations for the rest of the program. I am not saying that people need to have perfect english – I accept that we have much lower language standards than the superior international schools, but language aside, people should be able to communicate and produce work at a certain level in order to graduate. The bottom 20% of Schulich will continue to bring us down until we no longer accept them (or do not let them graduate).

In your email you mentioned that we have the highest quality of students coming in to the program, citing the highest GMAT scores as one of the indicators. Well… I did fine on the GMAT, but it has no bearing on the quality of students. Truth be told, I would do horribly if I took the GMAT today because I don’t remember a single thing I studied for it. Recently I found out that some of the most impressive classmates I have needed to apply a few times before being accepted because they did not do well on the GMAT. Some of the turkeys I have worked with had high GMAT scores, but lack the ability to have a 2 way conversation. How about interviewing prospective students? I know that it would be resource intensive, but my MBA has taught me that sometimes it is worth paying the costs up front.

Why are Rotman and Ivey now ahead of us?

What is the strategy to regain our lead?

What are the real reasons we have lost an advantage?

Did you even know how terrible some of the students are?

Just asking.

Done my little rant now. Aside from that I am loving the school and I have learned a lot… Thanks!




  1. First of all, the whole GMAT thing is a sham. I know someone that got in the low 500’s (!) and still got in on the first try.

    Secondly, you’re spot on about 5150, and I maintain that anyone that ever complained about their marks needs to experience marking some papers to know what true pain feels like. Although, in their defence, it’s not often that one gets paid to bang their head against a brick wall.

  2. I got 550 on the GMAT (first time), then 610 (second time). I am no good at those kinds of tests — and i’m fine with that. I, however, am steadfast in my belief that those BULLSHIT tests have no bearing whatsoever on real-world success. In fact, the moment I got my score, I forgot everything I had studied.

  3. Good message.
    If you think critically, the dean’s basically saying our good rankings in previous years are due to the rising Canadian dollar over the last several years.

  4. Shall we forward the link to this page to the Dean?

    I was about to do it but thought I’d ask first.

  5. Go right ahead. An open letter is… open.

  6. I love you steph! I agree 100% and have heard this over and over again. We will take responsibility for our good times, but when it’s bad we no longer are at fault. And guess what, I was on GBC and not once were my ideas taken to heart, instead I got a lot of excuses as to why student ideas don’t matter and was constantly patronized with I don’t the overall picture. What I do know is that I was a student and my needs didn’t seem to matter. Should I be happy that I attempted to utilize schulich resources and each times was horribly let down? I worked in admissions also, and I know the quality they say isn’t all quite there, let alone the first hand experiences I also received.

  7. Done. A link to this blog post has been sent to Dean Horvath.

  8. It’s like you took the word’s right out of my mouth. You should at least be able to form a coherent sentence in order to be able to get into the program. I have no idea of how some of these students (the 20% you mentioned) get by in their classes. Having been in groups with some of them, I am just dumbfounded how in the world they got in. There is no way this school deserves a higher ranking until it decides to weed out the weak links….

  9. Steph:

    You know, a lot of people grumble about the student experience at Schulich, but few articulate it very well – and even then it’s rarely written in the public domain. I think that the more people that read what you’ve written, the more they will realize that there are (many) others who feel as they do. Perhaps then there will be some change made, but only perhaps and certainly not before we’re long gone… t’is the sad part. However, as Alumni we may well have some power and influence…

    – Eric

  10. […] trackback Between the comments and what people have told me in the halls, it sounds as though my Rankings post hit a nerve and there is a lot of frustration with the bottom 20% of students (B20’s). I […]

  11. […] Rankings – Remember that post? Well people keep talking to me about this and I was recently told that […]

  12. Steph you know – the grading is a question too – i Have got C- for 5150 paper (it was B+ for the course because of all other A’s) . The grader just went throw first couple of pages fonds something out of boarders of his/her understanding and stopper reading). Is it a question of my quality or grader’s quality? Under which standards?
    The partial solution – I did not pay my money for grading made by students – use professionals.
    The problem with rating is not an isolated problem – it is really connected with Canadian job market , corporate culture in Canada (has no Canadian experience – bad, not Canadian born – moron). In order to have world class schools it needs more than just kick out low 20%. It is necessary to change institutions in the country. It is necessary to change the way people communicate.

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