Update from Dean Edward A. Snyder [February 2017]

February 7th, 2017

Thank you for the time and thoughtful feedback you provided in our recent alumni survey.  We are carefully analyzing all the input, and look forward to updating you on key insights and actions the school plans to undertake as a result of this feedback. Please watch for communications around these insights and actions in the next month.

Edward A. Snyder,
Indra K. Nooyi Dean & William S. Beinecke Professor of Economics

Your participation rate of 27% far exceeded the benchmark rates for such surveys, and our expectations of 10% participation, reflecting the strong commitment of the alumni community to Yale SOM.  We received over 1,800 responses, which provides a strong basis from which to draw conclusions. The substance of your responses also demonstrated that Yale SOM alumni remain deeply engaged with the school long after they graduate.  Your continuing commitment to school programs is a unique advantage for SOM - we see it in admissions, in recruiting, in the classroom, and elsewhere. 

Strikingly, 95% of you stated that attending SOM was either an “excellent” or “good” decision. Regardless of when you pursued your education at the school, it is clear that SOM was instrumental in shaping your career trajectories, introducing you to lifelong friends and partners, and applying the school’s mission in your daily lives. 

Of the many insights from the survey, let me also highlight two findings:  92% of respondents rated the School’s mission to educate leaders for business and society as either “very important” or “critically important.”  This reflects a strong consensus on the ongoing importance of our mission.  Related, 82% of alumni respondents described our performance in delivering on that mission as “good” or “excellent.”  Clearly, alumni, as I do (and try to say at every opportunity), view the mission as critical. It is also important to note that the three ongoing objectives shape how we put the mission into practice today. Some of the ways in which we continue to demonstrate our commitment to our mission include:

  • Convene leaders from various industries, sectors, and regions to Yale SOM to speak to our students, alumni, and the Yale community
  • Focus on attracting broadminded and rigorous students to Yale SOM via our Admissions processes
  • Continue to develop employer relationships to provide diverse career opportunities for our students and alumni

A large number of alumni, about 63% of survey respondents, also rates our ongoing objective to be the most distinctively global US business school as “very important” or “critically important.”  I view this as an affirmation of the school’s resolve to continue our eminence in developing leaders for the world’s market-oriented economies, despite the rising Anti-Globalist Narrative, fueled by proof points such as the recent Executive Orders signed by President Trump.  The examples below, while not exhaustive, illustrate how we resolve to “stay the course” with regard to global leadership:

  • GNAM will hold its 5th anniversary at Yale SOM in the third week of April. The program will address the greater global conflicts and frictions in the Trump and Brexit era, as well as the emergence of geographic balkanization in the tech center
  • Yale SOM will continue to manage the Yale Center Beijing that has the most robust programs of any US academic center in China.
  • Global Virtual Teams will continue as a key part of Yale SOM’s core curriculum. Of note, the recent course included students from Mexico’s EGADE in the student teams
  • Under the guidance of Professor Andrew Metrick and Former US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, SOM is launching a new one year Master’s program focused on Systemic Risk, which will draw Central Bank employees from around the world,
  • Yale SOM has convened a Global Council of Advisors, featuring alumni throughout Yale as well as friends of the school

Given the amount of information you provided to us, there are many further insights that my team will share with you in detail next month, but I would like to share these preliminary next steps with you:

  • We will share with you additional questions that we plan to explore given the feedback you provided in the survey.
  • We will provide concrete next steps that the school has already taken, and plans to take, in response to your feedback. 
  • During Reunion Weekend, I will discuss the survey findings and next steps during my welcome to campus address on May 6, 2017.

Thank you again for your crucial engagement, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with all of you.