This fall, Belmont University’s College of Business Administration has earned four major honors, establishing the school as a definitive leader among academic business programs. In September, Belmont’s Dr. Jane Finley was one of only two women in the Southeast, and one of 40 nationally, to be named Deloitte & Touche’s Professor in Accounting. In October, Belmont’s Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business was selected as one of the best in the world by the Princeton Review, (in its 2007 edition of the Best 282 Business Schools); while Belmont undergraduate finance students the same month swept a stock-trading double-header at Fifth Third Bank’s Stock Market Challenge. To top it off, Belmont’s MBA program was also voted best in Nashville in 2006 over Vanderbilt University and others by Nashville Scene readers.
“The school has a commitment not only to the development of business knowledge but also to the development of a business mentality and the nonacademic skills required for career success,” quotes a Belmont student in the Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company known for its college rankings based on how students rate their schools. That commitment is evidenced by the fact that Belmont professors, both in the graduate and undergraduate programs, go beyond the classroom in their efforts to create an ideal learning environment for their students, says Dr. Pat Raines, dean of Belmont’s College of Business Administration.
Deloitte & Touche Funds Professorship in Accounting – Finley Honored
“Case in point is Dr. Jane Finley,” Raines says. “As the inaugural Deloitte & Touche Professor in Accounting at Belmont University, she has been instrumental in two significant areas: increasing the value of our graduates’ diplomas and leading our master’s of accountancy (MACC) program to becoming the second largest in the state, right behind the University of Tennessee. She brings extraordinary strengths to our accounting program through her extensive professional experience and achievement in the field.”
Finley led the efforts at Belmont to gain accreditation for the university’s MACC program through The Association to Accredit Collegiate School’s of Business (AACSB International), the highest standard of achievement for business schools, worldwide.
Princeton Review Names Belmont “One of the Best”
Another recent achievement for Belmont’s school of business includes its ranking in the Princeton Review’s 2007 edition of the Best 282 Business Schools. Princeton Review editors described Belmont’s MBA program as providing “practical curriculum [that] places a strong emphasis on learning through practical applications, case studies and teamwork.” In a two-page profile on Belmont, the publication lists “the school’s greatest strength [being] the faculty” while one student notes, “the overall academic experience at Belmont is challenging, although not so challenging that it’s intimidating. Everyone wants to succeed, but [here] I have never encountered the cutthroats that you hear about when MBA programs are mentioned.”
The Princeton Review compiled the ranking lists based on its surveys of 18,000 students attending the 282 business schools profiled in the book, and on institutional data from the schools. The survey asked students 80 questions about themselves, their career plans and their school’s academics, student body and campus life.
“It is extremely gratifying to have our students praise our programs for their challenging academic experience and the emphasis on teamwork and developing a business mentality,” Raines says. “The growing enrollments in our MBA and MACC programs affirm that we are responding to the needs of the . . . business community.”
According to Robert Franek, vice president of publishing at Princeton Review, being recognized among the 282 “best” is quite significant. “We choose schools for this book based on our high regard for their academic programs and offerings, institutional data we collect from the schools and the candid opinions of students attending them who rate and report on their campus experiences at the schools,” Franek says. “We are pleased to recommend Belmont University . . . as one of the best institutions they could attend to earn an MBA.”
Belmont’s Business School Blows Away Competition in Stock Market Challenge
Belmont University’s undergraduate business school also scored on top in a recent mock competition to build the largest stock portfolio over a simulated 60-day trading period. A team of finance students from Belmont claimed victory twice at the stock-trading doubleheader during Fifth Third Bank’s second annual Stock Market Challenge in Nashville.
Sponsored by Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, the event entailed two competitions— morning and afternoon—during which Belmont students invested a $500,000 fictitious portfolio of stocks over a period of 60 trading sessions (“days”) that lasted 60 seconds each. Belmont’s winning team increased the value of their portfolio to $4.2 million in the morning contest for a return of over 700 percent, earning them a sponsorship for the evening competition against local professional firms.
In the evening contest, during an intense two hours of trading, Belmont’s team pulled ahead of 23 local firms by increasing the value of their $500,000 portfolio to more than $10.9 million—enough to gain the victory—with the total return for the Belmont team exceeding 2,000 percent. “The students were armed with the skills they have acquired in our state-of-the-art financial information center located on Belmont’s campus,” Raines said.
Massey Graduate School of Business Beats Out Vanderbilt and MTSU as Top MBA Program in Area
Topping off the accolades was the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business’ recent designation as the best MBA program in the area in 2006 by a prominent Nashville publication—the Nashville Scene—with Belmont beating out Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University.
“The Best MBA category was new this year,” Chris Ferrell, publisher of the Scene, says. “Winning the ‘Best of Nashville’ vote from our readers the first year of the category is certainly a feather in your cap.”
The “Best of Nashville” annual edition of the Nashville Scene is in its 20th year of polling thousands of readers from eight counties in a variety of categories, including colleges and universities, food, entertainment, media, goods and services, arts and music, people and places to name a few. Readers are required to “write in” their ballot either online or by mail to vote as opposed to a multiple choice survey format.
Top employers of Massey MBA’s include: Bridgestone/Firestone, Caterpillar Financial, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young and Hospital Corporation of America.