Ross School of Business

Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Motto Developing leaders who make a positive difference in the world.
Type Public
Established 1924
Endowment $435 million[1]
Dean Scott DeRue[2]
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,422
Postgraduates 1,873
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Alumni 46,000
Affiliations University of Michigan

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business (Ross) is the business school of the University of Michigan. Numerous publications have ranked the Ross School of Business' Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive Education programs among the top in the country and the world.[4][5][6][7][8]

The school offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as an executive education program.

Ross also offers dual degrees with other University of Michigan colleges and schools.


The school was founded in 1924.

B. Joseph White became dean in 1990, and began a transformation of the school's character and image. He led a major MBA curriculum overhaul, which aimed to intensify the development of students' professional and practical skills, teamwork, leadership, and overall ability to turn knowledge and ideas into action. The signature innovation, called MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Project), puts students into "live cases" inside companies for seven weeks. MAP's "action learning" or "experiential learning" approach was the first curriculum innovation in management education since the introduction of the case method in the 1940s. It is still a hallmark of Michigan's MBA program. Other initiatives, such as research on how to supplement the GMAT with a test of "practical intelligence," helped cement the school's reputation for innovations that produce business leaders who are not only smart, but highly effective. . White's approach built on a historical strength of the school, which was known for producing hard-working, practically-oriented graduates. In addition, White added a focus on corporate citizenship to the MBAs' training, and moved aggressively to globalize the school. Most notably, he founded the William Davidson Institute to position Michigan as a leader on economies transitioning from communism to free markets.

Following White's changes, Michigan was ranked "most innovative" in Business Week's surveys of corporate executives and was recognized for turning out can-do graduates. In 1996, Michigan was ranked second in Business Week's prestigious business school rankings, the highest ranking the School has achieved, which the magazine attributed to the School's growing reputation for innovation . As a corporate hunting ground, Michigan attracted a broader set of recruiters beyond the auto manufacturers and packaged goods companies who had been its core customers.

Under White, several of the school's hallmark programs and centers were created, including The Erb Institute for Sustainable Global Enterprise, The Joel D. Tauber Institute for Global Operations, The Zell-Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurship, the Wolverine Venture Fund, and the William Davidson Institute.

Robert J. Dolan, who was named dean in 2001, oversaw a dramatic re-building and facilities modernization initiative and worked to build the school's identity and reputation in the management education marketplace. Under Dolan, the school received one of the two-largest donations ever made to a business school. In the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, Dolan pressed the school's distinction for turning out leaders with a practical, can-do orientation. This leveraged and accelerated a re-definition of the school's curriculum and image made by his predecessor. Dolan also made profound changes to the school's image through his ambitious rebuilding of the dated facilities he inherited, creating a showcase property, the Stephen M. Ross School of Business designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. On Dolan's watch, the school earned the #1 ranking in the Wall Street Journal's 2006 and 2004 list of MBA programs (which are based on feedback from employers on which MBA program's students they would be most likely to rehire), #8 in The Economist, #5 in the BusinessWeek, and #11 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in 2006 (the latter three publications' rankings are based on a variety of criteria including reputation among academics, etc.). The school's BBA program is widely regarded as one of the best in the United States, having ranked within the top three of U.S. News & World Report rankings every year since the ranking's inception. In 1980, the BBA program was ranked #2 in the US by Parade Magazine. In 2005, the school introduced a 3-year version of the previously 2-year undergraduate program; the latter has since been phased out and candidates now apply as seniors in high school or during their freshman year at university, then commence their business studies in the sophomore year of college.

During the Dolan administration, the school transformed itself further. In 2004, it was named for alumnus Stephen M. Ross who donated $100 million to the school. At the time of the donation, this was the largest gift ever to an U.S. business school, and the largest ever to the University of Michigan. The Ross gift funded a campus overhaul. The school demolished 180,000 square feet (16,000 m²) of existing building space, and has renovated or added 270,000 square feet (25,000 m²).[9]

On February 14, 2011, it was announced that Alison Davis-Blake would become the new Dean of the Ross School of Business, succeeding Robert J. Dolan. The first female dean at Ross,[10] Davis-Blake introduced a new mission statement for the school: “At Ross, we develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world.”[11] During her term as dean, the school created new degree programs, including a minor in business[12] for undergraduates and a one-year master’s in management;[13] and expanded its executive MBA program to a second campus in Los Angeles.[14] In 2014, the school began sponsoring the annual Positive Business Conference.[15] During Davis-Blake’s tenure, the school broadened its global presence, increasing the number of overseas experiences for students[16] and beginning a partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.[17] The school launched a major fundraising campaign in late 2013, part of the broader Victors For Michigan campaign.[18] The Desai Accelerator for startup businesses — a joint effort between Ross and the University of Michigan College of Engineering — opened in downtown Ann Arbor in 2014.[19] Davis-Blake also oversaw a large, donor-funded construction project[20] that includes the new Jeff T. Blau Hall,[21] featuring classroom, administrative, and study space; as well as renovations to several older buildings on the business campus.[22] In 2015, Davis-Blake announced that she would step down at the end of her five-year term in 2016 to pursue a broader role in higher education.[23]

Facilities and institutes

Upon its establishment in 1924, the business school was initially located in Tappan Hall. Tappan Hall is the oldest extant classroom building on campus. The original 1894 wing was designed by the Detroit firm of Spier and Rohns; the south wing by Luckenbach/ Ziegelman & Partners.[24]

The school moved to its current site in 1948. Authorized by the Regents in July, 1945, the site was in the block surrounded by Monroe, Tappan, Hill, and Haven streets and was purchased at the time construction was begun, the building occupying approximately the north half of the block. Ten private dwellings were removed for its construction, which began in August, 1946. The business school was the first skyscraper on campus and was designed by architects Lee and Kenneth C. Black, of Lansing, Michigan.[25]

Ross School of Business Building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Much of the business school is located on the University of Michigan's Central Campus adjacent to the School of Education and Law School. Its buildings are connected with each other, in some cases through skyways. With a major campus overhaul underway, the Executive Education programs are located at the Michigan Information Technology Center (MITC) near the university's Wolverine Tower office building in southern Ann Arbor.

New York City real estate developer Stephen M. Ross (BBA '62) gave a gift of $100 million to the business school, the second largest donation ever to a U.S. business school (after David Booth's $300 million donation to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) and the largest gift to the University in its 187-year history. In recognition, the Board of Regents met in special session on September 9, 2004, to rename the school the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. In 2013, Ross announced a second gift to the school of $100 million, bringing his gifts to the school to $200 million, and his gifts to the broader university to $313 million. The second gift is being used for facilities upgrades, including high-tech classrooms, a new career services space, and additional areas for practical research; as well as student scholarships.[26]

The Kresge Library's collection includes about 145,000 volumes and 3000 journals as well as microfilms, working papers, and company files. The school's John R. and Georgene M. Tozzi Electronic Business and Finance Center has a trading floor classroom that is linked to the New York Stock Exchange.

The William Davidson Institute

The William Davidson Institute (WDI) is a not-for-profit, independent, research and educational institute dedicated to creating, aggregating, and disseminating intellectual capital on business and policy issues in emerging markets. It provides a forum for business leaders and public policy makers to discuss issues affecting the environment in which these companies operate.

WDI was created in 1992 when Guardian Industries Corp. made a 20-year financial commitment to establish an institute at the University of Michigan Business School and was named in honor of Guardian Industries' chairman, president and CEO William Davidson.

WDI supports international activity at the University of Michigan by funding research, hosting visiting scholars, organizing seminars and speaker series, sponsoring summer internships, and creating dynamic and current teaching materials.[27] In the past thirteen years, more than 1,800 MBA students have participated in more than 450 international projects. WDI's publication initiative houses one of the best collections of international business and social impact teaching materials anywhere.[28]

The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise

Created in 1996 by a donation from Frederick A. Erb (BBA ’47) and his wife, Barbara, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a partnership between the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) to provide professional education, as well as opportunities for research and engagement to sustain and accelerate business sustainability. The Erb Institute's iconic Dual-Degree MBA/MS Program, wherein students earn a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School and a Master of Science from SNRE in 2 1/2 to 3 years has received many accolades. In 2013, Michigan Ross (Erb Institute) received the top ranking for MBA programs with a Sustainability specialty (Bloomberg Business MBA Rankings)

The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund

The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund (ZLCF), formerly the Frankel Fund, is a student-led "pre-seed" investment fund.

The goals of the ZLCF are to:

The Fund is made up of Ross MBA and Michigan PHD students ("ZLCF Fellows") selected because of their domain knowledge of the health care or technology industries and their experience and interest in early-stage company formation. ZLCF Fellows are divided into four teams, specializing in health care, clean tech, consumer, and technology investments. Additional information is available at

The Thomas C. Jones Endowment for BBA Education

In 2005, alumnus Thomas C. Jones donated $10 million to help undergraduates to experience programs usually provided only to MBA students. The gift established the Thomas C. Jones Center for BBA Education, which aims to help students apply classroom theory, incorporate liberal arts, and teach leadership. The Jones gift is said to be the largest gift to an undergraduate business program.

The Joel D. Tauber Institute for Global Operations

Joel D. Tauber donated $5 million in 1995 to establish the Joel D. Tauber Manufacturing Institute, which trains graduate engineering and business students in operations management. The program is run jointly with the University's College of Engineering. In 2007, the Institute was renamed to the (Joel D.) Tauber Institute for Global Operations to recognize expanded interest from non-manufacturing (service, healthcare, IT, retail) organizations. In 2012 the Institute was honored with the first UPS George D. Smith Prize from INFORMS[29] for its effective and innovative preparation of students to be practitioners of operations research, management science or analytics.

The Zell-Lurie Institute

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies provides the curriculum, program initiatives, community involvement, and alumni outreach activities that deliver exclusive resources for future entrepreneurs of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In 1999, a $10 million donation from Samuel Zell and Ann Lurie on behalf of her husband Robert H. Lurie, established the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Business School.

ZLI houses three student-led investment funds: Wolverine Venture Fund, Frankel Commercialization Fund, Social Venture Fund.

On July 13, 2015, the business school announced that Mr. Zell had increased his gifts to the school and to the fund by the donation of an additional $60 million.

The Wolverine Venture Fund

The Wolverine Venture Fund (WVF) is a multimillion-dollar venture capital fund operated directly out of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. The fund was started in 1997 by Karen Bantel.[30] The Fund invests with the active involvement of MBA students, faculty assistance, and an advisory board composed of professional venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.[31] The WVF invests primarily in early-stage, emerging growth companies . The Fund typically provides $50,000 to $200,000 in seed and first-stage funding rounds[32] in syndication with other venture capital funds and angel investors.

The Wolverine Venture Fund, the oldest such U.S. venture, earned $1 million when IntraLase Corp., a U-M spin-off technology company, went public.[33]

The Social Venture Fund

The University of Michigan Social Venture Fund (SvF) is the first student-run Social venture fund in the United States.[34] Established in 2009 by four Ross School of Business MBA students and overseen by professor Gautam Kaul, the Social Venture Fund invests in innovative and mission-driven social enterprises.[35][36] The Fund's mission statement reads, "We are committed to providing strategic and patient capital to early-stage social enterprises led by outstanding entrepreneurs that contribute to the proliferation of the new generation of socially-minded business leaders."[37][38]

The Center For Positive Organizations

Founded in 2002 as the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship, the center’s mission is ‘to inspire and enable leaders to build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people.’ It conducts and disseminates research on topics such as positive leadership, meaning and purpose, ethics and virtues, and relationships and culture in an organizational setting. Starting in 2014, it sponsors an annual Positive Business Conference.[39]

Student life

Students publish their own newspaper called the Monroe Street Journal, named after the main street leading to the school entrance. The school is also home to The Michigan Journal of Business, the first undergraduate-level academic journal in the field of business.

One important tradition among the Ross MBA community is the Ross MBA college football tailgate, which takes place at "The Bus" before and after every home game. "The Bus" is a 1985 Ford school bus that is painted in Michigan's colors, maize and blue, and is decked out with both a dance floor and DJ on the roof and couches in the interior. On every game day, The Bus is parked in Fingerle Lumber Yard and serves as the centerpiece for the Ross MBA tailgate. The tailgate costs $10 to attend and attracts over 500 students, alumni, and friends. This tradition has been intact for the last decade (as of 2013).[40] After the bus "died" in 2013, a group of MBA students started a crowdfunding campaign on to purchase a new mobile tailgate bus.[41]

Endowed chairs

As of 2010, 46 faculty members hold endowed chairs in their respective disciplines.

Michigan Journal of Business

Michigan Journal of Business  
Abbreviated title (ISO 4)
Mich. J. Bus.
Discipline Business
Language English
Edited by Roger Zhong, Kabir Sodhi
Publication details
Publication history
Frequency Biannually
ISSN 1941-5745
LCCN 2008214414
OCLC no. 644450557

The Michigan Journal of Business is a biannual peer-reviewed open access academic journal published by undergraduate students at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business (University of Michigan). It was established in 2007 by William Moon and publishes theses, empirical research, case studies, and theories relating to areas of accounting, economics, finance, marketing, management, operations management, information systems, business law, corporate ethics, and public policy. The editorial staff is composed of students from various schools within the University of Michigan.

Abstracting and indexing

The journal is abstracted and indexed in EBSCO's Business Source Complete database.[42]


Business school rankings
Worldwide overall
QS[43] 27
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[44] 14
Economist[45] 21
Financial Times[46] 20
Bloomberg Businessweek[47] 10
Forbes[48] 15
U.S. News & World Report[49] 12
Vault[50] 15
U.S. undergraduate
Bloomberg Businessweek[51] 8
U.S. News & World Report[52] 4

In the year 2006 The Wall Street Journal ranked the MBA program #1 overall; in 2014 BusinessWeek ranked the MBA program #9 overall, while U.S. News & World Report ranked its undergraduate program #3 overall. In 2015, for the fifth consecutive year U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best U.S. undergraduate business programs ranks Ross at No. 1 in the management category. Also in 2015, the BBA program ranked in the Top Five in the following business specialties: marketing (No. 2), finance (No. 3), international business (No. 4), productions/operations management (No. 4), and accounting (No. 5). In the 2015 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report[53] Ross School was placed as the 8th best Business School in North America. In 2011 the Masters in Supply Chain program was ranked no.2 in Supply chain in the US by Gartner

The Ross School of Business was ranked #3 worldwide in 2011 for research output,[54] and #1 in 2013 for sustainability by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Notable alumni



Arts and entertainment






Federal Reserve/FDIC/OCC/Treasury

Government and judiciary



Information technology

Mergers, acquisitions, turn-arounds



Real estate & Infrastructure

Venture capital

Current and former professors

See also


  3. {}
  7. Srivastava, Samar (September 30, 2008). "And the Best Executive M.B.A. Programs In 2008 Are". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. "Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings". U.S. News. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  9. The demolition and renovation webcam may be found here: Ross School Renovation Webcam or here Renovation webcam (Java required)
  25. Herbert F. Taggart, Ruth Gjelsness (The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1729)
  26. "Stephen Ross Makes $200 Million Gift to University of Michigan". Bloomberg.
  30. Businessweek
  31. Businessweek
  32. Businessweek
  33. WVF
  34. Bomey, Nathan (21 September 2010), "[ University of Michigan students start nation's first venture capital fund for social benefits]", Newspaper, retrieved June 19, 2011 External link in |title= (help)
  35. Damast, Alison (27 September 2010), "Student Venture Funds Tackle Social Problems", Businessweek, retrieved June 19, 2011
  36. "Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies - Social Venture Fund]", Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, retrieved June 19, 2011
  37. "Social Venture Fund Annual Report 2009-2010 PDF]" (PDF), Social Venture Fund Annual Report 2009-2010, retrieved June 19, 2011
  38. Zinsli, Christopher (21 September 2010), "College Showdown: Two Schools Face Off… To Invest Responsibly", Wall Street Journal, retrieved June 19, 2011
  41. Du Bey, Joe. "Ross MBA Students Rally to Save a Student Tradition". Tilt Blog. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  42. "Magazines and Journals". Business Source Complete. EBSCO Publishing. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
  43. "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 - Business & Management Studies". Quacquarelli Symonds. 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  44. "The 50 best business schools in the world". Business Insider. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  45. "Full time MBA ranking". Economist. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  46. "Global MBA Ranking". Financial Times. 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  47. "Best Business Schools 2015". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  48. "The Best Business Schools". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  49. "Best Business Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  50. "Best Business Schools". 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  51. "The Complete Ranking: Best Undergraduate Business Schools". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  52. "Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  53. "QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2010, North America".
  54. Mangematin, V., & Baden-Fuller, C. 2008. Global Contests in the Production of Business Knowledge: Regional Centres and Individual Business Schools. Long Range Planning, 41(1): 117-139.
  57. Forbes 400
  58. Kroll, Luisa (November 4, 2011). "groupons-ipo-turns-andrew-mason-brad-keywell-into-billionaires". Forbes.

External links

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