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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]

Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Ross School of Business logo.png
MottoDeveloping leaders who make a positive difference in the world
Parent institution
University of Michigan
Endowment$435 million[1]
DeanScott DeRue[2]
Academic staff
Location, ,
AffiliationsUniversity of Michigan
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.png

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.



In 1924, Ross School of Business was founded.[citation needed]

B. Joseph White era: 1990 to 2001Edit

In 1990, B. Joseph White became dean 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), put 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 has continued to be a hallmark of Michigan's MBA program.[9] Other initiatives, such as research on how to supplement the GMAT with a test of "practical intelligence",[clarification needed] helped cement the school's reputation for innovations that produce business leaders who are not only smart, but highly effective.[10] 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 school's MBA training program, moving 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.[citation needed]

Robert J. Dolan era: 2001 to 2011Edit

In 2001, Robert J. Dolan was named dean. He 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,[citation needed] #5 in the BusinessWeek,[citation needed] and #11 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in 2006.[citation needed] The rankings in these three publications are based on a variety of criteria, one of which is reputation among academics.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

During the Dolan administration, the school transformed itself further. In 2004, it was named for alumnus Stephen M. Ross, who had donated US$100 million to the school. At the time of the donation, this had been the largest gift ever to a 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 (17,000 m2) of existing building space and renovated or added 270,000 square feet (25,000 m2).[11]

Alison Davis-Blake era: 2011 to 2016Edit

On 14 February 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,[12] Davis-Blake introduced a new mission statement for the school: "At Ross, we develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world."[13] During her term as dean, the school created new degree programs, including a minor in business[14] for undergraduates and a one-year master’s in management;[15] and expanded its executive MBA program to a second campus in Los Angeles.[16]

In late 2013, the school launched a major fundraising campaign, part of the broader Victors For Michigan campaign.[17]

In 2014, the school began sponsoring the annual Positive Business Conference.[18] During Davis-Blake's tenure, the school broadened its global presence, increasing the number of overseas experiences for students[19] and beginning a partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.[20]

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.[21]

Davis-Blake oversaw[when?] a large, donor-funded construction project[22] that includes the new Jeff T. Blau Hall,[23] featuring classroom, administrative, and study space, as well as renovations to several older buildings on the business campus.[24]

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.[25]

Facilities and institutesEdit

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.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28] In September 2017, Ross donated an additional $50 Million to the school bringing his cumulative gifts to the business school to $250 Million.

The William Davidson InstituteEdit

The William Davidson Institute (WDI) is a not-for-profit, independent, research and educational institute. 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.[29] 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.[29]

A publishing subsidiary named WDI Publishing was founded in 2007.[30]

The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable EnterpriseEdit

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 Joel D. Tauber Institute for Global OperationsEdit

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[31] for its effective and innovative preparation of students to be practitioners of operations research, management science or analytics.

The Zell-Lurie InstituteEdit

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.

The Wolverine Venture FundEdit

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.[32] The fund was started in 1997 by Karen Bantel.[33] The Fund invests with the active involvement of MBA students, faculty assistance, and an advisory board composed of professional venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.[33] The WVF invests primarily in early-stage, emerging growth companies.[34] The Fund typically provides US$50,000 to $200,000 in seed and first-stage funding rounds[33] in syndication with other venture capital funds and angel investors.[citation needed]

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.[35]

The Zell Lurie Commercialization FundEdit

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:

  • Accelerate the commercialization of research and ideas generated within the University community.
  • Create a financially self-sustainable process of research commercialization, by which successful past investments will provide the funds needed to make new ones.
  • Provide a stimulating, hands-on educational experience for students, thus reinforcing the Ross School of Business’ commitment to action-based learning.
  • Build excitement within the University community about the prospects of research commercialization.

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 Social Venture FundEdit

The University of Michigan Social Venture Fund (SvF) is the first student-run Social venture fund in the United States.[36] 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.[37][38] 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."[39][40]

The Center For Positive OrganizationsEdit

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.[41]

The Sanger Leadership CenterEdit

The Sanger Leadership Center at Michigan Ross seeks to build a more connected, creative, and prosperous world, one leader at a time. Named for a gift by Steve and Karen Sanger in 2015,[42] the center offers a wide range of leadership development programming for all University of Michigan students. Its signature initiatives open to U-M students include the Leadership Crisis Challenge, Impact Challenge, Story Lab, Legacy Lab, and more.[43]

Sanger uses leadership development theories and tools developed at Michigan Ross, such as the Michigan Model of Leadership.[44]

Student lifeEdit

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).[45] After the bus "died" in 2013, a group of MBA students started a crowdfunding campaign on to purchase a new mobile tailgate bus.[46]

Michigan Journal of BusinessEdit

Michigan Journal of Business  
Edited byRoger Zhong, Kabir Sodhi
Publication details
Publication history
Standard abbreviations
Mich. J. Bus.
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 indexingEdit

The journal is abstracted and indexed in EBSCO's Business Source Complete database.[47] Archival issues are available at the MJB's website.[48]


Business school rankings
Worldwide overall
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[50]14
Financial Times[52]20
Bloomberg Businessweek[53]10
U.S. News & World Report[55]7
U.S. undergraduate
Bloomberg Businessweek[57]8
U.S. News & World Report[58]4

U.S. News & World Report,[59] in their 2019 rankings of top MBA programs, placed Michigan Ross among the top 10 business schools in the United States, tied with the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of business for the #7 slot; in the same publication and year's BBA rankings, Michigan Ross was ranked 4th. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report[60] specialty rankings for 2019, Michigan Ross's full-time MBA program was ranked at #3 in the Management and Production/Operations categories, #4 in Marketing and Accounting, #5 in Nonprofit and International, #6 in Supply Chain/Logistics, #7 in Entrepreneurship and #10 in Finance. In 2014 BusinessWeek ranked the MBA program #9 overall. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best U.S. undergraduate business programs ranked 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)[Although now ranked 12th in 2017], productions/operations management (No. 4), and accounting (No. 5). In the 2015 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report[61] 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. In the 2015 Bloomberg BusinessWeek rankings of undergraduate business schools, Ross placed 12th. In 2016, Ross moved up to 8th.[62]

The Ross School of Business was ranked #3 worldwide in 2011 for research output,[63] and #1 in 2013 for sustainability by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Notable alumniEdit



Arts and entertainmentEdit



  • Ms. Catherine P. Bessant (BUS: BBA), called the most powerful woman in banking, has been the Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Bank of America Corporation since July 22, 2015 and serves as its Member of Executive Management Team.
  • William S. Demchak, (BUS: MBA) - President and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Financial Services Group.
  • Haluk Dinçer (BUS: MBA) - President of the Retail and Insurance Group of Sabancı Holding, one of the two largest industrial and financial conglomerates of Turkey
  • David Kellermann, (BUS: BSBA) - Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac
  • Shailesh Kumar (BUS: M.B.A.) is an American writer, entrepreneur, and private investor. He is the founder of Value Stock Guide, a financial website that provides information about investing.
  • Herbert "Bart" H. McDade III - President and COO of Lehman Brothers at the time of its bankruptcy
  • Euh Yoon-Dae (BUS: Ph.D.) - Chairman of KB Financial Group and of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding, Korea


  • Gary Hamel (BUS: MBA PhD 1990) - co-author of The Core Competence of the Corporation; selected "Number One Guru" by The Economist magazine in 2003



  • Sam Belnavis (BUS: MBA) - executive in automobile racing; as an African-American, one of the few minority persons to have owned a NASCAR racing team
  • Donald Hicks - businessman, author, and expert in supply chain management; president and CEO of LLamasoft, Inc., a supply chain design software company
  • Shailesh Kumar - businessperson; founder of Value Stock Guide
  • Frank Legacki - former President and CEO of Kaepa, Inc., an athletic footwear company based in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Sam Wyly (BUS: MBA 1957) - serial entrepreneur; owner of the Bonanza Restaurants chain; founder of computer companies acquired by Computer Associates, SBC Communications, and Datran; chairman of Sterling Software

Federal Reserve/FDIC/OCC/TreasuryEdit

Government and judiciaryEdit


  • Ragavendra R Baliga (BUS: MBA 2004) - Director of Cardiology, Ohio State University Hospital East; co-founder of NextServices
  • Mahendra Bhandari (BUS: MBA) - Indian surgeon
  • Nancy E. Dunlap (BUS: MBA) - physician, researcher and business administrator; Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Scott Ransom (BUS: MBA 1997) - physician, researcher, and healthcare management expert; past President of the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center


  • H. David Burton (BUS: MBA) - the thirteenth Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1995 to 2012.
  • Charles "Chuck" Conaway (BUS: MBA) - businessman best known for having been the CEO of Kmart; former President and Chief Operating Officer of CVS Corporation
  • John DeLorean (BUS: MBA 1957) - General Motors Group Vice President and Designer of the DeLorean
  • Dave Deno (BUS: MBA) - former CEO of Quizno's; former COO of Yum! Brands
  • John V. Faraci (BUS: MBA 1974) - CEO of International Paper
  • Frederick Henderson (BUS: BBA 1980) - former Chairman of GM Europe and a GM group vice president; named GM Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer in 2005
  • Donat Leclair (BUS: MBA) - former chief financial officer and executive vice president of Ford Motor Company
  • Archie McCardell (BUS: MBA) - American business leader; former chief executive officer, president, and chairman of the board at the International Harvester
  • Michael Roney (BUS: MBA 1981) - CEO of Bunzl
  • Roger B. Smith (BUS: 1947, MBA 1953) - former Chairman and CEO of General Motors
  • David N. Weidman (BUS: MBA 1980) - CEO of Celanese; member of the Board of Celanese (2004-, as chairman, 2007-); Society of Chemical Industry Chairman

Information technologyEdit

  • David Bohnett (BUS: MBA 1980) – founder and CEO of GeoCities
  • Bharat Desai (BUS: MBA 1981) - co-founder, President and CEO, Syntel Inc.
  • Donald Hicks (BUS: MBA) founder of LLamasoft, Inc. a software and services company that develops and markets technology to model and optimize supply chain networks.
  • Warren Lieberfarb (BUS) - Chairman of Warren N. Lieberfarb & Associates, LLC.; serves on the board of directors of Hughes Telematics, Inc.; board member of Sirius Satellite Radio and thePlatform
  • Paul Saleh (BS, MS; BUS: MBA 1985) - CFO, Nextel Communications Inc.
  • Richard Snyder (BA 1977, BUS: MBA with distinction 1979, LAW: JD 1982, Certified Public Accountant) - Chairman of the board of Gateway Inc.; venture capitalist; Governor of Michigan (2010–present).


  • Mark Bernstein (BUS: MBA) - former director of press pool operations during the Clinton Administration;[65]
  • George Blaha (BUS: MBA) - radio and television play-by-play voice of the Detroit Pistons since the 1976–77 NBA season
  • Richard Lui (BUS: MBA) - news anchor for MSNBC and CNN Worldwide;
  • Carol Cain (BUS: MBA 1999) - Emmy Senior producer and host of Michigan Matters [65]

Real estate & InfrastructureEdit

Venture capitalEdit

Current and former professorsEdit

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit