Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

Transforming Initiative II

Advancing the School of Law to
Rank in the Top 15 Nationally

Toward 2016 states that the University’s ultimate goal is “to move the Law School to the level of accomplishment and recognition that warrants ranking as one of the 15 best in the nation.” The Law School has advanced its position in recent years to achieve the rank of 25th of 184 law schools in the U.S. News rating, which was based on fall 2006 data. This was up from 32nd the year before. (See Figure 8.)

Develop Academic Programs. Fordham is continuing to develop three academic areas that are central to the direction in which the legal profession is moving, fields in which the University already has great strength, and which build on the advantage of Fordham’s New York location. Those areas are international law, in which Fordham ranks 11th in the nation (U.S. News); business law, in which the University ranks 20th (according to Lieter); and information or intellectual property law, in which Fordham ranks 23rd (U.S. News).

Strengthen Faculty. Fordham is appointing exceptional graduates of leading law schools to the faculty. (See Table 5.) In addition, the University has established seven new endowed law professorships between 2003 and 2008, and continues to seek funding for more.

Improve Student-Faculty Ratio. In recent years, Fordham has also steadily improved its student-faculty ratio. (See Figure 9.)

Fortify the Student Body. Fordham is improving the quality and diversity of the Law School’s student body through national recruiting, scholarships and enhanced financial aid and loan programs. One measure of academic strength is the median score of enrolled students on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), the scores on which range from 120 to 180. Between 1998 and 2007, the University raised the median score from 163 to 166, and the percentile of these scores has risen from 88.5 to 93.4. (See Figure 10.)

In addition, the University has substantially increased the geographic diversity of the Law School student body. For the first time, in fall 2007, the majority of entering law students were from outside New York state. The proportion of new students has increased from 37 percent in 1998 to 53 percent in 2007.

Financial Support for the Law School and New Law School Building. The alumni and benefactors of the Law School have been generous in their contributions to support the programs of the Law School as well as the construction of a new Law School Building. Contributions to the Law School were particularly large during the year that marked the 100th anniversary of its founding. (See Figure 11.)

Supporting Initiative: Promoting Excellence in Selected Graduate and
Professional Programs-Graduate School of Business Administration

Toward 2016 calls for the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA) to redesign its full- and part-time MBA programs, to develop an master’s in Finance and other niche programs, to continue to leverage international programs, and to strengthen its faculty and student body. As a result of these improvements, it set a goal for GBA’s full-time program to rank in the top 50 nationally and for its part-time program to rank in the top 10.

Advance Ranks of GBA Programs. There are numerous ratings of MBA programs. U.S. News and the Wall Street Journal publish two prominent ratings. In 2007, Fordham’s full-time program ranked 77th nationally in U.S. News; the part-time program was below 30. GBA ranked 27th regionally in the Wall Street Journal. (See Table 6.)

Develop Curricular Programs. GBA has developed new curricular programs in recent years. A new master’s degree in quantitative finance was approved in spring 2007, and a highly qualified inaugural class of students began study in the fall. (See Table 7.)

Leverage International Alliances and Programs. GBA has established a new China consortium with the Universities of Leuven and Dublin and the Esade Business School. It has also established Gateway programs with nine international business schools by which students at the foreign schools visit Fordham.

Strengthen Faculty. The College and Graduate Schools of Business Administration are recruiting new and established scholars for regular appointments to the business faculty and to endowed chairs. Fordham recently received a $3.5 million donation to establish the E. Gerald Corrigan Chair in International Business and Finance. The Business faculty continues to publish prolifically: indeed, in 2006-2007 it published 125 articles, books and chapters, up from 56 in the previous year.

Increase Student Quality. Between fall 2005 and fall 2007, GBA has succeeded in raising the average GMAT scores of full- and part-time students by approximately 20 points. Acceptance rates have dropped slightly for part-time students, to 68 percent in 2007, while acceptance rates for full-time students have been much lower, 49 percent for two of the last three years. (See Figure 12.)

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