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U.S. News MBA ranking hits all-time high

Graphic with graduate caps on a bar chart that reads "Highest MBA ranking in school history.".

The School of Management was ranked in its highest spot ever—No. 66—by U.S. News & World Report in its annual ranking of MBA programs.

The school is up four places from last year, and a total of 15 places over the past three years, maintaining a solid position in the top 10% of AACSB-accredited business schools.

“Our focus on creating outstanding learning experiences and providing quality career development while recruiting high-caliber students and top faculty is really paying off,” said Paul Tesluk, dean of the UB School of Management. “It’s gratifying to see our success reflected in the upward trajectory of these rankings and in our global reputation.”

In the recruiter component of the ranking, the school fared exceptionally well, earning the No. 11 spot.

“This is a ringing endorsement from the corporate world and truly a testament to the dedication of our faculty and the preparedness of our graduates,” Tesluk added.

The School of Management is the only business school in the Buffalo Niagara region to be included in the U.S. News ranking.

Leading together

3 takeaways from the CLOE conference

While a growing number of conferences and leadership programs focus on women, the School of Management’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (CLOE) took a different approach on May 10, hosting “Lead Together,” a conference to bring men and women together to focus on leadership and inclusion.

Ten speakers from industry, entrepreneurship and academia offered a variety of perspectives and strategies to more than 200 leaders in attendance.

Below are a few takeaways from the daylong event to help you and your organization make the most of your talent.

  1. “To lead with greater impact, establish personal policies—a set of simple rules based on your values and priorities—to guide your decisions and actions.”
    Vanessa Patrick, Bauer Professor of Marketing, University of Houston, in her presentation on achieving everyday excellence.
  2. “Start by defining inclusive behaviors, specifying outcomes, setting leader expectations and promoting collaboration in your organization.”
    Paul Tesluk, dean and professor, UB School of Management, in a session on building inclusive cultures.
  3. “Do what you can to assist other men and women to rise to the top. Invest in other successful people, and they will reciprocate.”
    Keynote speaker Barb Stegemann, author and founder of The 7 Virtues Peace Perfumes, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil.

UB MBA Case Competition winners Orion LaMontagne, Mike Kleinfelder, Valerie Cardillo and Jacob Walsh. Photos: Tom Wolf

School of Management hosts national case competitions

Facing off against business students from around the country, a team of four School of Management students took first place at the second annual UB MBA Case Competition on April 6, hosted by the School of Management and sponsored by Citi.

Presenting teams were identified only by a number, so judges didn’t know which college or university each team was from until after their evaluations were complete. Ten teams of finalists were selected based on the quality of their written case analysis of a real-world business problem on how to best position a successful craft beer company for expansion. They then presented their proposed solutions in person to a panel of executive judges.

The UB team received $5,000, Rutgers Business School took second and received $2,000, and the University of Illinois Gies College of Business took third place and received $1,000.


With sponsorship from Eli Lilly and Co., the School of Management also hosted the inaugural undergraduate competition the same day. The first-place team, from the University of Rochester Simon Business School, won $5,000, while the team from the Binghamton University School of Management won $2,000 for second place. UB’s team collected a $1,000 prize for their third-place finish, and was made up of Ryan Hughes, Kyle Jensen, Noah Nardozza and Paige Roseman. In addition, Nardozza, a first-year business administration student, was named Best Presenter among all undergraduates and won a $500 prize.

Entrepreneurial triumph

Ogechi Ogoke, a doctoral student in chemical and biological engineering, took first place on April 10 in UB’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition for a patient-specific cell therapy that can be used as an alternative to a liver transplant. He will receive $25,000 in startup capital and in-kind services valued at $27,000 for his company, Livandala. Hosted by the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars, the event is part of UB’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem.

O’Brien receives Chancellor’s Award


Erin O’Brien, MBA ’00, has been awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, the highest award SUNY bestows to professional staff. As assistant dean and director of graduate programs in the School of Management since 2013, O’Brien oversees the overall direction of graduate recruitment, admissions and student services.

Through her leadership, O’Brien successfully launched and executed a scalable structure of collaborative degree programs that has enabled the School of Management to sustain and grow enrollment. She also created and instituted a comprehensive set of strategic recruitment and engagement initiatives for the school’s MBA and master’s programs that support active members of the military, veterans, women, underrepresented students and those in the health sciences, providing a highly personalized experience that connects with students at an individual level. The net effect has greatly increased the diversity and breadth of student recruitment efforts and the quality of the student experience for the school’s graduate programs.

“Erin brings a highly disciplined and data-driven approach to understanding problems and developing solutions,” says Paul Tesluk, dean of the School of Management. “Her efforts have helped to enhance the quality and strength of the school’s graduate program portfolio, and we are pleased she is being recognized with this well-deserved honor.”


Over the summer, middle and high school students got hands-on with cybersecurity at the UB GenCyber Camp, where they were introduced to computer security as a future career option. Pictured here, campers assemble small Raspberry Pi computers as they prepare to defend against a simulated cyberattack.  

UB mourns passing of former dean


Lewis Mandell, former dean and professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the School of Management, passed away May 6 in Austin, Texas. He was 76.

An economist and financial literacy expert, Mandell was the author of more than 20 books and numerous articles on consumer finance and was a prolific media contributor for the School of Management—even after retirement—sharing his expertise with such outlets as NBC News, NPR, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and CNN.

He hosted radio call-in programs on investments and entrepreneurship in two major radio markets and testified before Congress four times.

Mandell earned a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA from Northwestern University and a BA from CUNY City College of New York. Over his 44-year academic career, he held professorships at a number of leading universities, directed research for the Comptroller of the Currency and was dean of business at Marquette University.

At UB, Mandell served as dean of the School of Management from 1998 to 2001 and as professor of finance until 2008. He taught courses in investments and valuation at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and was a beloved mentor for many of his students as they entered and progressed through their careers. He was the recipient of several awards, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Mandell conducted several nationwide benchmark studies of the personal finance skills of young adults and, in collaboration with the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation, developed MoneySKILL®, a free, interactive online curriculum that educates students to make informed financial decisions.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy, and daughter, Alexis.

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