Accolades: Financial Times Ranks Darden No. 1 (Public) in the World

March 15, 2024 By Dan Heuchert, Dan Heuchert,

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is the top overall public business school in the world, according to new rankings from the Financial Times. The school rose in multiple categories in the Times’ 2024 ranking of the Top 100 global business schools, which comes on the heels of other recent rankings placing Darden atop public MBA programs in the U.S.

Financial Times’ global ranking of full-time MBA programs places Darden as the No. 1 public business school globally, up from No. 3 in 2023. Career-related metrics and student satisfaction helped propel the rise, with Darden ranked No. 4 in the world for overall student satisfaction and No. 2 in MBA aims achieved. The ranking considers value for money, alumni aims achieved, diversity, academic research, environmental policies and salary information.

Other Top 10 global rankings in Financial Times aiding the school’s rise include: 

  • No. 2 for Carbon Footprint.
  • No. 4 in Alumni Satisfaction (not used in rankings calculation).
  • No. 6 in Alumni Network.
  • No. 10 in Career Service.

The school also ranked No. 2 among top-20 schools on the “Employed at Three Months” category. Overall, Darden is ranked No. 16 globally and No. 11 in the U.S., both improvements over 2023.

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Darden’s full-time MBA Class of 2023 reported the highest mean starting salary in school history for the fifth consecutive year, with an average base salary of $167,899. The median starting salary remained at a record high of $175,000 for the second year in a row.

The upward trajectory in the Financial Times ranking follows other key rankings. In September, Darden was ranked No. 3 by Bloomberg Businessweek, its highest ever from the publication. Three months later, Poets & Quants, using its composite tally of five major MBA rankings, ranked Darden No. 8.

Association Honors UVA Engineer for Computer Science Contributions 

John A. “Jack” Stankovic, BP America Professor Emeritus in UVA’s Department of Computer Science, can add the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ 2024 Simon Ramo Medal to his list of professional accolades.

Stankovic already has Technical Achievement Awards in three research areas recognized by the IEEE Computer Society: Real-Time Systems, Distributed Processing and Cyber-Physical Systems – akin to earning three lifetime achievement awards for research.

His citation for the Ramo Medalrecognizes his “contributions to the theory of real-time and resource-constrained, distributed systems and the practice of cyber-physical and health systems.”

“I’m grateful to receive this recognition and the biggest reason is that it validates all the work my students, colleagues and I have done and continue to do to build systems that make life better for people,” Stankovic said.

Stankovic gained prominence in 1988 with his seminal paper, “Misconceptions About Real-Time Computing: A Serious Problem for Next-Generation Systems.”

Real-time systems collect and process data to deliver accurate results within task-specific deadlines that change depending on inputs. These deadlines are necessary for the safe operation of increasingly complex systems, from medical devices such as anesthesia machines or pacemakers to autonomous vehicles.

John Stankovic

Professor emeritus Jack Stankovic’s medal comes after he earned Technical Achievement Awards in three research areas recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Computer Society. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

“These timing requirements are technically multifaceted, difficult to achieve, and potentially catastrophic if the system fails to meet them,” Stankovic said. “At the time, I felt people were trying to make real-time systems work while not focusing enough on the scientific underpinnings needed to make them work on time and correctly.”

His paper articulated the need for more fundamental research and led to real-time computing becoming a new computer science subfield.

He’s also been at the forefront of other nascent fields, including “smart” technologies such as cyber-physical systems, where sensors and actuators in the physical world interact with computer systems. The advancements led to the creation of automatic braking systems in cars and smartwatches that can alert doctors of cardiac events.

Stankovic, a member of the National Academy of Engineering Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, also co-chaired the academy’s Committee on 21st Century Cyber-Physical Systems Education. He contributed to another seminal paper, “Cyber-Physical Systems: The Next Computing Revolution,” and wrote “Research Directions for the Internet of Things,” which has been cited more than 2,400 times, according to Google Scholar.

His more than 400 papers have earned two test-of-time and nine best-paper awards, plus 11 runners-up, and he’s been cited nearly 68,000 times. 

Stankovic, who recently retired, chaired UVA’s Department of Computer Science from 1997 to 2004 and was co-founder and director of Link Lab, UVA Engineering’s multidisciplinary center for cyber-physical research.

Landscape Architecture Group Honors UVA Trio 

Two UVA faculty members and a student are among 13 people to be honored March 22 at the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture’s annual conference in St. Louis.

Michael Lee, Reuben M Rainey Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, will receive the award for Excellence in Teaching among senior faculty, while Leena Cho, an associate professor of landscape architecture and director of the Graduate Landscape Architecture Program, will be awarded for Excellence in Design Studio Teaching among senior faculty. Cho is co-director of the Arctic Design Group.

Michael Lee and Leena Cho

Landscape architecture faculty members Michael Lee, left, and Leena Cho. (UVA School of Architecture photos)

Ari Bell received honorable mention in the Student Creative Scholarship category.

Professor Wins National Security Law Scholarship Prize

School of Law professor Saikrishna Prakash has been awarded the 2023 Mike Lewis Prize for National Security Law Scholarship for his article, “Deciphering the Commander-in-Chief Clause,” published in the Yale Law Journal.

The prize is given by the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin and Ohio Northern’s Pettit College of Law, in consultation with the American Association of Law Schools’ Section on National Security Law.

Saikrishna Prakash

Law professor Saikrishna Prakash’s article examined the history of the president’s “commander in chief” designation and found the modern interpretation to be greatly expanded. (UVA School of Law photo)

Prakash’s article uses 18th-century understandings of what it meant to be a commander in chief to topple the modern reading of the clause – a reading that ascribes to the president the authority to start wars, create military courts, direct and remove officers, and wield emergency wartime powers.

“Anyone interested in war powers should be interested in this key puzzle piece,” said Prakash, the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and the Albert Clark Tate Jr. Professor of Law. “People often make assumptions about the clause and what the founders wrought. Almost all of these assumptions are mistaken.”

Four Cavaliers Earn ACC Postgraduate Scholarships

Four UVA student-athletes are among 51 from Atlantic Coast Conference institutions selected as recipients of either 2024 Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Scholarship Awards or 2024 ACC Excellence Awards.

Wahoos Jack Eliason (men’s cross country/track and field), Anneloes Knol (field hockey), Jared Rayman (football) and Rebecca Skoler (women’s golf) won awards.

Eliason and Skoler received Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Award Scholarships, named in honor of the first four ACC commissioners, Jim Weaver, Bob James, Gene Corrigan and John Swofford. Those scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree after completing undergraduate requirements. Each recipient receives $9,000 toward graduate education.

This year’s class of recipients will be highlighted in a one-hour show on ACC Network airing in May.

Eliason, an All-ACC distance runner, broke the four-minute mile barrier during the 2023 outdoor season, clocking a personal-best 3:59.64. In the same season, the junior finished fourth at the ACC Outdoor Championships, running 13:51.84 for 5,000 meters to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary round. Eliason has competed in seven ACC Championships, including cross country, indoor and outdoor track. Majoring in American studies, he has twice been named to the All-ACC Academic Team.

ACC Sports headshots

Clockwise from top left, Jack Eliason (men’s cross country/track and field), Anneloes Knol (field hockey), Rebecca Skoler (women’s golf) and Jared Rayman (football). (UVA Athletics photos)

Skoler, who majored in public policy and leadership, has been a regular in the UVA lineup the past three seasons. Last year, she received an ACC Top Six for Service Award for work with local First Tee and Special Olympics programs. She is a past president of the Virginia Student Athlete Advisory Council. In 2023, she was honored as UVA’s Distinguished Student-Athlete Scholarship Award winner. She has been named to the All-ACC Academic team three times during her career.

Knol and Rayman will receive 2024 ACC Excellence Awards, new honors established to highlight students embodying the student-athlete ideal.

Knol played striker for four years for the UVA field hockey team, helping lead the squad to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including advancing to the NCAA semifinals her senior season. The commerce major is a four-time member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s National Academic Squad and has been named to the All-ACC Academic Team each of her last two seasons.

Rayman, a quarterback and holder on special teams, majored in public policy and leadership. He was named to the ACC All-Academic team for the second consecutive season in 2023 and received an ACC Top Six for Service Award for his community service activities. He received the football program’s Cav Code Award in both 2022 and 2023, presented to a player committed to service.

Postdoc Receives Career Starter Grant Award

Marta Grannonico

Marta Grannonico, postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine, received a grant that helps launch the careers of clinical and basic researchers who focus on the prevention and cure of potentially blinding diseases in infants and children. (UVA Department of Biology photo)

Marta Grannonico, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine, received the Career Starter grant award from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, which helps launch the careers of clinical and basic researchers who focus on the prevention and cure of potentially blinding diseases in infants and children.

Grannonico received a $90,000 grant for her proposal, “Establishing In Vivo Biomarkers for Retinal Developmental Damage in Aniridia.”

Aniridia is a developmental eye disorder that occurs in one in 75,000 newborns. Although a complete or partial absence of the iris is the most obvious clinical feature of aniridia, visual defects are mainly caused by retinal damages. Timely initiation of treatment can prevent ongoing neural damage and preserve long-term vision.

However, detecting the disease at its earliest stages and monitoring disease progression are substantial clinical challenges. Grannonico, a research scientist in the lab of Xiaorong Liu, is working to establish a sensitive and accurate biomarker for monitoring the developmental neural damage.

Two From UVA Named ‘Rising Stars in Polymers’

Two faculty members in UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Rachel Letteri and Liheng Cai, are among 14 worldwide “rising stars in polymers” included in a virtual special issue of the journal ACS Polymers Au. Both had articles published in the issue.

Letteri, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, studies polymer- and peptide-based materials, “specifically leveraging stereochemistry-directed interactions to control material assembly and properties and designing polymers to present therapeutic peptides in ways that optimize their function.” She also seeks to advance effective teaching approaches for chemistry and chemical engineering undergraduate and graduate education. (More information can be found on the Letteri Lab website.)

Letteri & Cai

In Rachel Letteri, left, and Liheng Cai, UVA’s School of Engineering has two of the 14 worldwide “rising stars in polymers” with articles in a virtual special issue of the journal ACS Polymers Au. (UVA Engineering photos)

Letteri’s article is titled “Antimicrobial Peptide–Poly(ethylene glycol) Conjugates: Connecting Molecular Architecture, Solution Properties, and Functional Performance.” 

Cai is an assistant professor with joint appointments in the departments of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering, and a courtesy appointment to the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Since 2018, Cai has led the Soft Biomatter Laboratory, where his group seeks to understand and control the interactions between soft (bio)materials and living systems to solve challenges in sustainability and health. (Learn more about Cai and his research group at the Soft Biomatter Laboratory website.)

Cai’s article is “3D Printable Modular Soft Elastomers from Physically Crosslinked Homogeneous Associative Polymers.” 

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

Assistant Director of University News and Chief Copy Editor, UVA Today Office of University Communications