In 2001, the business school at the University of Colorado—Boulder received a $35 million donation—the country's sixth largest such donation in history—from the Leeds family of Long Island, New York (two of the sons attended the school). The school, originally founded in 1923, was renamed the Leeds School of Business as a result, and students feel confident that the huge influx of money "is working to bring top-tier professors to the university, so quality will continue to improve." The program is small, with only about 50 students per class, and each class is divided into two cohorts of about 30 students. As a small school, "Leeds has both the advantages (small class size, easy course access, access to professors, access to entrepreneurship and real-estate center staff) and disadvantages (limited course offerings, reduced access to large corporate recruiters) that are part and parcel of the small school experience." But most agree that the small size lends an intimacy and familiarity that will ensure their future success. "The high caliber of students and faculty is rare for a program of this size," says one student. "Definitely a great group of people that don't take themselves too seriously. If you are looking for a group of people who understand [that] life should be balanced (after first semester), you will love it here." Leeds has only nine required courses and nine electives, and students can choose to take two electives in the spring of the first year. The second year is mainly electives—only two required classes, but the program is very quant-heavy, and students who don't come into the program with a strong background in statistics, college-level algebra, and principles of microeconomics are advised to take college-level courses in these subjects before they enroll. Students say that both the "entrepreneurial course work and real-estate course work are excellent." Leeds offers more than 25 "career tracks" or sets of electives designed to lead students down specific career paths. Some career paths include "corporate finance, financial consulting, social and ethical venturing, entrepreneurship, real-estate capital markets, marketing management, operations management, and corporate entrepreneurship." When following one of these career paths, students are allowed to enroll in graduate classes in other schools on the university's campus. Dual-degree programs such as an MBA/JD, an MBA/MS in telecommunications or computer science, and an MBA/MA (in anthropology, fine arts, or Germanic languages) are available. And exchange programs are offered at any of the following locations: the ITESM (Monterrey Tec) located in Monterrey, Mexico; and the Instituto de Empresa, located in Madrid, Spain. Leeds also hosts specialized centers devoted to entrepreneurship, real estate, and financial markets. Students warn, however, that course selection is important: "The professors are a mixed bag. Sometimes you get duds; other times, rock stars." And others amend this by saying, "The majority of professors are very good, but the administration has been unresponsive to students' complaints about the occasional inadequate instructor." Some say that they'd like to see the teaching style change a bit. "The largest flaw in the academics is not the workload, the professors, or the administration, but the classroom style. Even in case studies, there is limited class debate—this is certainly something that must be directly addressed and changed."
The Princeton Review