Good week for UB Law, no fun for Medifast and Millennial Media

Best-and-Worst-3-13-15_600You can grumble about the listings and say they fail to truly measure the quality of an education. But leaders of colleges, universities and professional schools know all too well the power of the U.S. News and World Report annual school rankings.

So it was with a sigh of relief that administrators at the University of Baltimore School of Law saw a reversal this week after a few years of slippage in the magazine rankings. The  school regained 13 spots, moving from 135th to No. 122.

“I’ve always been skeptical of the U.S. News methodology,” said UB Law Dean Ronald Weich, who did allow that some of the magazine’s criteria employ “valid measures.”

Perhaps the exasperation that educators barely contain over the ratings was best expressed by Donald Tobin, dean of the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law, which slid a single spot in the rankings, from No. 46 to No.  47.

Noting that some schools can sometimes slide down 10 spots or more, he asked, “Did they get 10 places worse in one year? Of course not.”

Two Maryland companies that had their own slippage last week were Millennial Media and Medifast, the weight-loss company. The latter dropped more than weight, with its fourth-quarter report to investors showing a loss of $3.4 million. The Owings Mills-based company has been overhauling its operations, and while some of the bad news was not totally unexpected the end-of-the-year numbers fell short of analysts’ expectations.

As for Millennial, the Baltimore mobile advertising company lost $11.6 million in the last three months of 2014, compared to $3.7 million for the same period the previous year.

CEOs of both companies said there are better days ahead.

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