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Executive MBA Council Announces Program Survey Results

The Executive MBA Council, with whom GMAC has a strategic alliance, has announced results of its 2007 Membership Program Survey and Student Exit Benchmarking Survey, which explore the perceptions and opinions of executive MBA program graduates.

Executive MBA Council member programs reported that the average number of applicants per program in 2007 was up 25 percent from 2005, but that program and class sizes are down slightly. The acceptance rate in 2007 was 63 percent compared to 67 percent in 2005. Due to the increase in applicants, 57 percent of the surveyed programs are considering increasing capacity or opening programs in new locations. Thirty-six percent of Executive MBA member programs are implementing special outreach efforts; of those efforts, 59 percent target women. (Twenty-seven percent of Executive MBA students in 2007 were female.) Other top niche markets are ethnic minority, entrepreneur, nonprofit, and public sector audiences. The average total program costs for all Executive MBA Council member programs worldwide rose slightly from $54,295 in 2005 to $57,954 in 2007.

Executive MBA students participating in the Student Exit Benchmarking Survey reported that it took 23 months for their organization to gain the return on its investment, down from 28 months in 2006. It also took less time for students who funded their own education to enjoy a return on their investment: 45 months in 2007, compared to 52 months in 2006. Students reported a 21 percent salary increase as a result of their program participation; students’ salaries rose from $107,097 when they entered the program to $130,056 when they completed the program. Thirty-seven percent of students exiting an Executive MBA Council member program expected a promotion; 43 percent actually were promoted.

Columbia Announces Curriculum Reform

Columbia Business School has announced that it will launch a new, more customizable core curriculum this fall. The revised core will allow students to tailor their education to personal interests as they study business basics. Students will be required to complete courses in such foundational areas as finance, accounting, economics, strategy, and leadership. In addition, they will have several options for focusing further study in each of three designated areas—organizations, performance, and markets. Several foundational courses have been condensed into half a semester to make room for the flexible courses and an additional elective in the first year.

Helping Family Businesses

To meet the demands of the growing number of family-owned businesses in its region of south central Connecticut, the School of Business at Quinnipiac University has started a Family Business Center. The center will sponsor educational programs where owners and employees of family-owned, emerging, and entrepreneurial businesses can learn best practices, exchange ideas, and network. “Family and small businesses make up the bulk of the economic activity in our state and region," said Mark Thompson, dean of the business school. "Our hope is that by helping the area’s small businesses we will in turn have a positive impact on the overall economic health of the region.”

Wake Forest Students Serve Nicaraguan Businesses

Mid-December found a team of students and faculty members from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University volunteering to make a difference in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. The group was part of school’s ongoing Nicaragua Project, designed to help improve the impoverished area’s stagnant economy. One group of students hosted a two-day business seminar for owners and would-be owners of small- to medium-sized businesses. Another group consulted with students in a blacksmithing vocational school who hope to have their own businesses one day. Babcock students started the Nicaragua Project in 2006; the December outreach was the project’s third trip to the country.

UC Davis, MMU Going Green

Business leaders joined MBA students, faculty, and alumni in early December to break ground on a $34.5 million building and conference center complex at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California-Davis. The school's new stone, glass, and stucco building will feature technologically advanced classrooms designed for interactive learning, expanded space for extracurricular activities, a career services center, and a courtyard for informal gatherings. Campus planners expect that the facility will meet the gold standard for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification, making it one of the "greenest" buildings in the University of California system. Nationally known for its strong environmental commitments, the school houses such programs as the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, which focuses on the development and transfer of green technology into the marketplace, and the Center for Investor Welfare and Corporate Responsibility, which teaches students to manage socially responsible index funds. The new building will be named in honor of airline executive Maurice Gallagher Jr., who in October pledged $10 million to the school.

Meanwhile, Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom is investing £65 million in a new business school building and student ‘Learning Exchange.” Considered at the forefront of local green development, the new building will sport three towers under a single glass roof, joined by two atria. Solar panels on the large south-facing roof and ground-source heat pumps will generate power for the building, which is also designed to let in a maximum amount of natural light. The building also recycles rainwater and features an outdoor winter garden.

Intrepid GMAC Keynoter Tackles New Challenge

The 2007 GMAC Annual Industry Conference closed with an inspiring presentation from adventurer and explorer Alison Levine, an MBA alumna of Duke University and team captain of the first American Women's Mount Everest Expedition. Levine’s latest trek, a 574-mile ski trip across Antarctica to the geographic South Pole, traces a trail pioneered by legendary Italian explorer Reinhold Messner. In early December, Levine reported online that she was 225 miles into the journey. For an update on her progress, visit her trip blog at

Biz Briefs

A team of MBA students from the University of Colorado at Boulder beat 80 other teams to win the Business Masters 2007 International Case Studies Competition finals in Karlsruhe, Germany, held in November. The team’s winning entry was a plan to provide an affordable, environmentally friendly solar energy system in East Africa to irrigate crops, increase food production, and generate more income for the region’s farmers and entrepreneurs. 

Taking the first steps toward a planned dual doctor of pharmacy/MBA degree program, the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and Pitt’s School of Pharmacy have partnered to offer a course on the “business of medicines in healthcare.” Launched this month, the course will help prepare students to be senior leaders in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

From the Fundraising Desk

The Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego has received US$5 million from Ernest Rady and the Rady Family Foundation to support final-phase construction of the Rady School campus. The gift comes on the heels of a $5 million donation to the school from The Wachovia Foundation…. The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) has been awarded €11.1 million from the European community to support scholarships for students from China’s disadvantaged regions. The Shanghai municipal government will match sum. The money will also support a pilot PhD program and business management training focused on responsibility and leadership…. The University of Cincinnati College of Business has received US$2 million to establish a professorship of signage and visual marketing. The gift comes from Sharon and James Weinel, owners of Gemini, Inc., the world’s largest producer of dimensional letters and logos…. BMO Financial Group has given C$2.5 million to Concordia University in Montréal to fund a 300-seat lecture hall in the John Molson School of Business and to support a lecture series on business ethics and governance…. HEC Paris has received the largest single donation to a French business school from an individual donor: €4 million from business executive Philippe Foriel Destezet…. James H. Keyes, retired CEO and chairman of the board at Johnson Controls, has pledged US$7.2 million to Marquette University to fund the deanship in the school’s College of Business Administration…. At the Farmer School of Business at Miami University, a US$10 million gift from information technology entrepreneur Richard Forsythe and his wife, Sandra, will support a library and student technology center in the school’s new building, now under construction. In addition, a US$3 million gift from Dr. Richard Chaifetz and Jill Barclay Chaifetz will establish the Chaifetz Trading Center in the new building…. Real estate developer William Allen has pledged US$2 million to the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for the improvement of sales education…. The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University has received US$1.08 million from Nationwide Insurance to create an enhanced risk management curriculum and to support finance research…. The School of Business at Samford University has been named after Harry B. Brock Jr., a banker and university trustee, who has committed to help the Brock School of Business build an endowment of at least US$100 million.… The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto has received C$18 million from namesake benefactor Joseph Rotman and his wife, Sandra, in support of a newly established research center, the Lloyd and Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute. Late last year, the university also received a grant of C$10 million, from Marcel Desautels, president and CEO of the Canadian Credit Management Foundation, for scholarships and to establish the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking…. Utah State University named its business school the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business following Huntsman’s recent record US$26 million donation to the university…. At the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington Tacoma, James A. Milgard and the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation have donated US$2 million to the establish the campus’s first endowed deanship.... BHP Billiton, a global natural resources company, has donated AU$5 million to the University of Western Australia Business School to support the establishment of a new professorial chair, research initiatives, scholarships, and training.

New Programs

The Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam and Belgium’s Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School have created a new 18-month, part-time executive MBA program, dubbed “Independent EMBA.”… Audencia Nantes School of Management has signed academic partnerships with the Graduate School of Business at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, and with XLRI Jamshedpur School of Business and Human Resources in India…. Babson College and Zhejiang University Business School in China have announced a partnership to support student-oriented programs, curriculum development, executive education programs, faculty exchanges, and research projects…. The Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia has started an executive MBA program in healthcare…. As part of a substantial new commitment to finance teaching and research, Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge has announced that it will launch a new one-year master of finance degree this fall. The program is designed for individuals with at least two years of experience in finance or banking…. In Hungary, networking giant Cisco and the Central European University Business School have created the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, designed to build entrepreneurial capacity in small- and mid-sized businesses in Central and Eastern Europe…. Following a structural reorganization, Christopher Newport University has linked its department of accounting, economics, and finance and department of management and marketing with the university’s department of leadership and American studies to create the Joseph W. Luter III College of Business and Leadership…. At the University of Evansville, the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration is in partnership with the university’s electrical engineering and computer science department to implement a new academic track in management information systems…. The University of Fredericton, Canada's newest university, is partnering with Universidad Iberoamericana to offer MBA and EMBA programs for managers in Mexico…. INSEAD has partnered with FORSA, an investment company launched for women by women and based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to offer an executive management program for women business leaders in the region…. Newcastle University Business School has announced a new international alliance with the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade that will encourage student and staff exchange, joint research, and the development of new courses…. Rochester Institute of Technology is planting roots in the Middle East with a planned campus in Dubai, scheduled to open next fall. Planning is under way for initial offerings in finance and service management, among other disciplines…. Webster University has created a Global MBA program that offers students the opportunity to live, learn, and study at Webster's campuses in five international business capitals: Geneva, Leiden, London, Shanghai, and Vienna.

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