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Passages: C.K. Prahalad, Luminary in Management Education

The world of business education lost one of its leading lights with the death of C.K. Prahalad on April 16. The author of many influential management articles and books, Prahalad was the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He was 68.

Prahalad was perhaps best known recently for his 2004 book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, which outlined ways in which businesses could both help alleviate world poverty and turn a profit by tapping the buying power of the world’s poor.

Among many other insightful books and papers, Prahalad was also the author of the seminal article “The Core Competence of the Corporation,” published in 1990 in the Harvard Business Review and co-written with Gary Hamel. Arguing that executives should “identify, cultivate and exploit the core competencies that make growth possible,” the article inspired companies to view their organizations as a portfolio of competencies rather than merely as portfolios of businesses.

Women Hold Decisive Lead in Earning US Graduate Degrees

Suggesting that more women than men are expected to become doctors, lawyers, and college professors, the US Census Bureau recently reported that women today represent some 58 percent of adults ages 25 to 29 who hold an advanced college degree.

Census data show that, within the 25-29 age group, 9 percent of women and 6 percent of men hold either a master’s, professional, or doctoral degree. That’s true for white, black, and Hispanic women. There was no statistical difference among Asian men and women.

Women continue to eclipse men in undergraduate achievement as well. In 2009, 35 percent of women 25-29 had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with just 27 percent of men. A decade ago, in 1999, that difference was just 3 percentage points (30 percent for women, 27 percent for men).

The data were reported in Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009.

Student Leaders Form New Association

The outgoing and incoming student government presidents of the business schools at seven universities—including Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford—have formed the MBA Peer School Forum, a student government coalition. The Forum plans to meet regularly to encourage collaboration among MBA students and to coordinate student-led initiatives to improve business and society.

Rutgers Students Testing iPad

Students in a new mini-MBA program on digital marketing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey are helping to pilot test Apple’s iPad as a tool for executive education. The devices come pre-loaded with cases, articles, chapters and videos for the program, which explores such topics as social media marketing, online PR, and digital brand management. During the course, students will also use their iPads to design, track and monitor digital marketing campaigns. In addition, Rutgers faculty are working with Apple and with programmers to customize the iPad for specific course modules.


K-12 Outreach. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University has created a high school outreach program to help prepare students to thrive in both business school and their careers. The Fleischer Scholars Program will be offered to select traditionally underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students during the summer between their junior and senior years.

New Buildings for B Schools. The China Europe International Business School has opened a campus in Beijing. The initial focus of the new site will be EMBA and executive education programs. … Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick has announced that it will build an US$85 million facility on Rutgers University’s Livingston Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey. The 156,000 square-foot-building is planned as a centerpiece of the university’s long-term plan to redevelop the Livingston Campus into a center for business and professional studies. … The new home of the Farmer School of Business is the first building on the Miami University campus to earn LEED certification from the US Green Building Council. The USGBC notified the university that it had earned the “Silver” LEED designation.


After surpassing its original US$90 million fundraising goal two years early, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business upped its target to US$100 million. The seven-year campaign, which began in July 2004 and is part of the university’s drive to raise US$1 billion, will support scholarships, faculty recruitment and retention, facilities, and innovation. To date, the Smith School has raised more than US$91 million.

Having decided that they did not want to see the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta branded with the name of a corporation or individual, donors and alumni have contributed more than C$20 million toward a successful campaign to support the school and help it keep its existing name. “For us, there was never the thought of adopting the name of a single individual,” said Mike Percy, the school’s dean. “This school is owned by its alumni; it’s owned by its community.”

Webster University has named its business school the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology. The school’s namesake is a former US ambassador to Hungary, philanthropist, and civic leader who gave the university US$10 million in 2007, the largest gift in the university’s history.

IBM and the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management will jointly invest a total of C$4.8 million to create the IBM Centre for Performance Management, which will focus on the use of business intelligence and analytics to improve organizational effectiveness.


Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management has extended the Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA program—a partnership with Queen’s School of Business in Ontario—to California. New program locations near San Francisco and Angeles will enable a California cohort to participate in the program via interactive videoconferencing. Graduates earn two MBA degrees—one from Cornell University and a separate, second MBA from Queen’s University—and are alumni of both schools. The program is also offered in New York, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Georgia, Washington DC, New Hampshire, and Texas. … Nanyang Business School at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has partnered with the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego to offer a joint advanced management program for leaders in science and technology. The Leadership and Innovation in Science and Technology program is designed to help scientists and technology managers learn skills to enable them to commercialize research discoveries. …  At Villanova University, the Villanova School of Business recently started a mini-MBA program—a condensed look at key management topics in eight evening sessions—in Center City Philadelphia. … The University of Virginia Darden School of Business and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad have signed a new partnership that focuses on student exchanges, joint case-writing, and research. … Building on the strengths of its two-year, weekend MBA program in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability, Antioch University New England has initiated an accelerated, 12-month version of the program. … The Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University is partnering with Mumbai Business School to offer an executive MBA program. Graduates of Mumbai Business School’s Post-Graduate Program for Working Executives will receive certificates from the Coles College of Business. … The Lipscomb University College of Business School of Executive Education has started an MBA Fellowship Program, designed to provide participants with industry-specific job experience in sports, health care, and entertainment/new media. … Lagos Business School at Pan-African University has created a center for corporate social responsibility, in partnership with the telecommunications firm Etisalat Nigeria. The center will focus on teaching and research in corporate governance, work-family balance, business ethics, and other issues related to CSR. … Beginning this summer, Springfield College will offer an MBA degree program with concentration options in nonprofit organization management and business management.

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