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Biz Buzz: What’s New in Graduate Management Education

Curriculum overhaul at Wharton; Harvard dean’s priority items; diversity efforts at Berkeley-Haas and Cincinnati.

Wharton Revises MBA Curriculum

Customization and flexibility are at the heart of a revised MBA curriculum that was recently adopted at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—along with a promise of free ongoing executive education training.

Under the new curriculum, students will be able to customize their own path to an MBA, drawing on six content areas: finance and the global economy; ethical and legal responsibility; managing the global enterprise; understanding and serving customers; corporate reporting and control; management of operations, innovation, information, and decisions under uncertainty. Building on Wharton’s strength in analytics, the curriculum also increases course content in microeconomics and statistics. The revised program places more emphasis on business ethics, oral and written communication, and development of leadership skills through coaching and student self-analysis.

The school has also created a lifelong “knowledge partnership” between Wharton and its graduates, offering alumni tuition-free executive education every seven years throughout their careers.

Nohria Frames New Priorities at Harvard

Alex Anyone curious about where Nitin Nohria might lead Harvard Business School need wonder no more. In a recent address at the school, HBS's new dean outlined five priorities: curriculum innovation, intellectual ambition, internationalization, inclusion, and closer ties to Harvard University. As reported in HBS's Working Knowledge, Nohria said he wants to innovate to ensure that the value proposition for Harvard MBA stays fresh. He also intends to see that Harvard faculty continue to generate leading-edge thinking. In terms of internationalization, Nohria said Harvard should "chase knowledge, not demand." The dean also intends to make the school more diverse and wants to build better partnerships with Harvard University as a whole.

Diversity Remains at Center Stage

New initiatives at two business schools show an ongoing commitment to make b-school classrooms more diverse. At the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, nearly 40 staff and faculty members are part of a working group that seeks better ways to embed equity, inclusion, and diversity in the school’s programs. Their work is part of a 10-year, university-wide Strategic Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity that is supported with US$16 million from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.

The University of Cincinnati College of Business also has a new diversity initiative, funded in part through a Procter & Gamble grant. "Fueling the Business Diversity Pipeline" seeks to help underrepresented high school students attend college and work toward a business career. The program will connect students with role models and mentors, provide academic preparation and advising, offer opportunities to take part in leadership conferences, and provide scholarships. Top students in the initiative will be admitted into a College of Business honors program.

EMBA Graduates See Rise in Compensation

The Executive MBA Council reports that average salaries and bonuses for recent graduates of EMBA programs rose 11.4 percent in 2010, compared with 9.4 percent in 2009. The findings are based on the council's 2010 Student Exit Benchmarking Survey. The survey found that students averaged a salary and bonus package of US$142,534 at the end of their EMBA programs, up from the average US$127,955 they reported receiving when they started. In addition, 37 percent of survey respondents said they had received promotions while enrolled in their EMBA program.


Yale University received a US$50 million commitment from alumnus Edward P. (Ned) Evans shortly before his death on December 31. His gift will support a new campus for its School of Management, which will name the building for Evans. The gift is the largest in the management school's history.

Following a gift of US$40 million from Lonnie and Carol Johnson Poole, US$37 million of which will fund an endowment in the school’s College of Management, North Carolina State University announced that the college will now be named the Lonnie C. Poole Jr. College of Management. The endowment will support new programs, scholarships, faculty research and other activities. One early innovation is the creation of a Center of Excellence in Sustainability.

University of Notre Dame alumnus Kenneth Meyer has donated US$10 million to the school to support fellowships in the Meyer Family Center for MBA Studies.

The Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester has announced pledged donations totaling US$3.9 million. The gifts include US$1.5 million from alumnus Alan S. Zekelman and his wife for an endowed professorship in finance and US$1 million from alumnus Robert J. Keegan to support strategic initiatives at the school.

Stephen Jarislowsky has donated C$1 million to the University of Victoria. In conjunction with a matching gift from the university’s Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives (CAPI), the donation will fund the Jarislowsky CAPI East Asia (Japan) Chair, which will be housed in both the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and CAPI.


Among recent international partnerships in executive education:

Babson College has leased property in the San Francisco neighborhood known as "South of Market" to house its Fast Track MBA program, which it plans to expand. … The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School has established the Minimum Viable Product Fund, which will offer grants to support rapid prototyping by MBA student entrepreneurs. … Anticipating the introduction in Canada of new accounting standards for reporting financial information, HEC Montreal has launched an International Watch Centre for Financial Information. … IE Business School and ASIS International, an association of security managers, have partnered to create Effective Management for Security Professionals, a five-day executive education program that will be offered starting late February on the IE campus in Madrid. … IESE Business School has helped establish a new business school in Ivory Coast. The MDE Business School was formerly the IHE-Afrique (Institut de Hautes Etudes-Afrique), which has offered workshops for West African executives since 2004. … The Indian School of Business has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Fletcher School at Tufts University designed to help in the development of ISB's Bharti Institute of Public Policy. The collaboration will include faculty exchanges, curriculum development, research and teaching support, joint research projects, and joint executive education programs. …

A course at the London School of Economics and Political Science, "Strategy in the Age of Global Risk," is designed to help future leaders anticipate future threats and "rediscover the lost art of strategy." Starting this September and spread over an academic year, the course includes four intensive one-week study sessions, 20 evening seminars, two policy weekend discussions, relevant site visits, and individual coaching. … The NUS Business School's Center for Asset Management Research & Investments and the Investment Management Association of Singapore are partnering to spark innovation in the investment management industry. … The Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley is introducing a number of innovations in its Evening & Weekend MBA Program. One offering, for example, is a marketing course that combines marketing research, customer behavior, and brand advertising. The school has also rolled out a series of one-unit electives grouped under such topics as corporate financial decision making, game theory, and behavioral finance. Additionally, students in the program now begin began their studies under the umbrella of the school’s new Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD) initiative and can take advantage of expanded career services programming. … The University of Cincinnati has announced that its Department of Economics will now be housed in UC’s College of Business rather than in its college of arts and science. … The Graduate School of Banking at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dakota State University are partnering to advance information technology for the financial industry. … Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School and the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa have agreed to collaborate more closely on research, knowledge development and transfer, and management programs. …

Bluefield State College has announced that it will name its college of business after donor W. Paul Cole, Jr. … ESSEC Business School is starting a 12-month Global MBA program that will include networking seminars, experiential learning trips to emerging markets, and study trips to Singapore and Eastern Europe. … Sify News reports that India’s Europe Asia Business School, based in Pune, plans to open a campus in Mumbai. … The Carey Business School at the Johns Hopkins University is launching an Executive MBA program in global business for senior-level professionals. The 18-month program will blend online distance learning with 10 residencies at the school’s campus in Baltimore. … In Armenia, the Corporate Management High School of the Russian Academy of National Economy is starting a two-year business-education program, "Euromanagement – Master of Business Administration."

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