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Biz Buzz: What’s New in Graduate Management Education

GMAT Use Tops 5,000 Programs

For the first time, the number of programs accepting the GMAT exam has exceeded 5,000. The increase in the number of programs marks a 31 percent increase from the 3,800 programs that used the GMAT only five years ago. Much of the growth is being fueled by dramatic increases in GMAT use by programs outside the US, particularly in Asia and Europe.

“The dramatic growth in programs that rely on the GMAT as a critical part of the admissions process is a strong testament to the validity, reliability, and security that have been the hallmarks of the GMAT,” said Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer at GMAC. “We are meeting this increasing demand by continually expanding our extensive global network of test centers, where candidates can sit for the GMAT exam nearly any day of the year.”

Seventeen Schools Join GMAC

As business and management schools flourish around the world, many seek membership in GMAC to enhance their brands and join a select group of schools that are committed to the highest standards in management education. Over the last five months, 17 schools have been admitted to membership in GMAC, bringing the total number of members to 200. Sorted by region, the new members are:

  • Asia/Australia: Great Lakes Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, NMIMS University School of Business Management, and SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (India); Korea University Business School (South Korea);  and University of Queensland UQ Business School (Australia)
  • Europe: Copenhagen Business School (Denmark); Cranfield University School of Management (UK); ESSEC Business School (France); EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht i. Gr. EBS Business School (Germany); and Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden)
  • North/Central America: Chapman University Argyros School of Business and Economics, Iowa State University College of Business, St. John’s University Peter J. Tobin College of Business, and University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business (USA); Simon Fraser University Segal Graduate School of Business (Canada); and INCAE (Nicaragua)

Darden Tunes MBA Curriculum

Working to help students blend a broad-based education with specialization, the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has, for the first time, created formal concentrations within its full-time MBA program.

The concentrations are divided into career and theme tracks. The career tracks include Asset Management/Sales & Trading, Corporate Finance/Investment Banking, Entrepreneurship, Consumer Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. Students can complement coursework on those tracks with studies in four theme areas:  Corporate Innovation, Business Development and Growth, Market Analytics, and Sustainability.

“I think the ‘or’ world is in the past. The present and the future is all about the ‘and’ world,” says Robert Carraway, professor and senior associate dean for degree programs at Darden. “We’re not backing off our focus of preparing general managers for a long and successful career. However, we also don’t want businesses to have the perception that our students aren’t capable of being specialists too—particularly at the outset of their careers.”

NC State Refocuses Executive Education

The executive education programs at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management have a new name and approach. Under the concept of “Business Collaboratories,” the programs will engage cross-disciplinary teams of faculty members, students, and other experts in diagnosing business problems. The focus was designed in part to appeal to companies that may have shied away from traditional executive education programs because they could not identify an immediate return on the investment.

“The market is telling us companies need more from their academic partners,” says Dan McGurrin, the newly appointed director of Business Collaboratories. McGurrin says that the approach will provide research and learning methods that can help companies challenge and change their existing business practices.

Ashridge Rebrands Virtual Learning

The Ashridge Business School, a pioneer in online learning for over a decade, has announced the rebranding of its Ashridge Virtual Learning Resource Centre, which is now called Virtual Ashridge. Icons in the new portal lead users to a library of 75 management and leadership subjects, with resources that include text, audio, and video. Content, which comes from Ashridge faculty, can be shaped to an individual or organization’s specific needs.

Under Construction

In April, the Stanford Graduate School of Business invited the public to an open house for its new US$345 million campus. Under construction for three years, the Knight Management Center encompasses eight buildings around three quadrangles on 12.5 acres of the Stanford University campus. Built to the US Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating for sustainability, the 360,000-square-foot campus offers flexible classroom spaces, including break-out and study rooms and leadership labs for small groups.

Wake Forest University has broken ground on Farrell Hall, a home for its Schools of Business. Built around a “living-room” concept that brings faculty and students together, the US$53 million, 120,000-square-foot building will include flexible classrooms and collaborative spaces. A US$10 million gift from Mike Farrell and his wife, Mary, parents of a 2010 Wake Forest graduate, helped spearhead the project.


The UCLA Anderson School of Management has received US$25 million, the largest gift in its history, from the school’s namesake, John E. Anderson, and his wife, Marion. The Andersons have given the school a total of nearly US$42 million.  

Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation have pledged US$4.25 million to Florida State University to expand the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, based in the College of Business.

The Milamber Digital Consortium, whose members include Pearson Education, Ashridge Business School, and Warwick University, has secured a grant of £1.5 million from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to build a next-generation Digital Learning Marketplace, which will develop and test state-of-the-art innovations in the use of metadata.

A US$1.5 million gift from entrepreneur Steven Mariano to the University of Miami’s School of Law will create what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind program in which students who were undergraduate business majors can earn three degrees—a JD, an LLM in taxation, and an MBA—in just four years.

The Walmart Foundation has given US$1 million to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) Program. The grant will help 300 veterans to learn entrepreneurship at the seven universities participating in EBV, which include Florida State University’s College of Business, the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University, the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, and the College of Business at the University of Connecticut. The grant will also support expansion of the program to two additional schools.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has donated US$1 million to Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business to support a Global Social Enterprise Initiative.

Penn State alumni Joan and David Amble have committed US$1 million to create the Joan and David Amble Endowment for Leadership, Honor, and Integrity and a scholarship fund in the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

Retired Houston businessman Fiore Talarico has pledge US$1 million to support the Center for Professional Selling in the School of Business Administration at his alma mater, the University of Dayton.


Ashridge Business School has opened its first office in the Middle East, in Masdar City in UAE. … At Cornell University, the Johnson Graduate School of Management has launched EII—the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute—which will be a hub for entrepreneurial research, education and programmatic activities. … A research center at EBS Business School in Oestrich-Winkel (Rheingau/Hesse) will explore the widespread interactions between sports, business and society. The Institute for Sports, Business and Society will start its work at the beginning of April. … The Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University has started an online MBA program with a focus in Strategic Business Management. The program is taught by full-time faculty members and has a global and industry focus with residency requirements that include interaction with New York City industry leaders and global corporations. … Howard University is partnering with distance learning vendor Embanet-Compass Knowledge Group to begin an online Executive Master in Business Administration program, which starts this fall. … The IESE Business School’s New York-based Department of Corporate Development has started a monthly, 90-second video newsletter, Eye on IESE, to provide updates about the school. … INSEAD has partnered with the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, to establish a dual-degree program. Students will simultaneously pursue an MBA from INSEAD and a Master of Arts degree from SAIS. … IPADE Business School opened the Escuela Superior de Dirección de Empresas (ESDE School of Management) in Costa Rica, IPADE’s first venue outside Mexico. … The Kogod School of Business at American University has launched an e-magazine, Kogod Now, a biannual publication that showcases faculty research. … The Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk  at Georgia State University’s  J. Mack Robinson College of Business has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Munich Re Foundation to collaborate on research about microinsurance, also known as insurance for the poor. … Manchester Business School and the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham have been selected to run the education components for the UK’s National Health Service’s “fast track” management training program for future senior leaders. … Nanyang Technological University and the global reinsurance company SCOR have signed a memorandum of understanding through which the company will establish a research center at NTU on insurance risk and related issues, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. …

At the National University of Singapore, NUS Business School has started the Centre for Strategic Leadership, designed to pioneer research on leadership values and competencies deemed critical for helping to shape growth in Asia. … Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management now offers a Certificate in Private Capital Markets. … Rensselaer at Hartford, the Connecticut-based branch campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has partnered with the Energy Efficiency Fund and CL&P, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, to develop a concentration for graduate management studies, the MS in management with a concentration in sustainability and clean energy management. … The CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that awards the CFA and CIPM designations, has named Mays Business School at Texas A&M University a CFA Program Partner with its BBA, master’s in finance, and MBA curriculums. Texas A&M is the only CFA Program Partner in the United States with three approved programs. … Banco Santander, Spain’s largest bank, has renewed its cooperation agreement with Tsinghua University.  The agreement includes support for overseas exchange programs and Spanish language instruction at Tsinghua. … The University of Connecticut School of Business has started a Master of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management program. … The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan have signed an agreement to be strategic partners. The understanding links CII’s India@75 initiative and the Ross School’s CK Prahalad Initiative. … The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has launched Wharton Digital Press, an all-digital initiative that will publish ebooks, mobile apps, and print-on-demand books. … The College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has created a Global Supply Chain Institute. … Starting in October, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School will offer a newly designed International Executive MBA in Moscow. …

The American Graduate School in Paris and the American University in the Emirates have signed an agreement to cooperate on programs, student and faculty exchanges, and joint research projects. … Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, now offers an MBA concentration in internet marketing as well as a graduate-level online Certificate in Internet Marketing. … In Montreal, Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business has created a Sustainable Investment Professional Certification, targeted to professionals in finance, investment, and related fields. … Franklin University, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, will offer its MBA program at Megatrend University in the Republic of Serbia, one of the largest private universities in Europe. … The Graduate School of International Management at the International University of Japan has announced a new curricular emphasis on emerging markets. … The University of Exeter Business School is partnering with the Word Wildlife Federation on One Planet MBA, a program focused on a sustainable approach to strategic business management. … The University of Southern Mississippi has announced plans for a US$36 million building to replace its 44-year-old Joseph Greene Business Building. … UGSM-Monarch Business School Switzerland and Universidad Azteca Mexico will offer dual master’s and doctoral programs for executives.


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