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July 2013

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Biz Buzz: News Briefs

  • Olin School of Business Sweeps TeamMBA Awards: MBA student Michael McLaughlin, who trekked 2,500 miles to raise money and awareness for abused and neglected children, and his school, the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, were named winners of the 2013 TeamMBA Awards. The awards were presented last month in Vancouver, British Columbia at the GMAC annual conference. This is the first year that the individual project and institutional awards have come from the same school. McLaughlin took a semester off from his business studies to embark on Hike4Kids, becoming the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and the Ozark Trail back-to-back. Chronicling his journey on Hike4Kids.com, he raised awareness and more than $15,000 for the Family Resource Center in St. Louis and a school for blind and neglected children in Cameroon that was founded by one of McLaughlin’s MBA classmates. Olin was named the TeamMBA institutional award winner for hosting numerous events to support Hike4Kids, including concerts, dinners, entrepreneurship panels, mentorship programs, teaching financial literacy to underprivileged youth, and clothing drives.  Awarded annually since 2008, TeamMBA Awards honor graduate business and management students that exemplify a commitment to social responsibility and “the business of giving back.”

  • GMAC Names New Board Chair and Two New Board Members: At its annual business meeting last month in Vancouver, British Columbia, GMAC welcomed a new chair and two members to its board of directors. Dina Dommett, Executive Director, Leadership Programs at London Business School, will chair the GMAC board. Joining the board as members are J. Michael Hardin, Dean and Thomas D. Russell Professor of Business Administration of Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Alabama; and Toby McChesney, Assistant Dean of Graduate Recruiting and Student Services of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. In addition, Alfons Sauquet, Dean of ESADE Business School, was reelected to the board. Terms of board chairs are one year, and board member terms are four years. GMAC’s Annual Business Meeting marked the organization’s 60th anniversary.

  • Harvard Plans MBA Revisions: Harvard Business School (HBS) has received US$10 million from the family of the late William F. Connell to support curriculum innovation, focusing specifically on the second year of the MBA program. In 2011, HBS introduced a first-year three-module course called FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development), designed to complement the school’s tradition of discussion-based case-method teaching. The FIELD method comprises three elements: Leadership Intelligence, with attention to such topics as teamwork, peer feedback, and self-assessment; Global Intelligence, which sends all members of the first-year class to a developing country in small teams to work with a company to develop a new product or service concept; and Integrative Intelligence, which requires all students to develop and bring to market a “microbusiness” over a 15-week period. Now, HBS faculty are engaged in designing a new approach to the second-year curriculum, known as the Elective Curriculum since second-year students choose all their courses. The work, which includes course development, case writing, and the development of technology platforms, will expand learning opportunities for MBA candidates, including more options to engage in practice. The work also seeks to build greater integration between the two years of the program.

  • Penn State Offers Executive Education for University Managers: A new management development program offered through a collaboration between the Pennsylvania State University office of human resources and Penn State Executive Programs in the Smeal College of Business targets management-level faculty and staff at Penn State. Through a series of six one-day sessions, participants will bolster their skills in strategic leadership and thinking, decision-making, communications, innovation, and other topic areas needed for managerial success.

  • Saïd Business School Goes Online to Address Tough Challenges: Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford has launched a new way of tackling some of the biggest global challenges facing policymakers and businesses. An integral part of the school’s MBA and EMBA programs, GOTO (Global Opportunities, Threats: Oxford) is a web platform that links Oxford academics with MBA and EMBA students and alumni in an action-oriented community focused on solving problems. Students are expected to produce a series of ‘ideation papers’ that look at the practical implications of some of the world’s major issues. The papers are critiqued by other students and revised, then shared on the GOTO site. Students then develop comprehensive action plans for review and implementation by practitioners and policymakers. “GOTO encourages us as students to critically evaluate how the world is changing, and to think about how businesses might respond,” said Jennifer Walker, a current MBA student. “It is a chance to think outside the usual boxes of finance, or strategy, or accounting, and think more deeply about global change, and the business opportunities inherent in that uncertainty.”

  • Building the Physical Plant: Several business schools have recently announced expansion plans. The University of Cambridge has appointed a design team to develop a master plan for the expansion of Cambridge Judge Business School. With a total budget of £30 million, the school plans to add teaching, office, and social spaces. Phase I of the expansion will focus on new space for executive education. An architecture team has been selected for a new School of Business building at the University of Kansas. The six-story, 166,000-square-foot building is expected to cost some US$60 million. And work starts this month on an addition at the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas that will add 108,000 square feet to the schools existing 204,000-square-foot building, With an emphasis on room for student services, the four-story facility will feature high-tech trading and sales labs, three executive education classrooms, and meeting space for student organizations. Meanwhile, Copenhagen Business School has expanded its physical plant by acquiring a former hospital building in Frederiksberg, Denmark. EDHEC is opening expanded facilities that include a floor dedicated to the EDHEC Global MBA. Designed as a hub for student learning, the space offers a gym, sports room, music room, library, canteen, bistro and recreational space as well as rooms for group work and a new amphitheater. Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University has opened an office in Taipei. And Vlerick Business School has opened a campus in Brussels.

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