It is difficult to believe that we are near the end of 2021. Many of us began the year working remotely but are now back on campus or in the office a few days a week - adjusting to a world where vaccinations, negative COVID tests, and masks are a part of the normal vernacular for professional or social activities. Some of you have already had your first application deadline and are releasing first round decisions for the class of 2024. And we are all probably looking forward to winter break!
At GMAC, we are wrapping up projects, reflecting on the themes and activities of the current year and crafting plans for 2022. It’s interesting to me that many of the themes we’ve heard are not new - but are amplified or viewed differently through the lens of COVID and/or social justice. On demand education and the growth of micro-credentials. Org structures - centralized or decentralized? The mental health of staff and students. Moving beyond Diversity to Inclusion. Talent mobility (and the return of international students to the classroom). The future of work. Certainly, all familiar themes, but there are a few newer ones. Resilience. Equitable Entrepreneurship. And who would have thought “the great resignation” would manifest in the halls of the academy?
As the head of a new division at GMAC, one theme that stays top of mind is around member value. We’ve done a lot, but have our efforts increased member value? Were the initiatives launched meaningful?
Eleven months ago, I wrote you introducing Membership Matters, a bi-monthly newsletter specifically for you & about you. We’ve tried to leverage the newsletter for several member-oriented priorities: introducing you to the board, providing you with a “first glance” at research, highlighting specific benefits, exposing you to complimentary professional development, and reminding you of key deadlines and member requirements. This is the sixth issue of the newsletter and as we head into 2022, I extend to you the invitation (again) to provide us with feedback. If it doesn’t hit the mark, we will be agile in editing/adapting/adjusting.
Your feedback need not be limited to Membership Matters. In 2021, we expanded our research communications to include themes around the value of graduate management education and diversity. Did we hit the mark? Many of you indicated a preference for infographics and research briefs so we changed our communication distribution plan to release these items more frequently. Were they beneficial? Some of you wanted more opportunities to discuss specific topics with peers, so we increased the number of virtual town halls. Have you found them useful? Is there something else you would like to see as a member school? I invite you to email me directly and share your thoughts.
Looking ahead to 2022, as my team and I are mapping out plans, we are trying to identify the themes that would matter most to you. We have many ideas, but resources dictate that we prioritize them. We cannot do this without your help. Thus, please take three to five minutes to fill out the survey in this newsletter.
2022 is also the year to revisit the industry admission standards. If you are interested in serving on the taskforce, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
. It would be good to have 10 to 12 volunteers to assist in addressing the questions that surfaced since the Standards were adopted in 2020. GMAC cannot do this without you.
Here’s to wishing you a successful ending to the fall semester and a relaxing holiday/winter break. I sincerely hope to SEE you in 2022.
Take good care,
Vice President, School & Industry Engagement