Four business school deans gathered in an online hangout this month to discuss high quality, high value MBA programs. This event is the first of its kind in what will be a series of online discussions among business school deans. The lively and productive conversation gave each dean an opportunity to showcase their own experiences and perspectives.
- Christopher Puto, Ph.D., Dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas
- Gary Carini, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Business Programs at Baylor University
- Ira Weiss, Ph.D., Dean of the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University
- dt ogilvie, Ph.D., Dean of the Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology
Below are a few excerpts from the discussion.
Schools and programs are increasing flexibility and value by increasing online and blended offerings. The Poole College is working to “create seamlessness between our professional MBA and our online MBA,” said Weiss.
“Running two programs together not only makes fiscal sense, but it also makes service sense,” said ogilvie.
It is not easy to create true value and there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in every school to make sure that the program quality is at the highest level and the costs are kept at an affordable rate for students, summarized Puto. “The key to delivering value is understanding individual student needs and developing program offerings that across the spectrum of our colleges to deliver that best satisfies student needs.”
Each of the deans discusses how they communicate the value of their programs to prospective students. Any M.B.A. will “provide the core competencies of finance, accounting, marketing, supply chain, et cetera,” said Weiss. “But what we really do in all of our programs is get to a very experiential hands-on level.” Giving students the core competencies and hands-on experience in working with companies, allows them to see how their technical competencies can be driven to help organizations accomplish their missions.
“We know who we are. We know the type of student we can really engage and benefit. And therefore I think it’s very important that each of our schools,” said Weiss, “should have that mission to know who we are what we can do, how we can add value, and our students see the value from there.”
One challenge for schools is determining new program offerings without spreading resources too thin. “All this is a pendulum in a way,” said Carini. “It will swing one way and then kind of go back and we’ll try to achieve that balance. And I think that’s what makes our jobs fascinating.”