No, it’s not my birthday (but thank you for thinking that it was). It’s not even Bunter’s age in dog years (that would be about 80).
The USD School of Business is 40 years old this year. We’re going to be celebrating in many ways throughout the year, but for the blog kick-off I’d like to highlight some of the great things we do at the school as a result of 40 years of building a business program for the 21st century.
Faculty: This year is unique for us in positioning for the future: we hired 11 new faculty members and nearly that number are retiring or entering phased retirement. This is a passing of the baton, a time of honoring the service of many excellent faculty members and welcoming a new group of talented and accomplished professors. They are coming from London Business School, Wharton, Stanford, and Georgia Tech, to name a few.
Undergraduate business program: We have an outstanding undergraduate business program, and this was confirmed for me through a recent article in the Wall Street Journal online. The article levels many critiques on business schools, but here at the USD School of Business we are already doing many of the very things they lament are lacking in business education: critical thinking, data synthesis, and integrative problem-solving.
Every business student has to take the USD core in the liberal arts – philosophy, ethics, science, social science, and more. I feel strongly that the liberal arts provide a solid foundation for business professionals. The WSJ article indicates that corporate recruiters would agree. These recruiters charge that undergraduate business programs “don’t develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses.”
When you walk down our USD School of Business hallways and look into courses on Negotiations, Ethics, Business & Society, Peace through Commerce, Marketing and even Finance, you will see debates and breakout groups preparing their arguments. Look into faculty offices and you will have sympathy for professors grading long papers in courses labeled “W” for writing.
Graduate business programs: With the addition of the more recent full time MBA program, we have a full array of Master’s degrees for students interested in the general MBA, international MBA, real estate, supply chain, accountancy, taxation, executive leadership, and global leadership. These programs are exemplified by high levels of rigor, depth of training, and extensive interaction with business professionals. Nearly all students have mentors, and each program has a personal approach to career development.
Institutes and Centers of Excellence: One of our faculty members who just retired, Dr. Curtis Cook, was also the previous dean of the business school from 1997 to 2005. Curtis brought an entrepreneurial spirit as dean and created five centers and institutes to serve specific areas of industry interest. Most of these partner with one of the undergraduate majors or graduate programs. For instance, the Supply Chain Management Institute supports students in the MS in Supply Chain Management program, while the Burnham Moores Center for Real Estate works closely with the MS in Real Estate program and the undergraduate real estate major. The centers and institutes are conduits between the business community and the business school. They bring business leaders to speak in classes and serve as mentors for our students, and they sponsor conferences of interest to the business community and to our students.
I have many stories to tell about how we’re delivering an academic program that gives students the tools to become world-class business leaders, and I’ll be sharing those throughout our 40th year celebration.