School headlines

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University focuses on global business, leadership, and management education. Guided by a global mindset and fueled by a deep commitment to advancing inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide, its executive degree programs blend global business, public policy, and international affairs. Designed specifically for busy, mid-career professionals who want to take their careers to the next level, Thunderbird’s programs include the following offerings.

With the flexibility of Thunderbird’s Executive Master of Global Management (EMGM) program, full-time working professionals can complete this international business graduate degree in only one year. They attend in-person classes once a month at Thunderbird’s new state-of-the-art global headquarters in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Thunderbird’s one-year Executive Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management (EMAGAM) helps students build expertise in leadership of systems and new enterprises, management of complexity, disruptive innovation, digital transformation, and collaborative problem-solving. Thunderbird tailored the program, based in Washington, D.C., with specializations in global business or global public policy, for mid-career professionals in all sectors.

Thunderbird’s Los Angeles-based one-of-kind degree program, the Executive Master of Global Management with a specialization in Space Leadership, Business, and Policy (EMGM-SL) prepares professionals who want to pursue executive careers in commercial spaceflight, defense and civil aerospace, AI and big data, and next-generation manufacturing. Designed and taught by industry-leading experts, the program takes a year to complete.

To help supply chain managers effectively navigate risks and disruptions while keeping the end-to-end supply chain running smoothly, Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business has added a new concentration in global trade and supply chain management beginning this fall in its Baylor Online MBA and Baylor Executive MBA Programs in Dallas and Austin.

“The importance of effectively managing supply chains has never been more important as it is in today’s globally connected business environment,” says Tim Kayworth, professor of information systems and associate dean for graduate business programs. “This was illustrated over the past year as health care supply chain experts faced significant pressure to source and distribute essential medical supplies for COVID-19 and more recently in the widespread distribution of vaccine.

“The new concentration in global trade and supply chain management will prepare students to deal with the logistical, legal, and geo-political complexities of managing globally connected supply chains to ensure the efficient flow of goods and services among globally dispersed business partners.”

The Baylor OMBA and EMBA Programs both offer strategic concentrations in cybersecurity, and executive communication and marketing while the EMBA Programs also provide a health care administration concentration.

With three next-generation global classrooms, hologram technology, and augmented and virtual reality projects being developed, the Goizueta Business School at Emory University is poised to take digital learning to the next level by providing business professionals with a truly immersive, dynamic experience from anywhere in the world.  

Even before the pandemic, Goizueta was looking ahead to future learning innovations. “The goal is not to use digital learning to replace all of our traditional classrooms but to reach a different audience and provide a top-notch educational experience,” says Jaclyn Conner, associate dean for Executive MBA. Conner has been spearheading the teaching innovation efforts. 

A donation from The Goizueta Foundation allowed the school to move forward on teaching innovations in three key areas: virtual classrooms, holograms, and virtual reality or gamification. This summer, Goizueta’s Executive Education and EMBA students were the first to experience The Roberto C. Goizueta Global Classrooms, which create online and hybrid learning opportunities that don’t sacrifice one-to-one connection.

Goizueta has partnered with X20Media—a third-party vendor—to power the digital learning platform for the three Global Classrooms. With multiple camera angles and state-of-the-art audio, faculty and students can see and hear each other through a wall of 20 to 40 high-definition monitors positioned with each student’s video feed assigned to a monitor, all in a familiar format.

The Global Classroom technology involves more than just connecting students on a Zoom-type call. In-house talent runs a production or control room in which production members can communicate with professors in real time regarding questions and topics that arise in the online chat. This allows students to interact with each other and the instructor. Conner likens the production or control room to a sophisticated TV studio. “It’s Zoom on steroids,” she says. Goizueta’s in-house instructional designers work with faculty to help them prepare to fully leverage the world-class platform, and each session will be recorded for those who can’t attend or want to review.

Perhaps the greatest advantage, notes Conner, is the system’s learning analytics, which are the hardest to collect in a traditional learning environment. Faculty can conduct real-time polls to get the “temperature of the room” on any given topic.

“The ability to use a digital platform to capture that data to provide to the instructor in real time is revolutionary,” Conner says. “As you are teaching, managing a chat board is almost impossible. But having a system that is looking for commonalities and provides a report showing keywords mentioned a number of times by a significant number of students — that is a game-changer!” 

The efforts of two alumni organizations help alumni from the Broad Executive MBA at Michigan State University stay connected.

An elected board of directors in each location – East Lansing and Troy – manage the organizations. During the last 19 months, both boards have become an extension of the EMBA team working with the program to make a positive impact on alumni engagement, as well as on current and prospective students.

Board members have coordinated numerous events, including a golf outing held every August. This year, participants at the outing represented alumni from three decades of EMBA classes. It featured a variety of activities, games, and celebrity visitors, including the beloved mascot, Sparty.

In addition to events, board members also assisted with recruitment by making phone calls to admitted students, which help reinforce the EMBA brand as alumni share their program (and post-program) experience.

The Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology broke ground on an expansion and renovation of its facility in August. The expansion will almost double the size of the business college, adding 35,00 square feet.

The new building will include student team rooms, applied research and case analysis labs, an event space and reception hall, auditorium, café, and outdoor spaces. Existing classrooms will be renovated. Construction work will begin in spring 2022, with completion scheduled for fall 2023.

The 2021 incoming EMBA students at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Riga are benefitting from a program component that focuses on reflection and self-awareness. The EMBA Program launched with a pilot that asked program participants to share their reflections on both program content and their life and work experiences after every monthly EMBA module.

The program now provides greater structure and support for this through weekly coach-facilitated alternating large- and small-group reflection sessions between modules. These efforts help students develop continuous reflection as a habit, which helps enrich both their experience of the EMBA Program and supports them on their long-term leadership development journey.

The University of Cambridge and Peking University HSBC Business School are expanding their cooperative program in Shenzhen, China, to include a new Global Executive MBA Program from Cambridge Judge Business School and a master’s and certificate program in China studies for economics and management from Peking University.

The two schools began their business education collaboration in 2020 with the start of two executive education programs focusing on innovation and international management.

In August, the Executive MBA Program at the University of Iowa welcomed 38 students to a revamped and enhanced EMBA Program based on the most consequential changes in the EMBA Program since its inception in 1978.

In 2018 the Tippie College of Business team launched a comprehensive research, benchmarking, and stakeholder engagement initiative, including Executive MBA Council members who generously shared their experiences and insights. That worked resulted in the following changes.

Classes now meet both in-person and online for 16 months. Students come to in-person classes once a month on Friday and Saturday, alternating between Des Moines and Iowa City. Tuition includes complimentary shuttle service and Friday-night hotel stay. Online classes also take place one Saturday per month. Immersive class weekends and virtual engagement with the cohort offer rich opportunities to network. 

In addition, the program introduced fresh case studies into the curriculum that offer examples of real business challenges, like the logistics of vaccine distribution. These application-oriented cases span disciplines to connect the courses that students experience each semester. On in-person weekends, students tour company facilities and learn from industry speakers and panels of experts on topics such as healthcare, consumer products, cybersecurity, AI, smart buildings, agriculture, energy, and more. Each student has 12 months of access to one-on-one executive coaching starting in the second semester.

The class of 2022 reflects a greater diversity of employer than ever before, with students from a broader geographic range. Pleased at the positive response so far, the program is closely tracking progress with one-on-one conversations and surveys every semester to identify areas for further improvement in 2022.

Starting in January 2022, the first cohort of the new 24-month Executive Master of Health Administration will begin its studies at the Tefler School of Management at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. Designed for the health care industry, the new offering will be delivered through evening and weekend online courses.

Its curriculum includes three components: management fundamentals, which will cover core business skills; health care fundamentals, which will cover topics such as policy, innovation, analytics, and service delivery in health care contexts; and experiential learning, which will involve a residency or field project. The program also features insights from executives-in-residence and research from scholars in the school’s Master’s in Health Systems Program.

Two Swiss schools – the University of St. Gallen and ETH Zurich, joined together to offer the emba x, a new Executive MBA Program with a focus on impactful leadership, innovation, and personal development.

The 18-month program includes a focus on integrating technology and management knowledge while developing the skills and mindset to deliver sustainable positive impact to the world.

“The collaboration between the University of St. Gallen and ETH is very unique,” says Karolin Frankenberger, the University of St. Gallen’s co-director of the emba X. “If we want to achieve something big, we need to cross our company borders or institution borders and work together with other strong players.”

The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business launched its newly redesigned EMBA Program for students who entered as part of the August 2021 class.

The on-campus classroom experience, opportunities for networking, and strong community culture remain as hallmarks of the program. The new 20-month program offers more flexibility and a stronger focus on leadership and organizational strategy. Students attend classes Thursday through Saturday one weekend per month, making it easier for busy executives and those who travel from outside of Austin to attend.

The Executive MBA curriculum includes additional electives and new course offerings, with expanded topics that provide a broader base of knowledge and an increased emphasis on leadership, strategy, and analytics.

Valuation for Executives, Business Analytics and Decision Modeling for Executives, Strategic Marketing, Strategic Human Capital, and Leading for Impact highlight core curriculum additions. An expanded slate of electives allows for greater customization. In the new program design, students will now take four electives from a choice of some 10 to 12 courses.

Increased leadership content includes a new Executive Seminar course, an Executive Crisis Challenge simulation with an emphasis on ethics and communication, and a new capstone course, Leading for Impact, to develop executive leadership through introspection, practice, feedback, and opportunity to drive change in real organizations.

“Market research and feedback from employers helped inform updates to the curriculum and program format,” says Joe Stephens, senior assistant dean and director of Working Professional and Executive MBA Programs at McCombs. “This evolution will prepare our Executive MBA students for what’s ahead and will keep them competitive in high-level executive leadership roles.”

Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management has formed strategic partnerships with, National Black MBA Association® (NBMBAA), and Prospanica. 

Through scholarship, professional support, admissions resources, and more, these partnerships strengthen the school’s equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in recruiting and admissions for the Vanderbilt MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Marketing, MS Finance, and Master of Accountancy (Assurance and Valuation) Programs.

“These important strategic partnerships will significantly add to our efforts to enhance diversity within the Owen student body,” says M. Eric Johnson, Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy.’s mission is to empower candidates from all backgrounds to achieve early career success by combating the traditional barriers to higher education. Free of charge, provides admission tools and resources, including Index, the first comprehensive MBA admission profile score, and Access, a program for underrepresented MBA candidates that provides an admission curriculum, community, and accountability to drive positive outcomes. As an partner school, Vanderbilt MBA admissions representatives and alumni engage with prospective students through Access webinars and other coaching opportunities.

The NBMBAA seeks to lead in the creation of educational, wealth building, and growth opportunities for Black students, professionals, and entrepreneurs. As a Diamond Level Partner, the Vanderbilt MBA and Executive MBA Programs are offering educational merit-based scholarships to qualified students and/or members of the NBMBAA.

Prospanica strives to empower and enable Hispanic professionals to achieve their full educational, economic, and social potential. The association offers career and professional development conferences, resources for students and professionals, and scholarships for graduate education. As a University Partner, Vanderbilt is offering merit-based scholarships for students pursuing MBA, MS Finance, Master of Marketing, and Master of Accountancy (Assurance and Valuation) degrees.

“We are longtime partners with NBMBAA and Prospanica, in particular, and are intentionally challenging ourselves to up our commitments,” says Sue Oldham, associate dean, MBA Operations. “Introducing a new strategic partner like allows us to reach the underserved and under-resourced talent as well.”

August marked the start of the new HyFlex format for the Virginia Commonwealth University Executive MBA Program.

The program meets on alternating Friday afternoons and Saturdays, delivering a course design model with a flexible structure that gives students the option of attending all sessions in the classroom, or attending once per month in the classroom on the mandatory in-person weekend and then participating online two weeks later during the HyFlex weekend, or a mixture - it is the student’s choice on the once-per-month Hyflex weekend. The schedule also includes networking socials on mandatory in-person class weekends.

“Our new HyFlex calendar is giving flexibility to all of our students and is attracting students from a greater distance than just our typical regional pull,” says Bill Miller, executive director, Business Development and Alumni Relations. “Offering class sessions remotely once per month also reduces student hotel expenses and gives flexibility to support busy lives and work travel requirements.”

The program’s EMBA classrooms come equipped for HyFlex sessions with 4k video, wireless microphones, document cameras, and embedded AV aides to support students and faculty.

The class of 2023 cohort is 50 percent female, and the students average 14 years of work experience. First-year students focus on team-building projects, and second-year students prepare business plans for their startup projects.

The 20-month all-inclusive, alternating weekend Executive MBA Program includes an international trip. Faculty infuse leadership, creativity, and culture throughout the core MBA topics, and students collaborate on real-world projects focused on team building, non-profits, startup ventures, and strategic dilemmas. 

The Virginia Commonwealth University Executive MBA Program began in 1994 and recently welcomed its 26th cohort. Its network includes 1,000 alumni, well represented at organizations throughout Virginia and worldwide.

After 20 months, 10 courses, three residencies, and countless hours of studying, the first cohort of the Executive Women’s Master of Business Administration Program in The Women’s College of Brenau University finished in August with a residency in Atlanta and Gainesville.

During the residency, the women met with female vineyard owners, directors and managers from the High Museum, and Beth Marshall, vice president of communications for the Atlanta Braves. The women also visited Brenau’s historic Gainesville campus and met some of the faculty and staff in person.

“With a lot of online programs, the students never stepped foot on their actual campus,” says Juli Clay, chair of communication and assistant vice president for executive programs. “We were able to bring them to campus to have lunch and take a tour, but we made sure to introduce them to some of the more fun Brenau traditions as well.”

Clay said one of her favorite parts about the first cohort was the connection the students made. 

“I think the students really formed a network and have a bond that they’ll take long beyond Brenau,” she says. “One of the highlights of the program for us was watching the students really solidify that bond to one another, despite differences in industries and backgrounds. And then to really extend their network through the series of thought leaders that we introduced them to and guest speakers at residencies, it was great to watch them expand their professional network as well.” 

The program started in January 2020 with the students traveling a month later to New York for a weekend packed with meetings, lectures, and sightseeing. The New York residency was also the first time the women had been able to spend an extended period together.

“New York was a fantastic experience,” says Kristen Brown, one of the women who finished the program. “It was great because we got to meet all these different powerful women in all these different fields from entertainment to finance. But the best part of New York outside of meeting all those different people and going out to different places was the bonding that we got to do with our cohort. We left there a family, and we’ve been close ever since. I think that having that time really made a big difference.”

Although the cohort didn’t complete international residency abroad this year because of COVID-19, they did participate in international experience domestically when they took a trip outside of Boone, North Carolina. A chef there created an international menu inspired by the various countries of speakers. The cohort also had a tea class with the owner of a Taiwanese tea company and took part in a traditional African dance class.

“We were able to bring 19 speakers from 13 countries to our students,” Clay says. “Even though we weren’t able to travel internationally, we were able to bring that international perspective to the program in a reimagined way.”

After so much hard work, Brown, who works as the director of digital content at 11Alive News in Atlanta, is excited to have completed her Executive Women’s MBA and plans on using what she learned immediately.

“The whole goal is to get into the C-suite, and I’ll use my degree and what I learned to get there,” Brown says.  “We had classes that focused on management style and leadership, and I’m going to be able to use that immediately to help build up my team and create really good relationships with them.”

  • Paulo Goes, former dean and Halle Chair in Leadership at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, became the 14th dean of the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University in August. Before becoming Eller College’s dean in 2016, Goes headed Eller’s Department of Management Information Systems.
  • In April, Professor Veronique Tran became the new rector of the ESCP Business School in Berlin. She joined the school as a professor of organizational behavior and organizational psychology in 2006 and was academic dean of the Executive MBA and General Management Program from 2018 to 2021.
  • Bobby Waldrup will remain the interim dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore until June 2022. An accounting professor and former department chair, Waldrup served as the school’s associate dean before becoming interim dean.

  • Alex Sevilla is the new vice provost for career advancement and engagement and Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center at Vanderbilt University. Sevilla previously was an associate dean at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business.

  • Wharton San Francisco at the University of Pennsylvania recently named Alan Chen as executive director. He most recently was senior director of business development for Wharton Executive Education.

  • Wanda Costen became the dean of Smith’s School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario. Costen held senior leadership roles at MacEwan Uinversity and Northern Arizona University and faculty positions at the University of Tennessee, the University of Nevada, and Washington State University.

  • Arjang A. Assad, dean of the Katz Graduate School of Business and undergraduate College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, will transition to the faculty in June 2022.

  • The University of Toronto Rotman School of Management named Susan Christoffersen dean. Christoffersen, the William A. Downe BMO Chair and finance professor, joined Rotman in 2010 and was vice dean for undergraduate specialized programs from 2015 to 2020.