School headlines

In June, Sylvia Haas, executive director of the MBA for Executives Program at the University of California Irvine (UC Irvine), retired.

“In our time in higher education, seldom have we seen one person make an impact on our work as deeply and as broadly as Sylvia Haas ,” says Jon Kaplan, assistant dean for the MBA and Specialty Master’s Programs for The Paul Merage School at UC Irvine. “Over a 20-plus year career in the EMBA space, Sylvia has influenced and transformed career services, admissions, and curriculum at two major universities: UCLA and UC Irvine, while also becoming a leader and major contributor to the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC).”

Hass began her EMBA career at UC Irvine, holding a number of positions from 1999 to 2008, most notably serving as senior associate director of the EMBA and HealthCare EMBA Programs. “During that time, she established herself as an innovator and trendsetter, with her greatest impact most likely being how she bonded with and contributed to students, maintaining the deepest of connections that allow her to call upon those now long-time alumni even today,” says Kaplan.

In 2008, Haas joined the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Executive MBA Programs as executive director of admissions. There she oversaw a period of impressive growth and accomplishments, including a long string of top-10 rankings and a doubling in size of both applications and enrollment.  Haas also played a huge role in establishing an open, friendly, and collaborative culture for the program that resulted in cohorts which, year-after-year, consisted of more than 50 percent referrals, says Kaplan.

In 2018, Haas returned to the Merage School, taking the UCI EMBA Program to a new level, he says, noting how Haas led her team to strategically increase the cohort size, including the number of female, and U.S. Veteran and URM students, while helping enhance the quality of the student body overall.  At the same time, she championed enhancements in curriculum delivery and lifetime executive career development support, setting up the program for great success for years to come.

“Sylvia has also left the program in great hands, as she has attracted a fantastic team of highly talented staff members who, under her tutelage, have gained numerous insights and tools that will enable Merage to keep its program moving forward,” says Kaplan. “Finally, she has become a confidant and mentor for many involved in all the graduate business programs at Merage, consistently leveraging her secret power, her genuine love for people. It shows in everything she does.”

Her support within the EMBA industry is also well-known.

“During her career working for EMBA programs, Sylvia has almost taken on celebrity status among those who work in our world,” says Kaplan. “She has befriended seemingly everyone and anyone who has ‘EMBA’ in their title, while also establishing herself as a leader in the industry, most notably serving a three year-term on the EMBAC Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2017.”

EMBAC Executive Director Michael Desiderio values Haas’ contributions to EMBAC and the industry.

“It was truly a privilege to work with Sylvia as a member of our board,” says Desiderio. “She was a role model of what board service should look like. I will miss her passion, insights, and counsel.”

Students in the Brigham Young University (BYU) Executive MBA take classes every other weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, for two academic years.

Students learn from some of the best professors in education, the same professors who teach in the day-time MBA, recognized as a top program for human resources, supply chain, operations, finance, and entrepreneurship. Bloomberg Businessweek also has recognized the BYU MBA for inspiring and supportive faculty, and The Economist also rates the program as one of the best in the world.

The EMBA cost of roughly $50,000 total over two years covers tuition, books, lunch, and parking, as well as a Foreign Business Excursion, where students will travel overseas once restrictions ease for two weeks to experience the business and culture of other countries. BYU welcomes all faiths and lifestyles in a classroom setting built on respect and inclusion.

Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Executive MBA Program will debut its new HyFlex schedule in August 2021, offering HyFlex during the second class weekend of each month.

VCU HyFlex capability allows students to attend in-person as they normally do or to attend sessions via the simulcast stream. Classes alternate weekends on Friday
afternoons and Saturdays.

The 20-month VCU EMBA Program includes core MBA topics, such as finance, marketing, management, information technology, operations, accounting, and economics, as well as sessions on leadership, communications, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Tuition includes a 10-day international trip. VCU also offers optional concentrations in health care management and corporate finance during the summer break.

Students spend 17 months in class and complete four major group projects, one per semester, using the traditional consulting methodology. The final project, the Strategic Dilemma, focuses on a client's problem that ties all MBA subjects, tools, and frameworks together.

Located in downtown Richmond, Virginia, the VCU campus is close to numerous corporate headquarters including CarMax, Capital One, and high-growth tech startups. EMBA students come to the program with more than 14 years of work experience and classes are evenly split by gender.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Broad Executive MBA launched the Broad Enterprise Leadership Academy with the class of 2022. This program-long academy invites students to participate in a diverse and integrated set of experiences and resources that allow them to apply learning. Those experiences include the Broad RoadMap Board-of-Director (BOD) sessions, which take place following each course module, or about every eight weeks.

Students meet in small groups (virtually for now) for 20 minutes to share their individual learning and build a personal board of directors that drives accountability and impact. The students document learning in their personal RoadMap, which aligns with the leadership development plan that they create at the program’s start. The session idea arose from alumni who noted that given the program pace, it is challenging to make time for reflection. The BOD sessions offer students a structured moment to pause, reflect, share, and apply learning.

Auburn University’s Physicians Executive MBA (PEMBA) Program’s comparative healthcare study trip allows students from the Harbert College of Business to learn firsthand the benefits and challenges that face national healthcare systems of other countries. 

After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s planned international trip to London, where students were to meet British hospital administrators and peer physicians, Harbert College’s Graduate Executive Programs re-envisioned its “international experience.”

During the 2021 spring semester, the program pivoted to a domestic location, following COVID-19 protocols, and brought London to its PEMBA students. Students traveled to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, and participated in lectures and discussions via Zoom.

Led by British healthcare professionals, the Zoom lectures provided a detailed overview of their National Health Service (NHS), specifically addressing its benefits, liabilities, and the role that the nation’s history of economics, values, and culture have played in its development.

Marcus L. Williams, M.D., a cardiologist at West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange who graduated from the program in May, said learning from British administrators and physicians gave him “a better understanding of the deficiencies we have here at home.”

“It’s not until you delve deep into another country’s healthcare system do you find where we lack,” he says.

Although not the optimal choice, the solution made a positive impact.

“Obviously we would have preferred to be in London having these sessions face-to-face,” says Kim Kuerten, executive director of Graduate Executive Programs. “However, transitioning to a domestic location and bringing the NHS to the students instead of the other way around allowed them to reconnect with each other and to engage in robust discussions with our speakers and faculty. This enhanced the learning experience for everyone.”

Executive education at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School partnered with Emory’s Evening MBA and Executive MBA Programs to make 19 MBA elective courses available on a not-for-credit basis to those who are not enrolled as MBA degree students at Emory.

The courses began in January and ended in May, spanning topics that included accounting, finance, marketing, general management, operations, and information systems. The school delivered each course online to non-enrolled professionals, alongside Goizueta MBA students with Goizueta faculty teaching both groups.

“It is even more critical today to bring up-to-the-minute skills and knowledge to your work, whether it be the latest thinking on pricing, the foundations and business applications of fintech, structuring and negotiating private equity deals, mastering new methods of modeling and analyzing data to support decisions, or the concepts and principles in consumer psychology that inform marketing decisions,” says Nicola Barrett, chief corporate learning officer at Goizueta Business School. 

“These are just some of the courses that Goizueta faculty teach to professionals in the Executive and Evening MBA Programs that we are now offering to other professionals,” she says. “This is about rethinking how we help business professionals upskill, reskill, and increase their impact and realize the idea of career-long learning.”

The Executive MBA Program at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Anderson School of Management has moved to a hybrid format and added a new location in Northern New Mexico. Beginning June 2021 for incoming classes, these changes offer more flexibility and convenience.

With the hybrid format, students will focus on one or two courses during each cycle. The format consists of online course work and in-person classes that take place once or twice a month. The cohort-based executive leadership curriculum remains the same, and students typically complete the program in two years.

Offering access in Northern New Mexico will make the program’s in-person component more convenient for students in the Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Española, Las Vegas, and Taos areas. The Albuquerque program also will transition to the new hybrid format and continue to meet on the UNM main campus.

“We’re thrilled to expand access to Anderson’s Executive MBA into Northern New Mexico,” says Mitzi Montoya, dean of the Anderson School. “Our long-standing commitment to leadership development includes broadening access to excellent education for business leaders. It’s through capable leaders that we will navigate these challenging times and help grow our economy for all New Mexicans.”

A key element of this program involves a rich immersive experience. In the past, this experience has included a 10-day international residency that focused on global business leadership. During the residency, students met with global business executives, government leaders, and thought leaders in another country to learn global business theories and best practices through in-person experience.

In addition to the global business leadership residency, the school is adding more options for immersive residency experiences, including diversity leadership, innovation leadership, and sustainable business leadership. The program also integrates services such as textbooks, course registration, catering, and on-site support.

“This geographic expansion of the Executive MBA is an exciting opportunity for students to engage with our faculty and executive leadership curriculum in beautiful and historic Northern New Mexico,” says Rebecca Diemer, acting director of Anderson’s graduate programs. “New students will still receive the high-quality wrap-around services that Anderson customarily provides, which will now include opportunities to network across the cohorts in both locations.”

More information on the Anderson Executive MBA Program is available online.

The School of Business and Management of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST Business School) recently launched the Digital MBA for Global Leaders Program (DiMBA).

Designed for working professionals in Asia who look for flexibility in their schedule or geographical mobility, the new two-year part-time DiMBA Program allows participants to continue their studies during business trips and even after relocation to a different city without compromising their career, family, or personal priorities.

“With acceleration of online learning and virtual classroom technologies, our DiMBA option not only provides an innovative and practical learning platform in today’s challenging times, but also responds timely to the evolving need in the post-pandemic world,” says Professor TAM Kar Yan, dean of HKUST Business School.

“As a forerunner of education innovation in the region, we stand ready to use our state-of-the-art facilities at HKUST, including our first virtual classroom in Asia, to deliver this distinctive executive business program.”

DiMBA students will receive the same MBA degree certificate and learn from the same faculty as their full-time and part-time peers. They will be required to join the first week of their program in-person, while participating in the global immersion program to expand their international exposure and enrolling in optional face-to-face courses on campus.

“Our MBA Programs are designed for business professionals to develop all-round leadership prowess in tomorrow’s workplace, with a broad selection of courses aligned with five career tracks that include new electives in AI, Big Data, Blockchain, Fintech, and IoT,” says Professor CHEN Tai Yuan, associate dean and MBA Program director. “The DiMBA will enable participants to boost their digital leadership competence through virtual teamwork and prepare for the new opportunities in the new economy.”

For more information, please visit here.

To support busy students in achieving their goals, the Penn State Smeal College of Business now is offering optional remote attendance for its Philadelphia-based Executive MBA Program, allowing students to attend up to 50 percent of each course remotely with the remaining half in person.

This flexibility offers students the support they need to be successful in the program, while still encouraging them to be present for some of the program’s most valuable aspects, such as weekend discussions.

The EMBA remains a primarily face-to-face program, says Teresa Avery, EMBA managing director, adding that with the hybrid classroom option, students with last-minute obligations, such as work trips, can still attend class no matter their location.

“We recognize that our students have busy, complicated lives and adding the option of occasional remote attendance allows them the flexibility they need to balance their careers, their families, school, and all their responsibilities more successfully,” says Avery. “This new option is just one part of our continuing commitment to meeting our students’ needs and creating a supportive, transformative EMBA experience.”

In other news, online, residential, and EMBA students from the Penn State Smeal can now leverage the Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of multinational corporations and top universities and business schools, through a new MBA partnership.

The mission of the Forté Foundation is to change the balance of the workplace by giving women equal access to an infrastructure — business education, role models, professional networks, leadership training — that empowers them to succeed.

“Diversity at Smeal is about creating an environment that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes diversity of all forms, including support for student associations such as the Smeal Women’s Network, Women in Business, Women’s MBA, and Men As Allies,” says Brian Cameron, assistant dean of professional graduate programs. “This partnership with Forté only further enriches the experience of all our students, regardless of gender.”

As part of the new partnership, Smeal residential, online, and EMBA students can now attend exclusive Forté events, gain access to the organization’s job posting and resume database, and tap into Forté’s extensive network of women business leaders.

“We are thrilled to welcome Penn State Smeal to our roster of outstanding MBA partners,” said Elissa Sangster, CEO at Forté. “An active and engaged Forté undergraduate partner since 2016, Penn State has demonstrated a commitment to furthering Forté’s mission of launching women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, professional development, and a community of successful women.”

The partnership includes the opportunity to name MBA students as Forté Fellows. The Forté Fellowship offers financial support to MBA candidates who exhibit exemplary leadership, represent diverse backgrounds, and demonstrate a commitment to advancing women in business through mentorship or community involvement.

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin has redesigned its Executive MBA Program to better meet the changing needs of today’s experienced professionals. The new program offers a stronger focus on leadership and organizational strategy, and key updates include more flexibility, diversified curriculum, and new Executive Immersions.

The program structure will offer more convenience for busy executives and those traveling from outside of Austin with one three-day (Thursday–Saturday) class weekend per month and a total program completion time of 20 months.

Each semester now will include one Executive Immersion off-campus class weekend, which will provide opportunities for in-depth experiential learning. Immersion weekends currently are planned for New York City, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and the Austin-area Hill Country. Each immersion links to course content and will include company visits, alumni networking, cultural experiences, and time to bond with classmates. Immersions will provide real-time, real-place exposure and application to what Executive MBA students are learning in the classroom.

In addition, both the core curriculum and elective offerings have been expanded to give students a broader base of knowledge with an overall increased emphasis on leadership, strategy, and analytics.

The on-campus classroom experience, opportunities for networking, and strong community culture will remain hallmarks of the Texas McCombs MBA program, and all changes and updates will take effect for Executive MBA students starting the program in August 2021.

For information about the redesigned Texas McCombs Executive MBA, visit here.

Starting in January 2022, the University of Notre Dame Executive MBA–Chicago Program will extend the length of its program to two years with monthly residencies Thursday through Saturday.

The University previously offered the EMBA-Chicago Program at the Notre Dame Chicago campus as a one-and-a-half-year program with bimonthly residencies. The decision to restructure the format resulted from the feedback of many different stakeholder groups, including current and prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni, and industry representatives. Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business leadership also reviewed competitive EMBA offerings and market trends.

“Our ultimate aim in shifting the EMBA-Chicago format to a two-year program is to enhance the student experience,” says Walt Clements, Mendoza’s associate dean of executive education. “The extended length allows students more time to engage with all aspects of the program, including speaker and networking events, international immersions, and additional electives, and with each other — classmates and faculty — in our collaborative approach to executive education.”

Intended for experienced professionals, particularly chief executives, managers, and business owners with more than 10 years of professional experience, the EMBA-Chicago program will continue following its current schedule of starting classes in January.

“The extended format provides a greater opportunity for group work and co-curricular activities, which in turn allows students more time for discussion and sharing of experiences,” says Mike Brach, Notre Dame EMBA program director. “It also offers some practical advantages — reducing travel time and expenses and allowing students more flexibility in balancing the demands of their professional lives, their home lives, and the program requirements.”

The program plans to enhance career services support for executive students, including individual coaching sessions.

“Mendoza’s mission is to grow the good in business, which means we focus on the development of the whole person,” says Martijn Cremers, the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business. “The two-year format supports this development by allowing for deeper engagements with our faculty and within the cohort, as well as with the larger Notre Dame community.”

Visit here for more information.

In September, the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) at Erasmus University will launch a new Global Executive MBA Program, a 21-month learning journey that integrates theory, knowledge, frameworks, and personalized leadership development to help business leaders map the road ahead, make sense of complexity, spot risks and challenges, and lead change with great responsibility.

RSM’s new Global Executive MBA offers value to business leaders with a minimum of 10 years of post-graduate work experience and at least three years of managerial experience and their organizations to help rebuild the post-COVID-19 economy and get ready for a prosperous future. The experienced professionals will be immersed in the digitization of the economy, such as analytics and automation. The part-time MBA program explores mega-trends, digital communication, technology-powered ways of working, finance, operations, marketing, and strategy. Students can choose electives to sharpen their professional and personal focus and learn from the strategic leadership development track.

“Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving business environment and changing drivers of business success, we saw the opportunity to develop a program that prepares senior executives to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to successfully navigate these challenges,” says Professor Nicola Kleyn, dean of Executive Education at RSM.

Business leaders need to be prepared for the risks and challenges that come with change and consider the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), too, to benefit people, planet, and profit. SDGs and innovation are rooted into the management program, and students can apply new knowledge from the modules to their work immediately.

“RSM has a proven track record in developing and operating high-quality business programs,” says Kleyn. “The design of the Global Executive MBA was also put together by gathering significant input from the C-Suite and high-level recruiters, to develop a program which is global by design, but focused on individual student needs. We are very excited to launch this program in September.”

To provide students with the right tools and training to tackle any business problem, the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU Cox) recently added War Games as an extension of the business school curriculum.

War Games are best known as military exercises where armed forces test their strategic thinking and battle readiness.  The concept is analogous in the business world. A company will divide management into teams representing either the company or a competitor. The teams work to outmaneuver one another as they try to accomplish goals.

For a school like SMU Cox, which emphasizes experiential learning, War Games are a perfect educational fit. War Games provide a controlled environment that teaches students how to predict customer behavior, mitigate risk, and map out competitor strategies.

Even though Professor Arjan Singh has run War Games in a variety of settings, they remain an underused practice in academics. “It’s not a common toolkit universities teach students,” says Singh. “SMU Cox has taken the lead in bringing this to the forefront.”

SMU Cox hosted its first War Game – The Battle for the Cloud – virtually in October 2020, as a collaboration between SMU Cox and Universidad Panamericana IPADE.

The War Game asked students to develop a successful strategy for cloud computing services, completing two exercises over the three-day course. Students represented Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, Oracle, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud.

“It’s very popular because – although it’s an incredible amount of work for the students and it’s very rigorous – it is all about learning a skill that they can take home immediately and practice in the real world,” says Singh.

CHANGES
  • Andrew Karolyi will serve as the dean of the Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business through June 20, 2024, filling out the remainder of the term of former Dean Kevin F. Hallock.
  • Prabhudev Konana is the new dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Konana came from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Management, where he was associate dean of instructional innovation, William H. Seay Centennial Professor of Information Management, and Distinguished Teaching Professor.
  • The University of Texas at Austin has named Lillian Mills as the permanent dean of the McCombs School of Business. Mills was interim dean since April 2020 following the appointment of its previous dean, Jay Hartzell, as president. Mills is the first woman to serve as permanent dean of the school.

  • Interim Dean and former Senior Associate Dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa Amy Kristof-Brown was named the permanent dean early in 2021.

  • Joan Phillips became dean of the University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Business Administration in March. Phillips previously served as dean of the Andreas School of Business at Barry University in Miami.

  • Amy Hillman returned to the faculty of The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University after serving eight years as dean. The school selected Amy Ostrom, President’s Professor and PetSmart Chair in Service Leadership, as interim dean.

  • Professor of Economics at HEC Paris for nearly 18 years, Eloic Peyrache became interim dean of HEC Paris in October 2020 and was named permanent dean in January. Peyrache’s term will run until June 20, 2025.

  • Professor of Economics Bala Ramasamy is the new director of the Global EMBA Program at CEIBS. Most recently Associate Dean for Learning Assurance and Accreditation, Ramasamy taught the program’s core economics module for more than a decade.

  • Mauro Guillen, the Felix Zandman Professor Emeritus of Management at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and former director of the University’s Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, will become dean of the Judge Business School at Cambridge University on Sept. 1.

  • Ed Grier, former dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business and former president of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, recently joined Santa Clara University as dean of the University’s Leavey School of Business.

  • Lee Newman, former dean of IE University’s School of Human Sciences and Technology, recently succeeded Martin Boehm as dean of IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

  • Trent Thurman is the new associate dean of Executive Education at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. Most recently, Thurman was director of the Master of Science in Technology Commercialization Program at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.