|CONTINUING THE MOMENTUM PART I|
INITIATIVES BEGUN UNDER BARBARA E. KAHN SET THE SCHOOL ON THE ROAD TO GLOBAL PREEMINENCE
When Barbara E. Kahn became dean in 2007, she wrote in BusinessMiami, “My goal is to take the University of Miami School of Business to the next level and help it earn an international reputation for excellence.” During her three and a half years as dean, Kahn set the School on exactly that path. She led an effort that saw curriculum changes, established important new academic centers, expanded the School’s international presence, recruited additional top-level faculty and established the signature Global Business Forum. Kahn stepped down in January after the successful second Forum, returning to The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. All of these efforts have paid off in many ways. Most tangible, perhaps, are the ratings improvements the School has seen between 2007 and 2010. The School’s research ranking rose to No. 26 in the world in 2010, up from No. 47 in 2007, in the Financial Times’ assessment of executive MBA programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked the School’s undergraduate program No. 57, up from No. 71.
Forbes ranked the School’s fulltime MBA program No. 43 in 2009, up from No. 60 in 2005. During Kahn’s tenure, “the School seemed to take on a reputation and a presence that it hadn’t had before,” says David Komansky, an alumnus who is chairman emeritus of Merrill Lynch & Co. and chairman of the School’s Board of Overseers. “Aside from having a vision and a strategy that made a lot of sense, she was a terrific representative and advocate for the School.” Kahn, who left to become director of the Retail Center at Wharton, was vice dean and director of Wharton’s undergraduate division from 2003 to 2007. She will continue to be involved with UM as a visiting professor and as a parent of an undergraduate student. “It was a great pleasure and honor to work with such a devoted group of faculty, students, alumni and staff who deeply cared about the School and the ‘U,’” Kahn says.
“The School has made great advances in these last few years, but this is clearly just the beginning. There is no doubt in my mind that the University and the School are well positioned to achieve global preeminence in the next decade.” Like any organization going through a change in leadership, the School will have some adjustments to make during the coming months. But the initiatives begun during Kahn’s tenure continue to pay dividends. Academic departments have recruited some of the top minds in academia as new permanent and visiting faculty. A new PhD program was established, with concentrations in Accounting, Management Science, Marketing, Operations Management, Organiza-tional Behavior and Strategy/International Business, in addition to the existing PhD in Economics. Kahn worked with Linda L. Neider, vice dean for Undergraduate Business Programs, and Anuj Mehrotra, vice dean for Graduate Business Programs, to introduce innovative enhancements to the School’s entire curriculum.
From more cross-disciplinary programs to the integration of ethics and teamwork into every facet of the curriculum, academic programs now better reflect the realities of business today. The introduction of executive MBA electives and classes in career development for MBA students put the School at the leading edge of graduate curriculum thinking. New international learning and internship opportunities, including partnerships with seven leading business schools around the world, help students take advantage of UM’s location at a global crossroads. In addition, the School expanded several academic areas, including health sector management and real estate.
An undergraduate Health Sector Management and Policy major and minor, as well as a joint MD/MBA program, were added to the School’s long-running health sector executive MBA program, which earned a No. 5 ranking from Modern Healthcare. New real estate programs include an undergraduate major and MBA concentration, as well as a joint Bachelor of Architecture/MBA program with the School of Architecture. The academic changes were accompanied by more robust research opportunities for faculty and students. Kahn helped shepherd new academic centers into existence, including the Center for Health Sector Management and Policy, with founding director Steven Ullmann, and a Center for International Business Education and Research, with founding director Joseph Ganitsky.
In the coming years, under the strong leadership of those directors, these centers will give the School further international exposure in two key areas of business research and consulting. Kahn also changed the way the School connects with alumni, supporters and the business community. She strengthened the alumni relations, development and external relations departments, and helped form ongoing partnerships with alumni clubs from other leading business schools, as well as with important members of the local and international business community. Some of these relationships were cemented with the School’s new board structure. The Board of Overseers, which Kahn established in January 2010, advises the dean, faculty and administrators on the School’s mission, goals and strategic planning.
Comprised of alumni who are current and former top executives from companies around the world, the Board of Overseers promotes the School and serves as an important sounding board on everything from research projects and educational programs to external activities. In addition to the Board of Overseers, the School established boards for its programs in Health Sector Management and Policy, Real Estate, Accounting and Entrepreneurship, as well as for its executive education programs in Puerto Rico.“Dean Kahn started many important initiatives that will continue to bear fruit in the future,” says UM President Donna E. Shalala. “Her leadership has positioned the School to build on its successes and maintain its upward trajectory during this transition and under the leadership of its next dean.”
ON THE PATH
Key accomplishments at the School during Dean Kahn’s tenure
Academic Innovation and Growth
Engagement with Alumni and Business Community
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