Positioning Ross for the Future


We all know the world around us is rapidly changing. Globalization continues to shift business and markets to new parts of the world, technology continues to transform the way we conduct all aspects of our work, and environmental and societal changes are prompting us to ask important questions about business and its role in the world. Therefore, leaders today must have a significantly different set of knowledge and skills than were demanded of prior generations. 

I originally came to Ross for many reasons.  High among them was the school’s position as the leading public business school in the world.  As a public institution, we have a unique set of values and ideals derived from our history, traditions, and public mission.  Our graduates, faculty, and students care deeply not only about creating very successful economic enterprises but also about enabling business to have a positive impact on our world.  The relevance of these values is especially pronounced at this time in our history, and I saw great potential for the school to take the lead in shaping the ways business and leaders take on the significant challenges of our era.




Since my arrival at Ross in July 2011, I have been working with all of our constituents to develop a strategic plan for the school that builds on our tradition of excellence and enables the school to define the next generation of business education.  In creating our future strategic direction, I have talked extensively with faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers, corporate partners, and donors across the globe to fully understand who we are and what makes us truly distinctive.  Working with faculty and staff, we have conducted surveys and interviews, engaged focus groups, collected statistical and benchmarking data, and collaboratively assessed Ross’ greatest strengths and opportunities. 

This month I am pleased to announce a comprehensive plan for Ross’ future direction.  The new Ross mission is simple in words yet deeply profound in execution: At Ross, we develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world.

Our strategic plan is built around four values and ideals which define both who we are and what our school will be:  positive, boundaryless, analytic, and action.  At Ross we have an unparalleled commitment to positive business, a unique boundaryless approach to problem solving, a fundamental belief in analytically rigorous, evidence-based decision making, and the leading methods of delivering action-based learning at a large scale.  These four principles come to life in many different ways at Ross, and collectively they define our unique identity.  They are both our ethos and our roadmap. 

As we live and act on these four principles over the coming months and years, together we will become the leading center of research and teaching on positive business, we will offer the most collaborative and boundaryless business education in the world, we will maintain our leading position as one of the world’s most prolific and influential institutions of business research while becoming a hub for practice oriented knowledge, and we will build on our position as the world’s leading school for action-based learning, putting action-based learning into every class, every semester.

It is an exciting time at Michigan’s Ross School of Business.  I look forward to partnering with you, our diverse community of students, scholars, alumni, and industry partners as we define the next chapter of excellence at Ross and the next generation of business education for our world.

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