Five Business School Deans Got Together to Discuss the Future of the MBA


This past weekend, I was in San Francisco for the Centre Court MBA Festival, where I joined some of my fellow business school leaders for a Dean’s Panel discussion about the future of the MBA.

I was joined on stage by my colleagues from Berkeley Haas, UNC Kenan-Flagler, Cornell, and Dartmouth Tuck. It was an exciting and wide-ranging discussion moderated by John Byrne of Poets & Quants.

It was exciting because it was clear while chatting with the leaders of our peer institutions that this is a time of tremendous change and innovation in business education. The opportunities before us are staggering, and the responsibility we collectively have to our students, our alumni, and society is pushing us forward in new and inventive ways.

It was wide-ranging because we covered everything from the current and future value of the MBA degree, the benefit of corporate relationships, the impact of technology on the way we deliver education, and the important innovations in engaged and experiential learning. I was also inspired to hear the collective commitment to social impact across all of the schools represented.

At Ross, we are on a mission to reinvent and in many ways define the business school experience of the future. During the discussion, I highlighted a few examples:

  • We are using technology to reach new students, with the University of Michigan offering high-quality online education to more than 5,000,000 people around the world.
  • We are making a lifetime commitment to students through our AlumniAdvantage program, where we offer lifetime tuition-free access to executive education, along with a suite of other benefits.
  • We are defining hands-on learning, where every student has the opportunity to start real businesses, invest real money in real assets, advise real businesses on issues of strategic and operational importance, and lead the day-to-day operations of real businesses.
  • We are partnering with companies to ensure we are the preferred source of distinctive leadership talent across all sectors.

It was also fascinating to hear how my fellow deans are innovating at their schools. For example, UNC Chapel Hill is using virtual reality to simulate live business cases in Africa. Cornell is building a new campus where they will integrate technology and business to drive innovation.

We live in inspiring times, and I am deeply optimistic about the future of business education, and specifically our future at Michigan Ross!

I encourage you to check out the full discussion, which you can find below or on the Poets & Quants Facebook Page:

Image: Courtesy of Nathan Allen/Poets&Quants

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