Paul Danos, Dean Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Continuing the series of excerpts from the upcoming book “Inside the Minds: Business School Management,” here are some thoughts about one of the strongest forces affecting the business education industry today.
Just as business is becoming more global, so too is business education. From the competition for incoming students and top faculty to the career development of its graduates and the strength of its alumni network, a top school must operate on a global stage in order to be successful.
Ten years ago, the globalization of Tuck was one of my biggest professional challenges. Today, even though the curriculum, student body, and faculty are quite international, it is still an ongoing process to educate people around the world about how our school—the most intimate of the Ivy League—is in fact a major global player.
In the course of adapting our school to meet the challenges and realities of globalization, we found success in a number of specific programs and initiatives that increased our global presence:
• Exchange programs with non-U.S. business schools: We have fifteen such arrangements around the globe.
• Increase in non-U.S. students: Incoming classes at Tuck have gone from about 15 percent to 34 percent non-U.S. citizens in the last ten years.
• Increase in non-U.S. faculty: About 30 percent of our faculty are international.
• Partnerships with non-U.S. schools: We have pursued several partnerships in offering joint executive education programs with international schools.
• Global alumni network: Tuck has made a concerted effort to utilize alumni who work outside of the United States in recruiting and placement activities.
• International press outreach: We have used international trips and constant outreach to maintain good press relations worldwide.
We have been helped immensely in our globalization efforts by the Internet. Today, every prospective student in China, India, Brazil, and so on can gain access to a wide range of information about us, which was certainly not the case twenty years ago. Understanding how to use the electronic media to channel people to a school’s information is a crucial capability, especially for smaller schools.
I have been a dean for eleven years. Prior to this position, I was a senior associate dean at another fine school, and throughout that period the broad outline of the dean’s position has remained about the same. But much has changed in terms of demands on the dean’s time. The most significant change has been related to the explosion in the demand for business education as a result of the global expansion of capitalism. There are many big players outside the United States, and the entire world is converging on the same type of business education—whether it is a four-year undergraduate program, the full-time M.B.A. program such as ours, or the many variants of part-time M.B.A. programs. Faculty are also converging in terms of how they aspire to conduct their research and how they teach, but here resource constraints will force many new schools to accept a different model.
Years ago, it was possible to be a dean without ever having seen China, India, South America, Africa, or Europe. In the last fifteen years, however, deans regularly visit all corners of the world to learn about business cultures and deliver their school’s message. Faculty also are much more international today in terms of both personal background and academic research, and our students bring global experiences to our programs.
The increasingly international role of business schools necessitates that a dean have a stronger sense of communications. A dean cannot just sit and wait on campus for change to happen; he or she must create a compelling strategy, implement that strategy, and be the global spokesperson for the program. We have more support and more resources at our disposal than ever, but at the same time we are expected to cover the whole world.