The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management made progress in our strategic plan this year, due in no small part to the generosity of you, our alumni and friends: Annual fund contributions for FY 2009-2010 matched our record of 2007-2008, a remarkable achievement in these tough times. As a testament to how they value their education, 98 percent of our graduating class made a gift to the school. The Annual Fund is crucial because it provides the seed money we need to push forward our strategic plan.
- We formed a new partnership with Guanghua School of Management of Peking University, the leading university in China, adding to our partnership with China's Nanjing University. We're in the planning stages of building similar relationships around the world.
- Students met with President Álvaro Uribe and Vice President Francisco Santos during their Colombia study trek.
- Our EMBA students' Global Business Projects included analyzing venture capital in South Africa, fractional racehorse ownership in Ireland, and Smart Grid Technology in Romania.
Program Innovation. We've introduced concentrations for residential MBA students. For example, a student might select a "breadth" concentration in global business and a "depth" concentration in financial analysis. These concentrations provide structured advice and an opportunity to market strengths on résumés.
Thought Leadership. Our faculty members continue to be thought leaders. We are proud of their accomplishments, including those of Andrew Karolyi, president-elect of the Financial Management Association, Maureen O'Hara, who captured the Western Finance Association's award for best paper in asset pricing, and Tom Dyckman, who was named the 84th member of the Accounting Hall of Fame.
The Parker Center's finance students achieved impressive results with the Cayuga Fund. They made a positive return over a two-year time frame, whereas the S&P 500 lost 20 percent.
Deepen Connections to Business. Our Career Management Center increased career development capabilities for EMBA students and offered career treks to London, Hong Kong, several West Coast cities, New York City, and Boston.
Job placement improved slightly compared to last year. In 2009, only 68 percent of our students had jobs upon graduation; with additional resources and invaluable help from alumni, we were at 95 percent by January. We will pull all the stops again this year. We are grateful for the support our alumni provide through their contacts and by listing job openings.
Doing Well and Doing Good. Profitable businesses can effect positive change for the environment, communities, and developing countries. Many students, focused on such efforts, brought distinction to Johnson:
- Our Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise hosted Net Impact 2009, a student-run conference that attracted 2,600 participants. Keynote speaker Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, 350 panelists and speakers, and professional and student participants explored what it takes for individuals and organizations to be change makers and innovators.
- New Orleans IdeaCorps Challenge. Charged with using their professional skills to revitalize New Orleans, our team took first place among top business-school teams at the IdeaCorps Challenge with their business plan for Schedulist, a New Orleans-based startup.
We are continuing to work on many new developments. Watch for exciting announcements in the coming year.
L. Joseph Thomas
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean