Keeping our curriculum current
The world of business continues to change as it weathers new
storms, literally and figuratively; fresh ways of doing business
continually crop up in response to new realities.
At Johnson, we are committed to ensuring that our graduates know how to deal with the challenges they will encounter throughout their careers — challenges that require innovative solutions for the problems and opportunities their organizations will inevitably face.
That’s why our curriculum evolves along with changes in the world of business. We update course content every year. We have interwoven themes throughout the curriculum focused on leadership, ethics, and integrity. We offer our students approaches to ethical decision making, and provide them with leadership experiences that challenge and prepare them to become successful leaders who will move their organizations forward.
However, we also believe that now is an appropriate time for a major re-examination of our curriculum. We will begin based on the extensive research that created our strategic plan two years ago. That information validated some of Johnson’s core ideas and approaches, and it will inform this new effort.
Associate Dean Doug Stayman is managing this comprehensive curriculum review, with input from faculty, students, alumni, business leaders, and recruiters. We plan to have suggestions finalized and ready to present to the new dean in May. We need to throw all the balls up in the air every so often. It’s not that they will all come down entirely differently, but it is time to look at the whole thing.
The basics of business are still the basics, and we must and will maintain a solid foundation in these areas. The analytical skills we have always taught are as important as ever, but there are new business realities and new ways to deliver our education. To move an organization forward in positive ways our graduates must also be able to solve problems across different business functions, and be able to lead.
I believe the MBA is, if anything, more relevant than ever today, because the world clearly needs leaders. When Bill George, author of the bestseller, True North, spoke here in October, he said the economic downturn of 2008 was in large part due to a failure in leadership, and could have been avoided if only more companies had excellent, knowledgeable leaders. An MBA is not the only way to become a leader, but it is one proven way, and we think we do an excellent job of creating the next generation of leaders.
The MBA will continue to be our key product, but the way we deliver that has been evolving and will continue to evolve. Our Executive MBA programs have grown, and we are continuing to build those. We’re looking into expanding our Cornell-Queens program into Latin America as part of our commitment to extending our global reach.
Finally, based on recent investments in global business, we need to provide all of our students an understanding of the way business is done in different cultures and countries. We are considering other global ventures in addition to what we already offer: international projects, treks, and exchanges, and opportunities to interact with visiting executives in our non-degree executive education.
We’re always looking for new things to do. We welcome your ideas for us and hope you will stay in touch with news about yourself.
Thank you for all that you do for the school and for each other, and best wishes for health and success.
L. Joseph Thomas
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean