Looking ahead to a bright new era
As I look back over five years as dean, I’m proud of what we
accomplished and where we are today. We overcame financial
difficulties due to the economy and worked harder and smarter to
obtain jobs for our graduates. We continue to build our programs
and research capabilities: We’ve established and staffed two new
institutes; we’ve added outstanding new faculty, and we plan to
hire more. Our Executive MBA programs continue to expand in
quality and depth, and we expect to offer our Cornell-Queen’s
Executive MBA program in two Latin American cities this year.
We joined the Consortium and increased our numbers of underrepresented
minorities. Applications to all four MBA programs are
up significantly. And the job situation continues to improve.
Nevertheless, we can always advance, and we will. We are in a very competitive space, and there are great opportunities to expand and enrich our programs. Business is changing, economies are in flux, and we must continually update our curricula. The curriculum review underway for our two-year residential program reflects this and our ongoing commitment to excellence.
I am thrilled about the selection of Cornell and the Technion as partners in an NYC Tech Campus that will serve as a global magnet for tech talent and entrepreneurship. Johnson will offer courses there in entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization, as well as our Accelerated MBA program as an option for MS, MEng, and PhD students. With Johnson entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other experts from the NYC area as advisors, we will help to guide business startups based on Tech Campus research. Details are in progress; stay tuned.
Johnson is on the cusp of an exciting new era, and as I prepare to step down the state of the school is very strong. I know it will remain strong under the guidance of our next dean, Soumitra Dutta. Soumitra is enthusiastic, intellectually curious, and accomplished. In addition to holding an endowed chair at highly-ranked INSEAD, he founded and directs their eLab, a global knowledge engine. He is an authority on the impact of new technology on business, and on strategies for driving growth and innovation. His work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals; he is quoted frequently in business magazines, newspapers, and blogs; and he is a member of the Davos Circle. He co-founded two startups and serves on the boards of others. His technology background makes him perfect to lead Johnson and our efforts with the CornellNYC Tech campus.
Soumitra and I speak regularly, he has been meeting with alumni around the world, and he will visit campus in April and May. He is very engaged in what’s going on in the school and our plans.
Stepping down as dean is bittersweet; I have thoroughly enjoyed being the face of the school. When I talk with companies, executives, the press, prospective students and alumni, so many great things are happening here that promoting the school is easy. Because I like our students, I like our alumni, so going around the world to see alumni — more than half of whom I taught in class — is a special treat. But I also like what I’m heading towards: I have missed teaching, and I look forward to being in the classroom. I’m still going to be part of Johnson, and I hope to see you when you return to campus.
Thank you for all that you do for Johnson and each other. Best wishes for health and success.
L. Joseph Thomas
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean