Dear Alumni and Friends:
It’s wonderful to be in beautiful Ithaca, New York, and historic Sage Hall! I am so grateful for the welcome messages you’ve sent, and I look forward to meeting many of you at alumni events in the coming months. As I’ve settled into my role as 11th dean of the school, I have identified three areas of focus for moving Johnson forward in the coming months, which I would like to share with you.
First, we have an unprecedented opportunity before us, as Cornell University expands its presence in New York City. The city itself offers us many new options, while the planned Cornell NYC Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island campus provides a unique technology and entrepreneurship angle. There is no other major business school that has a similar strength. The question for Johnson is: “How do we leverage the power of New York City and exploit it, not only to innovate, but also to strengthen the programs and activities in our home base of Ithaca?” The goal is to see how we can harness some of the talents, energy, and excitement around New York City and the NYC Tech Campus to create a new business innovation ecosystem.
The second area of focus, which is quite natural, given my background, is the global dimension. We hope to reach out to key regions and countries, such as China, India, Brazil, and Europe, seeking to increase the global impact of Johnson. The goal is to extend our programs to these markets, and also to do more research in and about those regions. Without the latter, we have no competitive advantage. We need faculty members to do research in those markets, and for our MBA students to engage in international immersion projects. We have to design mechanisms to work collaboratively with emerging markets to both receive knowledge from those markets and to give our expertise to them.
I’ve decided, with my management team, to first focus on the Chinese market. China is a key global economy today, and represents a very important source of talent in students, professors, and new ideas. We have put together a small faculty group headed by Ya-Ru Chen, the faculty co-director of the Emerging Markets Institute, which will come back with recommendations for Johnson.
The third area of focus involves leveraging the power of Cornell University for Johnson in two areas: increasing the quality of MBA applicants, by aggressively recruiting those with Cornell undergraduate degrees to pursue an MBA at Johnson; and creating more unique program combinations between Johnson and the university’s professional and discipline-based schools.
Being embedded within Cornell, one of the most diverse Ivy League universities, makes Johnson peerless in its position to collaborate with other disciplines outside the business school to address some of the world’s most pressing problems—health, energy, poverty, the environment, and inequality. Linking our business knowledge and research with Cornell’s strengths, such as engineering, will make Johnson more distinct for MBA recruiters and for companies to partner with us.
As you can see, we have an exciting and ambitious agenda for Johnson’s future. We will need the help of you, Johnson’s strong, dedicated, and supportive graduates, to envision, plan, and execute new initiatives, aimed at moving Johnson forward to the next level of excellence—in Ithaca, New York City, the U.S., and globally.
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean