January 21, 2010
Dear Members of the Babson Community:
I want to welcome back everyone returning to campus. I also want to extend greetings to all new students, faculty, and staff, as well as to members of our community off campus—alumni, parents, and Fast Track students.
As our spring semester gets underway, our hearts and prayers continue to be with the people of Haiti, and members of our community with family or friends who have been directly affected by last week’s earthquake. Betsy Newman, Dean of Student Affairs, has led the staff and faculty outreach to impacted students, staff, faculty, alumni and parents. Some students and employees have lost family members or have relatives with serious injuries; others have experienced the total destruction of personal property and businesses. We will continue to reach out and support these members of our extended Babson family.
The Bernon Center is the locus of relief efforts on campus—and our students have been driving plans for related events throughout the coming weeks and months. Candlelight vigils for the Babson community were held yesterday in the Glavin Chapel; a clothing and bedding drive on campus is being coordinated by students and led by Resident Assistants (RAs); the Bernon Center is providing information on the best way to send donations for relief, and arranged for a donation box for the Red Cross at the front desk in the Office of Campus Life; and students are organizing a red ribbon fundraiser around Valentine’s Day as a way of continuing support for Haiti.
If you'd like to help, you can contact Marie Pierre, a Haitian American and Bernon Scholar who is planning educational and fundraising activities, or you can reach out to Lisa Thomas, Director of the Bernon Center.
Babson students also continue to make a difference elsewhere in the world. Earlier this month Babson Undergraduate Dean Dennis Hanno and 45 students, faculty, and staff, spent winter break in Ghana, teaching entrepreneurship and business to high school students and adults, as well as teaching basic microfinance to elementary school students. Corporate sponsors supported the trip and the purchase of computers for schools in Ghana. The photo below shows members of the local high school team who won second place in the Babson Cup business plan competition, their school’s headmistress, Babson seniors John Norton and Samantha Wolfson, and Dean Hanno. More than 2,000 people attended the event.
On the graduate school front, in January we have seen a high level of applications and deposits for our San Francisco-based Fast Track program, which will be launched in March. As many of you know, Fast Track combines face-to-face and online learning in a 24 month “blended” program for working professionals. Our other two MBA Fast Track programs are based on the Babson campus and in Portland, Oregon.
On these, as well as on many other fronts, Babson has a unique competitive position that keeps getting better. In 2010 and beyond, we will be using the assets of the College and its reputational capital to continue to advance our mission that was spelled out last May in our Babson Strategy 2.1 document—“educating a generation of leaders who create great economic and social value everywhere.” Here are some of the latest ways we are making progress toward achieving Babson’s strategic goals:
We want to be the preeminent institution for entrepreneurial thought and action (ET&A)—and known for it.
In November, Goldman Sachs announced 10,000 Small Businesses—a $500 million, five-year initiative to provide small businesses across the U.S. with greater access to business education, mentors, networks, and financial capital. Babson was selected as one of the initial partners, along with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Babson brings its expertise and experience as a leader in practically-oriented management education, and will be engaged in curriculum development, faculty training, and other activities for the initiative. Patti Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship, who holds the President’s Chair in Entrepreneurship, has agreed to serve as my partner and the coordinator of Babson’s efforts. Patti, formerly Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate School at Babson, has a distinguished record of research in this area, with a particular focus on women and minority entrepreneurs.
I am pleased to serve as one of the founding Advisory Council members and next week will be attending a meeting, chaired by Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, to discuss the next steps. When Babson’s role in this initiative was announced, I had no idea that I would receive so many emails from undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of the College. Over and over again, they tell me how proud they are of Babson and to be a part of “the Babson family.” I will keep you posted on new developments.
Leaders for the long-term do not rest on their laurels—and neither are we. In the fall, the Faculty Senate approved key recommendations of the curriculum renewal faculty task force that spelled out areas in which we can improve the way we educate “entrepreneurial thinkers.” The faculty is now moving forward with ways to implement these recommendations.
At the same time, we remain in the forefront in research as well as teaching. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), with 54 participating countries, continues to be the authoritative source on entrepreneurial activity globally and locally. Earlier this month we released the results of the 11th annual (GEM) 2009 report. The survey found that the number of people starting businesses with the potential to boost the economy and create new jobs declined 10 percent in the wealthiest nations during the recent global slowdown. However, a quarter of new entrepreneurs believe the prospects for their businesses are rosier than a year earlier.
We want to embrace social, environmental, economic responsibility, and sustainability simultaneously, not sequentially.
The faculty task force engaged in curriculum renewal also recommended that social, environmental, economic responsibility, and sustainability (SEERS), be incorporated into the curriculum. We want Babson students not only to ask whether a sustainable solution to a particular challenge is possible, but also to know how to creatively develop, implement, and measure the effects of these solutions. The faculty is working on the best ways to integrate SEERS into the curriculum.
A key means of implementing SEERS for co-curricular activities is the Lewis Initiative. In November we took an important step forward on our sustainability agenda with the appointment of Cheryl Kiser as the Managing Director of the Lewis Institute. Cheryl came from Boston College where, for the past twelve years, she has served as Managing Director of its Center for Corporate Citizenship. The Lewis Institute is integrating our work in both globally responsible leadership and social entrepreneurship into the Babson educational experience.
One of its projects is our partnership with Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Babson was selected by Ashoka as one of five universities and colleges in the U.S. for its second Changemaker Campus Consortium. Students, faculty, and staff across campus will work together to set a new standard for social entrepreneurship education and to transform the campus into a hub for social change. It’s a great way to combine curricular and co-curricular activities for the betterment of our students and society.
We have had terrific feedback from the marketplace for our work in sustainability. For example, the Aspen Institute ranked our MBA program #26 on a list of the top 100 business schools in the world for integrating social and environmental issues into its curriculum. While there are many MBA rankings, this survey is the only one that looks beyond reputation and test scores to measure how well schools are preparing their students for the environmental, social, and ethical complexities of modern-day business.
Looking ahead, Babson, the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and Wellesley College are organizing the Boston Grand Challenge Summit on April 21. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has asked colleges and universities across the country to take the lead in their regions in focusing on 14 NAE Grand Engineering Challenges. These are a critical grouping of societal problems in areas such as energy, the environment, security, and health that engineering will be instrumental in solving, but cannot solve without other disciplines. While each other regional group of schools is examining one of the 14 grand engineering challenges, the Summit organized by our three-college collaboration will look at what kinds of educational approaches can best prepare the next generation to address all of these challenges. Mark Rice, Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Anirudh Dhebar, Professor of Marketing, are Babson’s representatives on the Summit organizing committee.
We want to extend our global reach to have an impact on the world.
Today Babson finds itself at “the center of the universe” in terms of stimulating entrepreneurial activity. Companies are coming to us for advice on company-led initiatives; colleges and universities around the world are coming to us for our help in establishing entrepreneurially-oriented programs; and governments are coming to us for assistance in advancing entrepreneurial activity:
We are moving closer to establishing strategic global partnerships in several countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, India, Sweden, and Chile. As an example, I was in China in November for activities that included a celebratory event of the newly-formed Babson College Alumni Club of Greater China. I met with leaders from a number of academic institutions. Our conversations centered on how we might partner to bring our entrepreneurial thought and action expertise to Greater China. I am convinced that among these universities we will identify a strong partner for our Global Entrepreneurship Education Network (GEEN), a central part of our strategy that I have described in earlier community messages.
This is happening because of alumni from China who are making it happen—both by leveraging their connections for Babson and making it financially possible to build GEEN. Stay tuned for more updates as our global partnerships begin to take shape.
As a follow-up to President Obama’s speech in Cairo last June, Babson is actively advising the White House on its upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit. We have been asked by his Administration to work with USAID and the State Department to lay the groundwork for the Summit. Cheryl Kiser, Executive Director of the Lewis Institute, Jan Shubert, Director of the Center for Women’s Leadership, and Lisa Di Carlo, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, are designing and will be facilitating a “listening” session in Cairo in early February, as one of Babson’s ongoing roles in planning for the Summit. The session will bring together government leaders, bankers, and entrepreneurs from Muslim communities around the world, focused on access to financing and other key issues.
A new Babson Global Advisory Board (GAB) has been created, with the mission of extending Babson’s global reach. GAB members will be composed of alumni and parents from around the world, and some U.S. constituencies with significant global experience and impact. The Board will advise me and senior management regarding global issues, bring new resources to the school, serve as ambassadors for Babson globally, and represent Babson within their communities.
Our newest overseas programs are making an extraordinary cross-cultural entrepreneurial education available to our students. In the BRIC program, (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) students traveled to Russia and China this fall, where they combined onsite course work and meetings with business leaders, government officials, and academic leaders to hear and see firsthand how and why the global business landscape is changing. Our Global Entrepreneurship Program (the three-partner MS program delivered with EM Lyon in France and Zhejiang University in China—and the only one of its kind) kicked off this fall at EM Lyon, began its second semester in Hangzhou, China, and will come to Babson for the final semester beginning in May.
Pramodita Sharma has joined Babson as a Visiting Professor and Director of the STEP Global Project for Family Enterprising. She is a leading scholar in the field of family business, editor of Family Business Review, and a professor at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Canada. STEP explores the entrepreneurial process within business families and generates solutions that have immediate application for family leaders. In November STEP Summits were held with academics from leading universities and entrepreneurial business families in Korea, with participants from throughout the Asia Pacific region, and in Colombia, with participants from across Latin America.
We want to create a diverse, multi-cultural and inclusive community of highly talented students, faculty, and staff.
Babson’s 35-member Council for Inclusiveness and Community, consisting of students, faculty, and staff, has been leading campus efforts to move from words to action with steps that include the following:
- Babson College has been selected by Managing Leaders for Tomorrow (MLT), a minority graduate student organization, to launch an “entrepreneurial thought and action” webinar series beginning in February, which will help us attract a more diverse student body;
- The Council voted unanimously to have the College sign a transgender equality statement indicating our commitment to the LGBT community, and will host a signing event in the early spring; and
- A pilot multicultural alumni mentoring program is underway and is linking multicultural students with alumni to provide support in networking, internships, and jobs. The pilot includes 30 multicultural students and alumni.
Faculty members continue to be recognized on many fronts for their accomplishments.
- Elaine Allen, Faculty Scholarship Award from Babson for outstanding research.
- Nestor Azcona, 2009 ALdE’s Young Researchers Award for his paper, “Non-Traded Goods and Real Exchange Rate Volatility.”
- Candida Brush, nominated for the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award.
- William Casey, The President’s Senior Term Chair at Babson was renamed the William L. Casey, Jr. Senior Term Chair; “Best Paper” Award at the Annual Conference of the National Business and Economics Society.
- Tom Davenport’s Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, “Competing on Analytics” was named to HBR’s list of must read articles, and he also was listed as one of the “100 Best Professors Who Blog” by Online College.
- Ryan Davies, faculty advisor for award-winning student teams in international competitions: first place among undergraduate and MBA teams representing 38 colleges and universities from around the world in the Rotman International Trading Competition; and the bronze prize in the IIBD Case Competition, competing against 30 teams from 11 countries.
- Marjorie Feld, the Saul Viener Book Award of the American Jewish Historical Society for her book, Lillian Wald: A Biography.
- Brad George, Stevens Institute of Technology Wesley J. Howe Award for Excellence in Research on the topic of Corporate Entrepreneurship for his paper, “Is IPO the Death of Innovation?”
- Elizabeth Goldberg Professor of the Year, Babson.
- Dhruv Grewal, Distinguished Service Award, Journal of Retailing 2009; Multi-Channel Marketing Thought Leader, Texas A&M, 2009; Best Paper Award, Consumer Behavior Track, Winter American Marketing Association Conference, 2009.
- Mary O’Donoghue, Faculty Scholarship Award, Babson.
- Anne Roggeveen and Dhruv Grewal from Babson, and Dip Biswas (Bentley University) received the Winter 2009 American Management Association Best Paper on Consumer Behavior: “How the Order of Sampled Experiential Goods Affects Choice.”
- Michael Goldstein, named Associate Editor of the Financial Review, and also Honorary Professor, The Queen’s University of Belfast (UK).
- Ted Grossman, Dick Mandel, and Stephen Schiffman, the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education for their project “Foundations for Management Education,” which evolved into Babson’s award-winning signature FME course for freshmen.
- Michael Levy, the Retail Leadership Award from the Asia Retail Congress, which represents 50 countries from across Asia and the world.
- John Marthinsen, Professor of the Year (the Kennedy Award) from the Babson Graduate Student Association.
- Kevin Mulvaney, faculty advisor to the winning team in the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Cup, the major MBA level M&A competition.
- Heidi Neck and Dennis Ceru, Best Pedagogy Workshop, U.S. Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship National Conference, 2009.
- Mary Pinard, Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, Babson.
- Keith Wilcox, Best Conference Paper at the 2009 Marketing and Public Conference, for his paper entitled “Vicarious Goal Fulfillment: When the Mere Presence of a Healthy Option Leads to an Ironically Indulgent Decision.”
- Ron Waite, Dean’s Adjunct Teaching Award, Babson.
Sam Dunn is joining the Babson community as our new Chief Information Officer (CIO). Higher education is becoming increasingly technology-dependent. Moreover, our strategic initiatives, especially those around curriculum renewal and the expansion of the Fast Track Program, require the College to strengthen its capacity in information technology (IT). Sam has the experience to lead Babson into the next generation technology platforms—serving over 15 years as CIO in different industries and as CIO for the states of Tennessee and Kentucky, where he led critical IT initiatives.
We want to be prosperous and sustainable, with ample resources for our work.
In a difficult economic environment, we continue to attract philanthropy. As of December 31, 2009 our campaign commitment gifts reached $109 million and we are aggressively looking to close our campaign by reaching the $200 million mark. Scholarships are a vitally important part of our strategy as well as the campaign priority because, more than anything else, we need to make new investments in human capital. Babson can have the impact we want it to have in the U.S. and globally only if we are able to attract, retain, and develop the most talented population of future entrepreneurial leaders.
For the first time, a signature Babson event will be held this year as a fundraiser. The next Academy for Distinguished Entrepreneurs (ADE) ceremony will be on April 7, 2010 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Henri Termeer, President and CEO of Genzyme Corporation, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, will be inducted into the ADE, as part of an exciting program entitled “World Stage.” Termeer is an inspiration to entrepreneurs, but Genzyme inspires filmmakers as well—see the January 16 Boston Globe article “Hollywood treatment: A true story that unfolded at Genzyme inspired film Extraordinary Measures.”
As for our ADE event, we are broadening the reach of Babson’s message, inviting organizations and individuals not previously connected with the College to recognize Babson as the driver of a cause—creating economic and social value everywhere. We will be ramping up publicity and outreach intensely over the next few months, and hope we can count on you to attend and involve your companies and organizations.
2010 Promises to be the Best Year Ever for Babson College.
With so many exciting developments on and off campus, we are gearing up for a banner year for the College. Please join me in making sure that everyone knows that you are connected to this great institution—as a student, faculty member, staff, alumnus/a, parent, or friend of the College. So make one more New Year’s resolution for 2010: Wherever you go, talk up Babson!
Leonard A. Schlesinger