September 3, 2008
Dear Members of the Babson Community:
As the new academic year gets underway, I want to bring you up to date on what has been happening at the College over the summer and what is ahead for the fall. I also want to welcome to campus all the new members of our community for the start of what promises to be a very exciting year.
Gifts to the College
Speaking of excitement, I am pleased to lead with some wonderful news about a very generous gift that will dramatically expand and broaden Babson’s leadership role in entrepreneurship. Alan E. Lewis and Harriet Lewis, and the Lewis Charitable Foundation, have donated $10.8 million to create the Lewis Institute at Babson College.
We had a very special kick-off late yesterday afternoon on campus, when I announced the Lewis gift. We also celebrated two great rankings for Babson by U.S.News & World Report—the #1 undergraduate program in the U.S. in entrepreneurship and one of the top 25 best business schools in the country.
The Lewis Institute will build on Babson’s early and continuing initiatives in globally responsible leadership and social entrepreneurship and the bold vision of Alan E. Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Grand Circle Corporation,on how we can increase our impact on social, environmental, and economic problems. We always have encouraged students to start and grow innovative ventures; now we will systematically bring together curriculum, research, student programs, and other kinds of support to facilitate businesses that both create social value and have a positive economic impact. You will be hearing much more about the Lewis Institute in the coming months.
The Lewis gift is the third largest in the history of the College and the second largest in our Babson Rising campaign, which was publicly launched last October. As of June 30, the College has raised more than $85 million toward a goal of $200 million. The campaign is critical to ensure that we continue to strengthen what makes Babson so special—the way we prepare our students to be entrepreneurial leaders who can succeed anywhere in the world.
Shahid Ansari was named this summer as acting provost and dean of the faculty. In this role, he serves as the chief academic officer with responsibility for all faculty activities. Shahid is an internationally known scholar in the behavioral and cultural aspects of management accounting, strategy, control, and change management. He was the Zwerling Term Chair Professor of Behavioral and Managerial Accounting, and relinquished the Chair on assuming his new position. Over the past few months, Shahid has become an invaluable member of my executive team in his multiple roles.
Bob Fogel joined Babson College in July as executive vice president and executive dean. As the chief operational officer, Bob oversees administrative and operational functions for the College. Bob comes to Babson from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he served as dean for administration and was credited with revitalizing all aspects of school operations. He also brings his prior experience as president and CEO of Harvard Business School Interactive and executive director of executive education at Harvard Business School.
This year we welcomed nine new members to the ranks of full-time faculty. They are an extremely talented group—and show tremendous enthusiasm about joining Babson College. Their academic credentials only begin to tell the story of their skills as teachers and scholars:
- Nestor Azcona, Economics, completed his doctoral work from New York University (NYU), and has taught Intermediate Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, and Principles of Macroeconomics at NYU. His research interests are in International Finance and Monetary Policy.
- Joanne Baldine, Arts & Humanities, earned a PhD from the University of Hawaii, with a focus on comparative East-West philosophies. She has taught at a number of schools, including Northeastern University and Wesleyan University. Her teaching and research interests include Asian and Western conceptions of self and economic justice.
- Ankush Chopra, Management, earned a PhD in Management and MA in Business Administration from Duke University, as well as an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. He has research, teaching, and consulting expertise in business strategy, innovation, and organizational and business transformation. He has over a decade of international experience in consulting for businesses and organizations.
- Julio DeCastro, Entrepreneurship, is professor of entrepreneurship and holds the Lewis Family Distinguished Professor at Babson Chair. Before coming to Babson, he was associate dean of research and professor of strategy and entrepreneurship management at Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain. He teaches in the areas of strategy and entrepreneurship, and his research examines entrepreneurial and cross-cultural aspects of firm management and strategy. He has consulted for many firms, both in the U.S. and internationally.
- Dennis Michaud, Economics, earned AM and PhD degrees from Brown University and an MBA from the Goizueta Business School, Emory University. He has been a visiting assistant professor of economics at Brown University, where he taught courses in international finance and trade, corporate strategy, corporate governance, and international negotiations. He has over 25 years experience in investment banking, project finance, financial management, and strategic planning—and was a founder or co-founder of five corporate start-ups, two of which went public.
- Kevin Mulvaney, Entrepreneurship, has been an adjunct professor at Babson for nine years. He teaches M&A for Entrepreneurs and Buying a Small Business, both in the graduate school. He also mentors students in consulting projects. As president of Strategic Advisors Group, former president of DRI/McGraw Hill, and an executive at Bank of Boston for 23 years, he brings a wealth of practitioner knowledge and experience to his teaching.
- Virginia (Jenny) Rademacher, Arts and Humanities, earned a PhD in Spanish language and literature from the University of Virginia, and an MA in international affairs and economics from Johns Hopkins University. In addition to contemporary Spanish and Latin American narrative, her research interests include film, theater, and interdisciplinary approaches to literature and culture.
- Megan Way, Economics, has completed her doctoral work from Boston College, where she earned a Master in Economics. Her dissertation examines intergenerational transfers, particularly how demographic changes in marriage are affecting the way money gets passed between the generations. Other research interests include immigration/migration, remittances, and international business networks.
- Bill Yousman, History & Society, earned a PhD from the Department of Communication and Culture at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and has published widely in academic journals, with his first book, Prime-Time Prisons: Television and the Representation of Incarceration to be published next year.
Our success in attracting and recruiting such strong candidates is testament to the vitality and accomplishments of our current faculty and the high regard in which the market holds them.
Undergraduate Class of 2012
We have enrolled one of the strongest incoming undergraduate classes in Babson’s history. Overall, we had a 22 percent increase in undergraduate applications—a record 4,318. And the quality of our incoming Class is among our most talented and diverse to date:
- Our was 35 percent—the most selective since 1982.
- A record 45 percent are women, 26 percent multicultural students, and 28 percent international students from 45 countries; and
- 65 percent of the students come from outside New England.
We have a record enrollment in our portfolio of MBA programs. Two of our programs—the Two-Year and Fast Track (hybrid online/on-site) have incoming Classes this fall.
- Our Two-Year program, the Class of 2010, consists of 41 percent international students and 36 percent women, a substantial increase in female students over past years. The rate of admitted students, now 46 percent, shows greater selectivity from recent years.
- We’re seeing increasing overall demand for our Fast Track MBA, a sign of how important “blended” distance learning is becoming in higher education. Our Fast Track classes begin on both our Babson and Portland, Oregon campuses in October.
Summer Highlights on Campus
You may be surprised to learn how much activity occurred across campus this summer.
- The One-Year MBA Class of 2009—with a record 80 members, up from 58 last year—started course work in May.
- “Green” learning took place on several fronts.
- Summer courses for our undergraduates were themed around sustainability and the environment. With more promotion and “green” topics, summer registrations increased 50 percent.
- Our three-week Babson Business Edge program for non-business students had a strong social entrepreneurship theme this year. Enrollment jumped 20 percent, with participants attending from such schools as Boston College, Cornell University, Middlebury College.
- The Upper Quad project is substantially complete—providing a new student community gathering area just outside of Reynolds Campus Center, in the undeveloped space in front of Canfield Hall. The idea originated with students and was made possible with gifts from many donors. The Upper Quad will be dedicated during Back to Babson weekend as Barefoot Park—a fitting tribute to President Barefoot, in honor of his long-term commitment to improving life on campus for students.
- The 24th annual Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) brought together 62 entrepreneurship educators—40 percent from outside the U.S. The program is designed to help participants become more effective, innovative teachers of entrepreneurship.
- A number of programs for students from around the world were held on campus, including the new international entrepreneurship program sponsored by Banco Santander, the fifth largest bank in the world.
- We held our first-ever Family Day Event for new students, their parents and families. We had a strong response to the day which included a service-learning project for incoming students and parent classroom experiences.
Launching a New Strategic Planning Process
We have been the undisputed leader in entrepreneurship for the past 15 years—and also known for an extraordinary liberal arts and management faculty, as a pacesetter for curriculum innovation, and a key player in a global network of first-tier schools, companies, and other institutional partners. Leaders never rest on their laurels and are always on the move—building on their accomplishments, revitalizing their core strengths, and raising the resources to achieve their aspirations. That is why we are engaging in a new strategic planning process this fall.
In contrast to other schools, I often say that we not only teach entrepreneurship; we live it. The way we develop a new strategy for the College will be as distinctive and entrepreneurial as everything else about Babson. The process will fully engage important stakeholders in the community on and off campus—faculty, students, staff, and alumni—to develop an exciting and achievable vision for Babson’s future.
Throughout the fall semester, we’ll not only hold face-to-face forums and discussion groups—we’ll also draw on innovative and interactive technology, including blogs and web dialogues, to ensure that everyone in the community has an opportunity to participate. Different communications approaches will be tailored to meet the needs and convenience of various segments of the community. During the spring semester, students enrolled in a special President’s strategy seminar will work with me as well as a small number of faculty and staff on five to seven implementation projects, as part of a community agenda based on ideas vetted in the fall.
This is the Babson way—an entrepreneurial approach that encourages community-wide dialogue and decision-making on Babson’s future. You will be hearing much more about this process in the coming weeks, including all the ways and opportunities for you to become involved.
Save the Dates
- Back to Babson, September 26-28, will be the first major event on campus this fall. The weekend will feature Homecoming Reunion, Alumni College, the New England Harvest Festival, an MBA reception, an Alumni Leadership Recognition Ceremony, and much more. We expect a strong turnout, and all of you are invited to join in what will be a special “high-energy” weekend for the entire community.
- Inauguration Weekend, October 17-18, will include a number of exciting activities as part of my installation as President. Join us for the Inauguration Ceremony on Friday afternoon, the Alumni Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame dinner on Friday evening, a special symposium on The Globally Responsible Entrepreneur: Opportunities and Challenges on Saturday, and Family Weekend which extends through Sunday.
And these are just the season “openers.”
I’ll be sharing more College news with you as we get further into the academic year. In the meantime, I hope you will take a few moments to listen to a podcast with my wife Phyllis and me about our first months at Babson, our impressions, and aspirations for the College. The podcast can now be found online.
In closing, hearing from you is one of the best ways I can learn about how we can make the Babson experience better for everyone in the community. When you have a suggestion or idea relating to any aspect of the College, e-mail me.
I look forward to hearing from you, meeting you, having you participate with me in the new strategic planning process, and seeing you at Back to Babson and Inauguration Weekends.
With so much going for Babson and our community, I know you will share my view that the best is yet to come.