September 7, 2010
Dear Members of the Babson Community:
The 2010–11 Academic Year is in full swing! I want to welcome to campus the Undergraduate Class of 2014, our transfer students, the Graduate Class of 2012, and our new Evening and Fast Track MBA students. A special welcome also goes to the new members of our faculty and staff.
In my June message, I outlined some of the activities taking place on campus during the summer. By August, we were ramping up on all fronts for the start of the fall semester.
The Babson Experience Begins on Day One
On August 31, the first full day of school for undergraduates, students were joined by faculty, staff, and graduate student mentors in a new campus-wide tradition, From Day One. This day-long program is rooted in students’ interest in becoming involved quickly in learning how to balance making money with achieving a social purpose.
Sponsored by Dennis Hanno, Dean of the Undergraduate School, and Cheryl Kiser, Managing Director of the Lewis Institute, the program introduced students to resources and opportunities to influence their thinking about how they can make a difference. The day’s activities included community service projects, roundtable discussions with executives, exchanges with accomplished alumni on how they created impact while at Babson, as well as a lively conversation with Ron and Arnie Koss, founders of Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food.
From Day One students/executive discussion group
From Day One is one of many examples of how social entrepreneurship has become an integral part of the distinctive educational environment Babson provides inside and outside the classroom. In a recent article appearing in Justmeans, a handful of schools—including Babson—were named as “5 Great MBA Programs for Social Entrepreneurship.” The article calls out several of Babson’s courses—including “The Social Entrepreneur” and “Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship”—and quotes a student who says that “the integrated curriculum weaves social and ethical responsibility themes into all classes, allowing students to see these issues in greater clarity.”
Curriculum renewal is underway in both the undergraduate and graduate schools, with faculty working on, among other areas, more ways to embed social economic, environmental, responsibility and sustainability (SEERS) into the curriculum. As one of the few U.S. business schools to sign the Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), Babson is committed to making sure that our students understand that choices do not have to be made between a career for profit or purpose. Whether students choose to create a business, go into one that exists, or start or join a not-for-profit, creating both economic and social value is critical to sustainable success.
The bottom line is that “changing the world” is a popular phrase, but there are few institutions that can demonstrate this in a credible way. We are aiming for the top of that list—it’s what students, faculty, and staff are doing here all the time.
At Orientation, as always, a broad array of activities were held for undergraduate and graduate students new to campus. Last year an important shared experience was introduced—reading one book to serve as the foundation for conversations with faculty and students in small groups. Over the summer, incoming freshmen received a copy of Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder, for our New Student Reading Program. This book tells the story of Deogratias, a social entrepreneur from Burundi and founder of Village Health Works. Deogratias came to campus to a jam-packed Sorenson Theatre to converse about his experiences with our community.
All Babson graduate students, faculty, and staff were invited to participate in the Optional Summer Reading Program, reading The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer. On Wednesday, September 15, from 5:15–6:15 p.m. Professor Lidija Polutnik, Chair of the Economics Division, will lead a discussion in Olin Hall. The discussion around this book will focus on the next major global economic trends and how Babson graduate students can prepare to make the most of future opportunities.
Up, Up ... and Up
By now, many of you have heard the great new rankings that were announced over the summer. They continue to show how much the world perceives Babson as the leader in entrepreneurship education and provider of a world-class educational experience.
- For the 14th consecutive time, U.S. News & World Report ranked our undergraduate school No. 1 in entrepreneurship. Babson leads the top 5 schools, which include University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Indiana University (Kelley), University of Southern California (Marshall) and MIT (Sloan). And Babson moved up from No. 25 last year to No. 23 among the nation’s top business schools, tied with Boston College and a few others.
- The Fiske Guide to Colleges, which has been published for more than two decades, for the first time this year recommends ten undergraduate business programs. The schools were evaluated on the quality of the educational experience they provide. Babson is one of a list of “Ten Business Schools that Should Be on Your Radar.” Fiske goes even further in praising Babson. According to Fiske, Babson is “the country’s most prominent institution devoted entirely to business.”
- The 2010–11 College Salary Report of PayScale ranked almost 1,000 bachelor degree granting institutions in terms of mid-career earning power. Babson is No. 21 on the list. In May, Bloomberg Businessweek named Babson as one of the top MBA programs for earnings. These rankings go a long way in confirming the value of a Babson education in the marketplace.
- And, in the 2011 edition of its annual college guide, The Princeton Review profiles Babson in glowing terms. The Review praises Babson for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and quotes extensively from Babson students surveyed for the guide. Among their comments about their campus experiences: “Professors want nothing more than to see their students learn and do well.”
Great rankings attract great students and great students drive the perceptions that lead to great rankings. Our incoming student profiles show that Babson continues to draw an outstanding student body from around the world.
Undergraduate Class of 2014: New Milestones
For the third consecutive year, Babson received more than 4,000 applications for admission to the undergraduate program—with 4,061 students seeking admission to the Class of 2014. We have enrolled the largest and one of the strongest and most diverse classes in Babson’s history.
- Roughly 490 students currently comprise the Class of 2014. An additional 30 students will join the Class in January;
- 68% of the students come from outside New England, representing 29 U.S. states and territories;
- 41% are women, 29% multicultural, and 27% international from 42 countries around the world.
- This fall, the overall undergraduate student population is larger and more diverse than at any point in the College’s history.
Graduate School Programs: An Array of Choices
With our broad portfolio of MBA and MS programs, there are graduate students on campus during the entire year. Throughout the summer, there were students here in our Fast Track, Evening, Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) and One-Year programs. In fact, the utilization of graduate school programs in the summer was at an all-time high.
In May, we enrolled 76 students in our One-Year program. The average GMAT score was 607, a 17 point jump from 590 last year and marks the third consecutive year of improvement. In August, we enrolled 154 in our Two-Year MBA program, the Class of 2012. It consists of 41% international students, 30% women, and 29% U.S. minorities (an increase of 13% over last year).
The Global Entrepreneurship Program, our partnership with two first-class universities that share our focus on entrepreneurial teaching and learning—EMLYON in France and Zhejiang University in China—will enter its second year this fall. Sixty students will start with a semester in France before moving to China for a semester, finishing at Babson in the summer of 2011.
Our New Faculty Members Bring a Breadth of Experience and Expertise to Babson
This year we welcomed 10 new members to the ranks of full-time faculty. They are a very talented group of teachers and scholars, as you can see from a brief summary of their academic credentials:
- Barbara Alexander, Visiting Lecturer in Economics, is a Principal and Founder of Arguendo Financial and Economic Consulting. Her research, teaching, and litigation work focus on antitrust, with extensive experience in price-fixing cases, as well as in economic regulation and government procurement. Dr. Alexander received her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Economics.
- Dov Biran, Visiting Assistant Professor in Information Technology, received his Ph.D. in Computers and Information Technology from the Recanatti School of Business at Tel Aviv University. His research and teaching is concerned with entrepreneurship, information systems, decision making and game theory, and technology management. He is the founder and the CEO of Fitango, Inc., a start-up company that provides a life management platform. He joined Babson College in 2009 as a part-time lecturer.
- Cristiano Busco, Associate Professor of Managerial Accounting, received his Ph.D. from the Manchester Business School. His central research interests are in the areas of performance measurement, management accounting change and strategy execution. He has published in academic and professional journals including Management Accounting Research, Journal of Management and Governance, Business Horizons, Strategic Finance and Financial Management.
- Jennifer Ellis, Visiting Lecturer in Operations Management, has twenty-five years of experience in operations and IT for technology-based companies. Her areas of expertise include new product introduction, software distribution and licensing, IT portfolio management, enterprise application deployment, Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. She has an MBA from Boston University.
- Ji Li, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, has a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in mathematics. As a postdoc at the University of Arizona, she taught a variety of mathematics courses including an upper-division course on combinatorics. In addition, she has taught algebra and a number line course for middle school teachers pursuing a Masters of Arts Degree in Middle School Mathematics Teaching Leadership.
- Xinghua Li, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, focuses on the global spread of consumer capitalism and its impacts on local cultures and environments, through the perspectives of psychoanalysis and critical media theory. In addition to her current project on Chinese and American green advertising, another is on the digitization of the Chinese language through the computer keyboard and its impacts on literacy and the calligraphic tradition in China.
- Mehdi Majbouri, Assistant Professor of Economics, received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California. Development and Labor Economics are his main areas of expertise. His work has been published in The Journal of Real Estate Economics and The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. The puzzle of labor force participation of women in the Middle East is the subject of his current research. He also enjoys being an entrepreneur and was involved in founding and managing two start-ups in Iran.
- Frederick Opie, Visiting Associate Professor of History, has a Ph.D. in history from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He lectures and writes about labor, culture, and foodways, with a particular interest in Africa and African Diaspora history. He is the author of Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America, Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882–1923, and a forthcoming book Black and Latino Relations in New York, 1959–2010. He has appeared on the American Public Media show The Splendid Table, the BBC radio show Americana, and The Chef’s Table on Philadelphia National Public Radio.
- Tina Opie, Assistant Professor of Management, received a Ph.D. in Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business. In 1999, she obtained her MBA from the Darden School of Business. Her research focuses primarily on how organizations can create workplaces that successfully leverage individual differences and convey respect for individual contributions. Prior to her academic career, she was a banker and a management consultant.
- Peter Wilson, Executive Director, Blended Programs, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business and Lecturer in Accounting, leads the design and delivery of the Fast Track MBA Program. He teaches in the areas of financial analysis and strategic performance measurement, global financial reporting and strategic cost management. Prior to joining Babson, Dr. Wilson spent 19 years at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business where he served as Executive Director of Executive Programs and Professor of the Practice of Business Administration. Prior to Duke, Dr. Wilson taught for nine years at the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he was the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Accounting, Taxation and Business Law. He holds a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
We also welcome the following to our faculty as part-time lecturers (some of whom joined us last spring):
- Bela Musits, the Fast Track MBA Program
- Dahri Myers, Math & Science
- Linda Myers-Tierney, Marketing
- Andy Nemtzow, TOIM
- Constance Richard, Arts & Humanities
- Stever Robbins, TOIM
- Nina Saberi, the Fast Track MBA Program
- Aimee Sands, Arts & Humanities
- Mike Schultz, Marketing
- George Steele, Arts & Humanities
- Jack Thomas, Management
- Edie Weller Toolan, Math & Science
- Beth Wynstra, Arts & Humanities
- Weina Zhao, Arts & Humanities
- Spencer Adams, Finance
- Nabella Alam, Economics
- Meghan Allen, Arts and Humanities
- Yoni Appelbaum, History and Society
- Richard Aroian, Marketing
- Gregg Beloff, Finance
- Ed Chazen, Finance
- Caroline Daniels, Entrepreneurship
- Gary DiCamillo, Management
- James Gilbert, Management
- Katherine Green, Technology, Information, and Operations Management (TOIM)
- John Hallal, Entrepreneurship
- Amir Kouzehkanani, Math & Science
- Phil Licari, TOIM
Save the Dates
Back to Babson (B2B) Weekend
From September 23–25, B2B will feature the Alumni Leadership Recognition Program, Alumni College, Class Reunions, the Student Homecoming Competition, Alumni Games, the New England Harvest Festival,Virtual Biz Connect, The Center for Women’s Leadership 10th Anniversary Celebration, a Black Affinity Networking Social, and an array of other activities.
All of you are invited to join in what promises to be a great weekend. For more details on Alumni College and all of the B2B homecoming and reunion activities—and to register:
- Alumni should visit the Back to Babson registration page.
- Students should watch for an email with registration instructions in the early fall.
- Faculty and staff should click the Back to Babson link in Smart Tools on the Babson Portal to bypass registration fees.
Family and Friends Weekend
Family and Friends Weekend 2010 will take place from October 15–17. Join the Babson community—including parents, families, alumni, the Boards of Governance, our Global Advisory Board, and of course our students, faculty and staff—for three days of activities featuring Family Weekend and the Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the campus and experience the best of what Babson has to offer.
Get Ready for a Terrific Year!
In future messages, I will review more of the new developments on campus and how Babson’s partnerships around the world are continuing to grow our reputation, provide new financial resources to improve our undergraduate and graduate programs, and offer great opportunities for our students and faculty. Wherever you turn, it’s going to be incredibly exciting as we offer even more ways of providing an unmatched world-class educational experience.
Leonard A. Schlesinger