January 19, 2011
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.
An Unprecedented Event in Miami
As we head into our spring semester, we continue to grow the Babson footprint nationally and internationally in exciting ways. A case in point is how we brought the College to Miami last week for a networking event on a scale exceeding anything we’ve done in the past outside the Northeast. Graduate and undergraduate students, representatives from our admissions and career development offices, alumni, and more than 20 companies (lined up by our development office) participated.
This initiative was all the more impressive because it was initiated by our students. Graduate students from Latin America interested in jobs in the South Florida and Latin American region came to us for help in networking. Dean Raghu Tadepalli and Associate Dean Bob Turner moved into action; since we have a great network of alumni and interested companies in Miami, they decided to bring the College to them.
Babson Alumni Club of South Florida Networking Event
With one event, we provided an informal networking opportunity for students and employers, strengthened Babson’s presence in the region, bridged relationships with employers, and created visibility for our talented students with various companies.
The event was hosted by the Babson Alumni Club of South Florida on January 13. It began with Bob Turner providing the latest updates from Babson, followed by each employer briefly introducing his or her company. They broke into industry-focused roundtables, and students had the opportunity to visit up to 3 tables during twenty minute intervals—introducing themselves and sharing a snapshot of their background and interests. Company representatives then shared an assessment of the marketplace, an overview of their company, and their personal career path. Our undergraduate and graduate career development offices will be working with these companies to identify internships and full-time career opportunities for our students.
An alumni reception featuring Alberto Perlman ’98, CEO and co-founder of Zumba Fitness, a global fitness company, immediately followed the networking and career session. Also, during the Miami visit, Valerie Denomy, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, continued our exploration of the potential of Miami as a future site for our Fast Track MBA program.
Speaking of Fast Track
In response to strong market demand we have added a significant amount of space for the program in San Francisco. A new 7,000 square foot facility leased by Babson, equipped with the latest classroom technologies and tele-presence capabilities, will house our next Fast Track class in the area that begins in March. It enables us to expand our program, as San Francisco becomes the hub of Fast Track in the western region of the U.S.—with opportunities to extend our presence beyond offering classes to build awareness of Babson in the area in a major way.
Offshore Courses and Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®
In January, Babson students participated in offshore courses that emphasized entrepreneurial leadership. Consider the new January ecotourism course in Costa Rica for undergraduate students, developed in large part because of the strong commitment to sustainability of its faculty leaders, Toni Lester, Professor of Law, and Vikki Rodgers, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science. They traveled earlier this month with 15 students to Costa Rica to explore the interdisciplinary aspects of Ecotourism, Biodiversity, and Conservation Policy in Costa Rica.
Also with a focus on social entrepreneurship, thirty-nine undergraduate students and four graduate students, led by Undergraduate Dean Dennis Hanno, were in Ghana this month for a course on Culture, Society, and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies that was linked to service learning. Working in teams, our students prepared and delivered training sessions on entrepreneurship to secondary school students and adult learners. The course, developed by Dean Hanno four years ago, culminated in a region-wide business plan competition.
Eighteen undergraduate students participated in Play, Performance, Perspective: The London Stage led by Jon Dietrick, Assistant Professor of Arts & Humanities. This January course focuses not only on theater as an art form, but also on the theater company as a community of people who aspire to push the boundaries of perception in society.
Finally, 18 graduate students were in Chile and Peru for a course led by Julio De Castro, Professor of Entrepreneurship, analyzing entrepreneurial opportunities in Latin America. The course is designed to build a better understanding of the unique elements associated with starting a new venture in Chile and Peru.
Together, these four courses—along with other offshore courses offered in March and May—are an integral part of Babson’s curriculum and assist in the internationalization of our campus. I am told by our colleagues at the Glavin Office of International Programs that, year after year, students comment that these courses have given them a new perspective on life, studies and career aspirations—one of the many and varied ways that Babson is cultivating global citizens.
We also took new steps this month to expand our undergraduate community in ways that globalize Babson. In the undergraduate program, in addition to welcoming 20 transfer students, we enrolled a cohort of 30 first-year students. Through videoconferencing, Dennis Hanno and his team met with these students three times during the fall—local students came to campus to participate, while others joined remotely from around the world. As Dennis points out, local students were having pizza at Reynolds during the video conference, while their future classmates in China were enjoying breakfast the next morning, fully participating and voicing their ideas and questions. For the first time, our January transfer students will participate in the full Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) program. By the time all 30 complete summer classes, they will join, as sophomores, members of the Class of 2014 who entered last September.
January 15 was the deadline for applications to the undergraduate Class of 2015—and I’m pleased to report that a record of more than 5,000 students have applied for admission—a 25% increase over last year’s application pool and a 48% increase in the past five years. This continued growth is due to a number of factors including our placement among the Top 20 undergraduate business programs this year, as well as significant growth in our recruitment efforts.
January also brought 49 educators, including 31 from 15 countries outside the U.S., to participate in the week-long Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators. This was an additional offering as a result of high demand following the annual program last spring.
Demand For What Babson Offers is Growing Worldwide
Babson’s faculty and reputation for curriculum innovation continue to attract educational institutions across the globe that want to partner with us. In earlier messages, I have told you about the first two members of the Babson-led Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Education: The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Pakistan and the Abu Dhabi School of Management. We will be adding 3 new members over the next month:
- In India, we are working with the Shiv Nadar Foundation to establish a School of Entrepreneurship. The project entails development of undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship degree programs, establishment of an Entrepreneurship Center to deliver co-curricular programs and community outreach, and possible collaboration on executive education.
- In Chile, we are building on our relationship with Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) that began six years ago with student exchange programs, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and joint research and case writing. A Master of Science degree (M.S.) in Entrepreneurship will be created across a portfolio of Global Consortium institutions. A portion of the degree will be delivered at Babson during the summer and the remaining courses will be delivered by UDD in Chile and other partner locations. We will serve as faculty advisor for three years and train UDD faculty to deliver the M.S. degree.
- In Thailand, Bangkok University is creating a School of Entrepreneurship dedicated to entrepreneurial studies, not only in Thailand but ultimately in Southeast Asia. When Shahid and I were in Bangkok earlier this month to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bangkok University, there was enormous energy and goodwill relative to Babson and support for our partnership in the local community. A separate event sponsored by the Babson Alumni Club of Thailand brought together more than 80 Babson supporters, including alums and friends of the College, as well as current students, parents, and prospective students from Thailand.
Our relationship with Bangkok University began three years ago; since then, we have delivered multiple Modules for Entrepreneurship Educators (MEE) programs in Thailand and assisted Bangkok University to become a Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) member. Becoming a member of our Global Consortium will involve the design of curriculum for undergraduate and graduate programs, certificate programs for business practitioners, and a semester-long Faculty Fellows training program.
Memorandum of Understanding Signing with Bangkok University
We regularly meet with academic leaders from institutions in different regions of the world who are interested in joining the Global Consortium. At the same time, we are beginning to see reputational benefits from the launch of the Global Consortium: an increasing revenue stream to the College, an uptick in the business of Babson Executive Education, and more students and faculty from all regions of the world finding their way to Babson.
Our role in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative is also increasing Babson’s visibility and global impact. Last month we were awarded a new grant with the Goldman Sachs Foundation for the next phase of this project. A faculty team headed by Patti Greene—including Richard Bliss, Candy Brush, Dennis Ceru, Anne Donnellon, Elaine Eisenman, Mike Fetters, David Hennessey, Paul Joseph, Heidi Neck, Gary Ottley, Eric Noyes, Donna Stoddard, and Elizabeth Thornton—has been leading the development of an entrepreneurship curriculum for small business owners in underserved urban areas.
The curriculum model has been rolled out nationally, including Los Angeles Community College and Long Beach Community College, which graduated their first cohorts this month using the national curriculum. In addition, the curriculum has been adapted for use in the UK, and a task force is currently exploring how it might connect to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative.
The new contract will cover the expansion of the Initiative into multiple cities in 2011. New Orleans’ participation as one of these cities was announced right before Thanksgiving, and Delgado Community College in New Orleans will launch next month. The Babson faculty team will continue to add new elements to the entrepreneurship curriculum and adapt it for local communities, as well as train community college faculty in using the curriculum. In addition, Babson faculty members will co-teach the curriculum at every new site as part of the launch plan. Finally, part of our grant is to develop a research plan that will cut across all three of the Goldman Sachs small business programs (in the U.S., the UK and globally), allowing an even greater potential to learn from the programs.
Greater Global Demand for Babson Executive Education
The following are a few recent examples:
- Babson Executive Education (BEE) is partnering with BM&FBOVESPA (the Brazilian Stock Exchange) to deliver a program specifically designed for Brazilian entrepreneurs. The program will focus on a group of high potential enterprises that could make a significant contribution to the Brazilian economy through export growth and employment creation.
- BEE won new business with Media-Saturn, one of the largest electronics retailers in Europe with continued growth in Europe and Asia. As they expand, Media-Saturn wants to maintain its company culture by developing entrepreneurial leadership skills internally through a program that BEE will design and deliver.
- PepsiCo wants to develop a culture of coaching within the corporation and BEE is working with them to create the models to train 150,000 managers around the world about how to become coaching managers. Joe Weintraub, Professor of Management—who developed the Coaching Manager model with James Hunt, Associate Professor of Management—will deliver the first program at PepsiCo, and the subsequent programs virtually in a train-the-trainer format.
New Dean of Faculty
As we move forward on multiple fronts, we welcome Carolyn Hotchkiss, Professor of Law, as the College’s new Dean of Faculty. Carolyn is a dedicated faculty member who has served the College well both in and out of the classroom, including twice serving as Chair of the ADMB. As Provost Shahid Ansari wrote in his email to faculty and staff announcing the appointment, “She understands the faculty, loves being one, is scrupulously fair, open to alternate viewpoints, and most of all loves the College and will always do right by it. These things alone would have been good enough for me but in addition Carolyn also brings a great sense of humor and a refreshing candor. She will be a great addition to the College’s leadership team.”
The Faculty Is Breaking New Ground
Last month the faculty approved a redesigned MBA curriculum with the objective of developing entrepreneurial leaders through a mix of classroom and experiential learning. Although much more work will be done this spring to flesh out the details of the curriculum, key elements are a common core across all of our MBA programs; a smaller core curriculum with electives in the first year; greater flexibility for students; modular rather than course integration; a standardized curriculum design around full and half courses; and more blended electives.
Curriculum reform at the undergraduate level is currently underway. The community “report out” will occur later in the spring semester.
Curriculum renewal efforts incorporate major issues developed over the past two years by faculty task forces focused on program content and concepts. These concepts are described in a forthcoming book—The New Entrepreneurial Leader—with chapters by 20 Babson faculty members. From different disciplines and perspectives, the book provides an in-depth look at several themes that are driving curricular change at Babson:
- How analytics can be integrated with Babson’s Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® methodology,
- How to incorporate Social, Environmental, Economic Responsibility, and Sustainability (SEERS) into the curriculum, and
- How to recognize the social component of decision-making.
Action learning across all academic disciplines is emphasized.
Danna Greenberg, Associate Professor of Management, Kate McKone-Sweet, Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management (TOIM) and Division Chair, and Jim Wilson, Senior Researcher and Senior Writer for BEE, were the co-editors and lead authors. Faculty who authored chapters are Heidi Neck, Sebastian Fixson, Jay Rao, Candy Brush, Tom Davenport, Julian Lange, Toni Lester, Janice Bell, Virginia Soybel, Bob Turner, Richard Bliss, James Hunt, Nan Langowitz, Keith Rollag, Karen Maccaro, Stephen Deets, Lisa DiCarlo, PJ Guinan, Sal Parise, and Mary Gentile.
Babson’s Faculty are Recognized
In recent months, faculty members have received a range of honors and awards:
- Elaine Allen, Associate Professor/Research Director, Math and Science Division: Best Paper Award at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver for “Injured Players does not equal a Broken Team: How does the DL change the post-season?” (with co-author Julia Seaman).
- Candy Brush, Professor of Entrepreneurship/Division Chair: an Honorary Doctorate in Business and Economics from Jonkoping University; Outstanding Paper Award from the Emerald Publishing Group for “A Gender-Aware Framework for Women’s Entrepreneurship” (with Anne de Bruin & Friederike Welter); Trailblazer Award at the Diana International Conference for her contributions to mentoring and leadership in women’s entrepreneurship.
- Ryan Davies, Associate Professor of Finance: faculty advisor to Babson’s undergraduate team placing second at the Rotman International Tradition Competition and fourth in the Finance International Case Competition.
- Yunwei Gai, Assistant Professor of Economics, and Kent Jones, Professor of Economics: Best Paper Award in recognition of excellence in research by peer evaluation at 22nd International Conference of the Association for Global Business (2010).
- Patti Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship: Moderator at White House Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference; Inaugural member of the International Research Board of the Journal of Small Business Management; elected Chair of the Center for Women’s Business Research.
- Dhruv Grewal, Professor of Marketing: 2011 Louis W. Stern Award from American Marketing Association Foundation for “Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Relationship Marketing: A Meta-Analysis”; 2010 Academy of Marketing Science Cutco/Vector Distinguished Educator Award; 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in Retailing (AMA Retailing SIG); Co-winner of 2010 Marketing Science Institute/Association Award; 2010 Babson College Faculty Scholarship Award; and Retail Innovation Thought Leader (Texas A&M).
- Dhruv Grewal and Michael Levy, Professor of Marketing: the McGraw-Hill Corporate Achievement Award for Marketing 2e with ConnectMarketing as well as McGraw-Hill’s Revision of the Year for their text.
- Dhruv Grewal, and Anne Roggeveen, Associate Professor of Marketing (with Michael Tsiros): 2010 William R. Davidson Journal of Retailing Best Paper Award.
- Bob Halsey, Associate Professor of Accounting/Division Chair: Professor of the Year at Babson College and 2010 Babson College Faculty Scholarship Award.
- JP Jeannet, Professor of Marketing: The Carpenter Prize at Babson (2010).
- Donna Kelley, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship: Excellent Paper Award for “Growth Aspirations as a Function of Entrepreneurial Perceptions and Motivation,” (with Hyunsuk Lee) at the 2010 Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, Tsinghua University in China.
- Nan Langowitz, Professor of Management: 2010 Alumni Award for Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Service from the Babson Alumni Association.
- Dennis Mathaisel, Professor of Management Science: 2010 Babson Faculty Scholarship Award.
- Diane Mulcahy, Adjunct Lecturer, Entrepreneurship: The Gig Economy and the New Entrepreneurial Imperative, a course she designed, was recognized by Forbes as one of the 10 most innovative business school classes.
- Erik Noyes, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship: Best Paper Award in Education and Training at the International Human Systems Interaction Conference in Poland for “Visualizing Creative Destruction in Entrepreneurship Education,” (with L. Deligiannidis).
- Michael Schultz, Adjunct Lecturer of Marketing: one of his publications—RainToday.com—won a prestigious award in the marketing field as the top sales resource site globally.
Save the Dates for These Events
- Founder’s Day: On Friday, March 4, we will celebrate our oldest tradition, Founder’s Day. It dates back to 1947, when a day was set aside to honor Roger Babson, founder and first President of Babson College, and his special passion for entrepreneurship, education, and philanthropy. Watch for details in the coming weeks.
- Lemonade Day: On Sunday, May 1, Babson will lead Boston’s participation in Lemonade Day—a community-wide, educational initiative designed to teach youngsters how to start, own, and operate their own business—a lemonade stand. The program started in Houston, where it has been incredibly successful, and is now operating in 14 cities. Phyllis and I are proud and delighted to personally lead the Babson-sponsored effort in Boston. You’ll be hearing much more about ways in which you can take part in this entrepreneurial undertaking that is such a natural for this College and our broader community.
2011 is off to a Great Start for Babson!
Babson continues to expand its national and international reach and impact as the College reinvents itself every year with innovative activities and programs. However, what doesn’t change year after year is our distinctive approach to learning and living, enabling us to retain what makes us so special, even as we grow and evolve in new ways. After all, there is no college quite like Babson—and that will never change.
Leonard A. Schlesinger