January 24, 2013
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.
2012 was an extraordinary year—a highly active year with good news on many fronts—and all of us can look forward to an equally energetic agenda for the College as we move into the spring semester. We are already starting off the year with very good news. Our Undergraduate admission applications are way up again this year, now over 6,000 for the first time in Babson’s history. In the Graduate School, Dennis Hanno, Murata Dean and Vice Provost, is leading a team that has been reviewing our programs and assessing new opportunities. The community will be learning more about its recommendations in the near future.
This is my last semester at Babson, and I couldn’t be more excited about using the coming months to make substantial progress on all our strategic priorities. The developments I highlight in this message reflect and reinforce these strategic priorities in ways that are uniquely “Babson”—making us an even stronger and more special community and accelerating the school towards our vision for its Centennial in 2019.
Kicking off 2013 with “Babson Connect”
We continue to grow the Babson footprint nationally and internationally—and one of the most effective ways is by bringing the College to different cities around the country and overseas. Earlier in the month, through the Babson Connect initiative, graduate and undergraduate students, prospective students, representatives from our admissions and career development offices, Alumni & Friends Network, and alumni and non-alumni companies participated in New York City and Miami networking events. It’s not the first time we’ve held these events—they were launched two years ago—but the events have grown in size and scope.
Packed Room at January NYC Connect Event
The essence of the Connect concept is adding multiple dimensions to our alumni and friends relationships. At a single event we provide an informal networking opportunity for students, alumni, and employers—strengthening Babson’s presence in these regions, bridging relationships with employers, and creating visibility for our talented students with various companies. For prospective and current students, it is eye-opening and inspiring to experience firsthand the value of the network and what it could mean for them.
Each January event featured a panel of local alumni and friends of the College with interesting careers and entrepreneurial stories to share. In New York City, Kay Koplovitz, Founder of USA Network, Chairman and CEO of Koplovitz & Co. and a member of Babson’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (ADE), moderated a panel on NYC: As Seen on TV—Entrepreneurs Successfully Extending Their Businesses & Brand Through Television that featured Anthony Carrino ’01, Partner & Designer, Brunelleschi Construction, star of TV reality show Kitchen Cousins and Cousins on Call; Michael Lorber ’01, Director of Business Development and Associate Broker, Douglas Elliman Real Estate; and Seth Ginsberg ’03, Co-founder & President of CreakyJoints.
In Miami, our panelists—Bruce Gorsky, Adjunct Lecturer at Babson and President of Charles River Capital, Inc.; Ricardo Caporal ’00, Owner and President of the Mattoni Group; and Lisa Hillier ’93, Vice President at the Related Group—discussed the topic Sold—The Case for Entrepreneurship in Real Estate of All Kinds.
Alumni clubs provided invaluable support for the New York City and Miami events, as they will in an upcoming Connect event in San Francisco later in April. Each one demonstrates the multifaceted value of the Babson network. Where there is strong interest, specific admissions activities and company visits often accompany the networking events. Positive outcomes include increased applications to Babson from Connect cities to more jobs and internships from these areas.
The Connect idea has been adapted by our graduate school for overseas admissions events. Bob Turner, Graduate Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Accounting, works closely with the graduates who head our Alumni Club in Santiago, Chile: Francisco Opazo M’08 and Nicolas Sorensen M’10. Bob credits them with playing a major role in Babson’s growing presence in Chile, resulting in 14 students from Chile this year in our one- and two-year MBA programs. Bob and Matt Allen, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Research Director of the STEP Program for Family Enterprising, represented Babson at a networking event in Santiago this month, which was also attended by our 26 MBA students participating in an elective abroad in Chile.
With successful events in different locations, we are now exploring how the Connect model can be rolled out in more cities in the U.S. and overseas.
Why are these events at home and abroad so important from both an admissions and career development standpoint? Interacting with our alumni is the best way to bring the same kind of undergraduate and graduate student enthusiasm we find on campus to prospective students and employers outside the Boston area. For current students as well as recent graduates, connecting with companies and networking with alumni is of tremendous value for internships and jobs. At the same time, these events are a great way to provide opportunities for alumni to stay connected to the school, even if they are living far from campus. The bottom line is that Connect events are a win-win for everyone involved.
New Jobs Data from our Centers for Career Development
Data from both our Graduate and Undergraduate Centers for Career Development (CCD) show strong job results for the Class of 2012, both for undergraduates and MBAs. For our MBAs, The Babson MBA Employment Report from the Graduate CCD describes a significant increase in Babson MBA “landings”—the number of job offers and acceptances for the Class of 2012 within three months of graduation. We use the three-month measure because that is the metric employed by U.S. News & World Report in its ranking process. While consumer products/retail, technology, and financial services are the leading sectors, job offers/acceptances were distributed across a number of industries.
The graduate school career report is encouraging for another reason. The substantial growth from 2011 in the number of new company partnerships—a whopping 185%—reflects a robust source of job opportunities for future Babson graduates.
For the Undergraduate Class of 2012, landings (defined as % employed or attending graduate school within 6 months of graduation) were at an all-time high of 99%, and compared favorably with last year’s high rate of 96%. Also, hiring was strong in companies representing a broad range of industries. At the same time, we experienced significant increases in our internship postings (18%), building on gains over the past few years. We are seeing that good traction in internships translates into more full-time jobs.
Looking ahead, initial hiring projections by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) for the Class of 2013 are positive. Employers responding to NACE’s 2013 Job Outlook Survey plan to hire 13% more graduates and all industries plan to increase the number of college hires this year.
Business Analytics: A Sweet Spot for Babson
Babson is always responding to market developments—and one of the most important and rapidly emerging trends in recent years is the growth in the volume, complexity, and variety of data. A key challenge for companies is determining how to utilize this vast amount of data to improve business decision-making. Students who are able to combine Babson’s holistic approach to business with top-notch training in data and analytics techniques are going to stand out in the marketplace.
To develop a uniquely Babson curricular response, a Data Analytics Task Force appointed by Provost Shahid Ansari and chaired by Dessi (Dessislava) Pachamanova, Associate Professor of Operations Research, provided recommendations for the undergraduate and graduate school last semester. Task Force members included Abdul Ali, Marketing; Yunwei Gai, Economics; Steve Gordon, Technology Operations and Information Management (TOIM); Megan Houlker, Undergraduate CCD; Bala Iyer, TOIM; Nathaniel Lin, consultant; Cheri Paulson, Graduate CCD; and Jim Wilson, Babson Executive and Enterprise Education (BEEE).
Based on the Task Force’s findings, a subcommittee led by Steve and Dessi, with the support of Bob Halsey, Interim Dean of the Undergraduate School, developed a proposal for a business analytics undergraduate concentration at Babson that captures a “sweet spot” for the College—marrying advanced analytical skills with Babson’s unique integrated and experiential curriculum. The proposed concentration will be presented to the Undergraduate Academic Policy Committee (UAPC) this spring for review and approval. If approved, the courses that are part of the concentration will be offered in the 2013-14 Academic Year.
While looking to create this concentration, we are also exploring more ways to develop business analytics skills at a core level throughout our undergraduate curriculum. We want all our students to gain exposure to business analytics and possess a certain level of these skills; a subset of these students will go on to participate in the concentration.
The graduate school is actively considering specific alternatives for offering business analytics to our MBA students. Various options are being explored for either incorporating analytics into the structure of our MBA program or as a companion offering.
As the Task Force is developing and pursuing business analytics for our undergraduate and graduate students, it has actively engaged employers throughout this process for their input and continues to do so. The key findings from a survey and focus group are that most companies view analytics as critical and regard it as a core competency and competitive advantage. Companies expressed interest in hiring Babson undergraduates and MBAs with a business analytics background and most report that they will pay a premium for new hires with analytics skills.
Expanding Recreational Opportunities on Campus
We are also bringing fresh and timely ideas to our recreational activities. We currently offer a variety of athletics programs housed in different areas across campus. The report by last year’s Trustee Athletics Task Force called for “a plan to move all athletics (varsity, club, intramural, and recreation) to a position consistent with Babson’s Centennial vision”—with increased community engagement as one important dimension of athletic success.
The Task Force’s recommendations for intramural and recreation programs are aimed at achieving greater participation across the entire Babson community. The Task Force embraced the idea of consolidating these activities in order to create a more robust set of opportunities and more inviting recreational programs—whether through classes or by way of individual work-out routines.
A Management Consulting Field Experience (MCFE) team has been tasked this semester with examining the current recreational opportunities as well as researching and developing a campus-wide program for the College. One of the principal questions they will be pursuing is how a revitalized Webster Center can best be used by students, staff, and faculty.
Jim Berrigan, Senior Coordinator in the Office of Academic Services, head coach of men’s and women’s tennis, and current MBA student, will serve as project leader. He and the four undergraduate team members will investigate space options; survey the community on optimal times, programming opportunities and interest level; and develop a pricing structure and marketing strategy. Their report at the end of the spring semester will be a useful resource as we seek to attract broader participation in recreational opportunities across campus.
Another Step Towards Sustainability
Small sustainability initiatives add up—raising consciousness and demonstrating that there are easy ways to be a participant rather than a bystander. Cumulatively these changes in behavior can have a considerable impact.
A case in point is our effort to address the environmental consequences of plastic bottle use on campus by launching a pilot initiative last year. We tried out different kinds of machines for dispensing filtered water into reusable bottles, thereby eliminating the need for disposable plastic bottles. Four machines from different companies were installed on campus in August. Students played a large role in this initiative—helping us decide which water dispensers to test, providing input on where to locate them, and giving us feedback on a website designed for user comments.
Earlier this month, the team working on this initiative met to decide how the College should proceed on a permanent basis. One machine in the pilot, provided by Elkay, stood out from the others in terms of reliability and user flexibility. The College is purchasing four more of these machines and will locate them in central areas—Webster, Olin, Horn Library, Reynolds, and Trim. Our new water dispensing machines will be installed during spring break.
Babson’s Faculty are Recognized
The start of a new semester is an ideal time to celebrate the honors and awards bestowed on our faculty. Faculty members received an array of accolades during the past year:
Marty Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Management: Named the Lewis Family Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Social Innovation.
Jan Bell, Professor of Accounting (with Sinan Erzurumlu, Assistant Professor of Technology and Operations Management, and H. Fowler), “Deploying Sustainability at Solea,” IMA Educational Case Journal, June 2012—winner of Best Case Competition Award, Decision Sciences Institute (DSI).
Richard Bliss, Associate Professor of Finance: 2012 Graduate School Professor of the Year/Thomas Kennedy Award.
Candy Brush, Professor/Chair, Entrepreneurship Division: 2012 Alumni Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to Babson College Alumni; named on the Top 50 Business School Professors in the World by Poets and Quants.
Les Charm, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship: 2012 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in Executive Education.
Gonzalo Chavez, Lecturer in Finance: Appointed 2012-2013 Cutler Center Fellow.
Jennifer Ellis, Visiting Lecturer: Student Government Association (SGA) award for Faculty Advisor of the Year.
Sinan Erzurumlu, Appointed 2012-2013 Cutler Center Fellow.
Sebastian Fixson, Associate Professor, Technology and Operations Management: Best Paper Proceedings and Best Paper Award Finalist, Academy of Management Annual Meeting for “Orchestrating Complex Product Development: Reducing Rework Hazards of Architectural Mismatches,” co-authored with Dawson and Whiney.
Ruth Gilleran, Lecturer in Information Technology: 2012 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in Any Program.
Elizabeth Goldberg, Associate Professor of English: 2012 Babson Scholarship Award for Outstanding Research; Lewis Institute and Babson Social Innovation Lab Changemaker Award, 2012; Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award, Babson College, 2012.
Michael Goldstein, Professor/Chair of the Finance Division: 2012 Babson Scholarship Award for Outstanding Research; Appointed by The Financial Review as the Guest Editor of the Special Issue on Computerized/High Frequency Trading.
Danna Greenberg, Associate Professor of Management: 2012 Babson Award for Excellence in Scholarship; 2012 Babson Faculty Research Fund Innovative Scholarship Award.
Patti Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship/Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies: John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy by U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).
Dhruv Grewal, Professor of Marketing and Toyota Chair in Commerce and Electronic Business: 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Pricing (American Marketing Association Retailing & Pricing Special Interest Group—first inductee); Finalist for the 2012 Paul D. Converse Award, Faculty Fellow; 2012 American Marketing Association-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Faculty; 2012 William R. Davidson Journal of Retailing Best Paper.
James Hoopes, Distinguished Professor of History and Murata Professor of Ethics in Business: 2012 Babson Scholarship Award for Outstanding Research.
Nathaniel Karst, Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics: Mathematics Association of America Teaching Fellowship through Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Program.
Nan Langowitz, Professor/Chair of Management Division: Best Paper Award for “Challenging Stereotypes: The Impact of Organizations in Shaping Individual Responses to Prejudice,” with Mary Godwyn, Associate Professor of Sociology, at 5th annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference, 2012.
John Marthinsen, Professor of Economics & International Business, Distinguished Chair in Swiss Economics: Outstanding Achievement Award from Lycoming College.
Kathleen McKone-Sweet, Associate Professor of Technology Operations and Information Management: 2012 Babson Award for Excellence in Scholarship.
Michael Mozill, Adjunct Lecturer in Marketing: 2012 Professor of the Year (voted by the Undergraduate Class of 2012).
Wendy Murphy, Assistant Professor of Management: Highly Commended Paper, 2012 Literati Network Awards for Excellence.
Mary O'Donoghue, Associate Professor of English: Babson Research Scholar for three years for her work in the fields of fiction, poetry and translation.
Dessislava Pachamanova, Associate Professor of Operations Research: Appointed 2012-2013 Cutler Center Fellow.
Sal Parise, Associate Professor of Information Systems: Babson Faculty Scholar Award and Recipient of Babson Research Summer Stipend for work on “Understanding the Adoption and Impacts of Social Media Games in Organizations,” and, with PJ Guinan, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Recipients of $100,000 Cisco Research Grant.
Lidija Polutnik, Professor/Chair, Economics Division: 2012 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Graduate School.
Vikki Rodgers, Assistant Professor Environmental Science: a Tri-School Mellon Presidential Innovation Project grant for “Three-College Participation in the USA Science & Engineering Festival; 2012 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Undergraduate School; BFRF Summer Research Stipend for research on “Shifts in Leaf Area, Density, and Chemistry of Tree Seedlings in Response to Experimental Climate Change Treatments.”
Anne Roggeveen, Associate Professor of Marketing: Babson Scholarship Award for Outstanding Research; “Customer Experience Creation: Determinants, Dynamics and Management Strategies" recognized as one of the Top 10 most cited articles published in Journal of Retailing during 2007-2011.
Kerry Rourke, Adjunct Lecturer in Arts & Humanities: 2012 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching as an Adjunct Faculty Member.
Joel Shulman, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship: Appointed 2012-2013 Cutler Center Fellow.
Tony Wain, Senior Lecturer in Accounting: Voted the #1 Favorite Faculty Member in the December 2012 Annual Faculty and Staff Rankings Survey conducted by the Babson Free Press.
Save the Date!
On Friday, March 8, we will celebrate Babson’s 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 specific passion for entrepreneurship, education, and philanthropy. We will be getting back to you soon with details on this year’s event which will feature an exciting array of activities throughout the day. This year we’ll also be celebrating Founder’s Day globally with alumni events throughout March. Stay tuned!
2013 Promises to Be a Banner Year For the College
Last fall I shared with you a number of our recent rankings which collectively show that Babson is increasingly regarded as one of America’s elite colleges. Of course, we recognize that it is not only external survey results that are important, but also our own internal measures of success and progress towards our strategic goals. We will surely find even more and better ways in 2013 to excel in preparing Babson’s undergraduate and MBA students as leaders in creating economic and social value everywhere.
All the best,
Leonard A. Schlesinger