February 26, 2013
Dear Alumni and Friends,
This has been a great year of celebration at Poole College: the 125th birthday of the North Carolina State University, 20 years since the founding of the College of Management and the 10th year of offering our MBA. All of these milestones have allowed us to reflect on the amazing accomplishments we as a community have achieved – as presented in this report – and also to recognize there are still many challenges ahead.
Our faculty’s research and engagement with the corporate community – through our centers and initiatives, executive education, and collaborative research – is making a significant contribution to the global body of knowledge, and bringing that knowledge to our students through new areas of study. The involvement of professionals with our students as classroom speakers, project sponsors, mentors and recruiters has contributed to the successes of our alumni, who hold leadership roles in business and industry or have started their own businesses.
As we at Poole move into our 20s, we understand that dramatic shifts are taking place in higher education. The economics of attending a university are becoming more difficult. Especially in traditional graduate management programs, where work experience typically is required for admission, the overall economics of leaving one’s job for two years to enter a full time program is becoming increasingly unrealistic. We have already made a few changes in our Jenkins MBA program, allowing greater flexibility and options for degree completion. Going forward, we know that technology will play a huge role as we continue to reshape how we deliver our programs. But technology cannot fully replicate the classroom and face-to-face interaction between students and their professors. Our challenge is to apply the best use of technology to enhance the classroom experience while, if feasible, reducing the overall cost of delivering programs.
We also need to make sure we are introducing and exposing our students to the grand challenges of international business and global markets going forward. The business applications and appreciation of social media, big data, consumer behavior, mobile computing, global middle class growth and sustainability are critical topics for students to understand and internalize from a business perspective. As our markets become truly global and expectations for graduates change, issues of language, multi-cultural understanding, risk taking and adaptation become more important than ever. We have taken a number of steps that are already providing meaningful global business learning experiences for our students.
Lastly, we believe that learning does not happen solely in the classroom – whether at NC State or abroad. Experiential learning has been an integral part of our educational strategy, including working with companies on real world projects, internships, co-ops and study abroad, and our students have benefited from relationships with business and industry that make these experiences possible. In order for us to continue – and to further develop this strategy - your help is needed. Look for opportunities within your organizations where our undergraduate and graduate students - MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Innovation Management, Global Luxury Management, and Master of Economics – can intern and learn. Identify projects that can bring our students into your organization and allow you to mentor our future business leaders.
We at Poole cherish the history of our first 20 years. The entrepreneurial spirit that transformed a department into a college with a clear mission and vision has provided the solid foundation upon which we are now building. You are part of that foundation, and your continued involvement in the life of the college will assure even greater growth and success as we continue on to our next milestone anniversary.
Ira R. Weiss, Dean