Our Responsibility as Business Educators

Dean's Reflections

The dog days of August have brought some excitement to the financial markets in recent weeks. Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. I'm sure economists will continue to debate the significance and impact of this move for some time, most likely years, but the action has certainly led to intense short-term volatility in the markets at the very least.

Circumstances like these remind us of our responsibility as educators and business leaders to teach our students and more junior employees, our future leaders, about the impact of past decisions on future generations. It also provides vivid evidence of the need to create an environment of innovation in business education that cultivates in our students the means to think creatively about solving macro-economic level problems and responding to unprecedented situations.

Take a look at this article from CENTRUM Católica, the first school in Peru to earn AACSB International accreditation. Director General Fernando D’Alessio discusses the boom of business education in Latin America—which is well on its way to becoming a major market player, and the boom in business education there certainly has the rest of the world taking notice. However, the lack of quality business education available in the region is worrisome since students with poor secondary educational experiences either do not enter higher education institutions or have difficulty succeeding and competing. He urges accredited business schools to do their part in educating with a focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship so their students will be prepared to address global issues, engage in global knowledge exchange, and pursue and participate in joint regional projects. There is a move afoot for universities in the developed world to partner in program development with schools in the developing nations.

Coincidentally, I just returned from Latin America discussing this very topic. I’m on the board of the International Association for Jesuit Business School (IAJBS) deans, and our annual meeting was in Lima in July. The gathering of about 120 representatives from Jesuit business schools around the world provided a good opportunity to discuss partnerships. I led a panel discussion on the role of Jesuit business schools in globalization. Our focus was on how accredited schools and schools in the developed world can help those in emerging markets through student exchanges as well as by opening new programs to raise the educational level in the regions and teach others the principles of leadership and responsible business. The Sellinger School was asked by other business schools to explore a number of partnerships—in Taiwan, Beijing, Africa, and more—and we’ll continue to discuss the options at our University. 

On our homepage this month, my colleague Roger Kashlak, Ph.D., professor of management and international business, discusses how the globalization of business—and business education—has introduced a risky culture of immediate gratification to new corners of the world, and points out the potential for a more responsible approach to business issues as emerging economies in Africa and Latin America continue to grow. Take a look at his article, “Globalization—A good thing or a greed thing?” when you have a moment.

Please email me at sellingerdean@loyola.edu if you are interested in discussing this or any topic further. 

Enjoy the final days of summer,