Embracing Change

Dean's Reflections

Cyber security. Business intelligence. Robotics. Social networking. Entrepreneurship. Social enterprise. You’d be hard-pressed to find many business school classes on these topics even five years ago. And odds are, you’d have a hard time recognizing many of the courses that will take precedence in business education five years from now. A key part of business education is the willingness and ability to adapt to change in the business landscape, as well as the foresight to make decisions today that will work for tomorrow.

At Loyola, and in the Sellinger School, our Jesuit values inspire us to pursue excellence, to be men and women for and with others, to see business differently, and to make a difference in the world. Living up to these values means embracing the spirit of change that drives the best business education.

At our AACSB-accredited school, our research-active faculty are committed to making new contributions to emerging research in business. Within our degree programs, we re-evaluate our curricula regularly and add new classes and special topics courses to give students the most current access to relevant information and make them more effective within their organizations and communities. We have become more customized in elective course offerings, partnerships with corporations, and certificate and executive education opportunities to meet the ever-changing needs of students and businesses influenced by developments in technology, globalization, and entrepreneurial activity. This flexibility, in turn, helps us develop nimble leaders who can adapt and evolve and be comfortable in environments changing not slowly or gradually, but experiencing seismic shifts overnight.

This year, our faculty will spend the academic year reviewing the undergraduate business and Professional MBA programs to make sure each reflects the skills and knowledge expected of today’s top business students. The review may result in new course offerings or new concentrations.

The creation of the Emerging Leaders MBA program and its curriculum—now in its second year—aims to capture exceptional students and potential leaders early in their careers, to identify their passion in business, and provide them with the confidence to apply their business skills to any field. The program was created not only to meet the needs of these emerging leaders—but to meet the needs of a society who can benefit from these students’ talents and expertise.

There is one emerging area in which the Sellinger School needs no addition or change—although we do need to reaffirm our commitment to this issue constantly—and that’s our focus on ethical behavior. An issue of growing significance in business and business education around the world, this is something the Sellinger School, and Loyola, already address quite well. We teach the art of reflection and discernment and the importance of taking the time to consider the ramifications of your decisions on all stakeholders.

These are just a few examples, but you’ll note other new developments my colleagues discuss in the homepage article, “Back to Business.” Constant change in business and business education aside, the underlying, enduring goal and responsibility I see is to prepare our students with the most relevant skill set to be able to reflect on the ramifications of past decisions, look forward, and make effective, sustainable decisions that leave a positive legacy on which future generations can build.