November 20, 2018 | ° F

RBS has broad vision, student-oriented future mission


Commentary


The world-class faculty of Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick serves a diverse, ambitious and growing student body. Our faculty and staff are immensely proud that we maintain academic excellence while providing business education to more and more Rutgers students. Having increased our enrollment by 60 percent since 2008, we are now the largest business school in the Big Ten, with nearly 5,000 undergraduate students and more than 2,000 graduate students. The Rutgers brand and our location in the New York metropolitan area enables us to attract highly qualified faculty, deliver innovative education and attractive employment opportunities to our students, and make exceptional connections with local, regional, and multinational businesses. Our splendid new buildings at 100 Rockafeller Road in Piscataway — or “100 Rock” — and at 1 Washington Park in Newark are major symbols of the recent growth and increasing stature of our comprehensive, two-campus Rutgers Business School. Our increased focus on undergraduates is especially noteworthy. In 1990, Rutgers decided that separate undergraduate programs in Newark and New Brunswick were impractical and insufficient and merged them with the Graduate School of Management headquartered in Newark, with its larger research faculty and greater connections with New Jersey business. During the 1990s, our two undergraduate programs remained small and selective, with fewer than 400 graduates on each campus each year. But in the past five-to-ten years, the University has asked us to more than double both these undergraduate programs.

During my service as dean of RBS, we have restructured the school to take account of this newfound prominence for undergraduate education. We have developed an array of new undergraduate courses, minors and majors, in topics ranging from management skills, ethics and entrepreneurship to supply chain management and business analytics. We have made unprecedented investments in undergraduate career management, and we have developed a variety of new mentoring and diversity programs. Our student clubs connect undergraduates with businesses and bring them together with graduate students in a plethora of case competitions. RBS interacts with more than 1,000 different employers, who provide mentors, internships and employment for our students, speakers for our classes and clubs, part-time lecturers and students in our programs in executive education. The managers of these companies serve on more than 20 boards that advise us on curriculum, research and organization.

We are also expanding our world-class graduate programs and strengthening our research faculty. We are developing new graduate programs, especially in New Brunswick and online. Like other business schools, we are emphasizing new specialty programs rather than trying to expand our MBA program. In Fall 2014, we will admit the first class in our new master’s program in financial analysis at 100 Rock. We are expanding our nationally-ranked online program in governmental accounting, which is also headquartered at 100 Rock. We have recruited dozens of new research faculty in the past few years, including two senior scholars whom we recruited to endowed chairs. This is important for our undergraduates, not only because the best scholars are also outstanding teachers, but also because they attract other outstanding teaching talent to the faculty. Most of our faculty members teach both graduate and undergraduate students and on both campuses.

As dean of RBS, I have formulated a vision for RBS that emphasizes the diversity of our mission and our stakeholders — students, scholars, alumni, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in New Jersey, the New York region, the nation and the world. Over 100 faculty and staff members, along with students, alumni and business supporters, came together to support this vision as the basis for the renewal of RBS’s accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. All these stakeholders are immensely proud of our success and our reputation across the world. The confidence of our external supporters is reflected in our having secured two additional endowed chairs in the past two years — one in real estate and one in entrepreneurship, and by our success in the “Our Rutgers, Our Future” campaign. We are one of the first schools at Rutgers to reach the goal set for us when former University President Richard L. McCormick launched the campaign in 2010.

Rutgers Business School is already incontestably the top public business school in the New York metropolitan region. Having mostly completed the expansion in our degree programs the University asked us to undertake, and having the full support of a strong new president and two extraordinarily talented and experienced chancellors, we are eager to consolidate our academic excellence and our relationships with the businesses and entrepreneurs we serve and the communities where we serve.

Speaking on behalf of the vast majority of our faculty and staff, I want to express RBS’s excitement and optimism about the opportunities for public-private partnerships, interdisciplinary studies and student career development opened up by University President Robert L. Barchi’s university-wide Strategic Plan and Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s strategy and vision for community involvement. This excitement and optimism is far more important than the inevitable disagreements about priorities and personalities that engage some of our faculty and far more important than debates about flawed ranking systems that favor schools with small elite missions over those with a mission as broad and worthy as ours. We are proud that our remarkable diversity as a two-campus school providing business education at all levels puts us in a position to serve the entire University in multiple ways.

Glenn Shafer is the dean of the Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick.


By Glenn Shafer

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