The last six months have been very exciting here at the A. B. Freeman School of Business. Since September, a large number of individuals — including students, faculty, staff, alumni and employers — have been meeting to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that will guide the Freeman School over the next five years or so. This planning process has been the most systematic, rigorous and inclusive in school history, and we expect the end result to be innovative, market-driven and reflective of our distinct capabilities as an institution. The process is now nearing its conclusion, and I look forward to sharing the plan with you in its entirety when it is completed.
At the same time, another planning group — the MBA Strategy Task Force — has been working to reposition our MBA program. Led by Professor of Management Science Geoff Parker and with support from the Freeman Consulting Group, the task force has been studying the global graduate management education market and developing recommendations to enable the Freeman School to compete more effectively in this rapidly changing space. The task force recently presented its preliminary report at a series of town hall meeting,s and, again, I look forward to sharing its full report with you as soon as it’s finalized.
By now, many of you are likely aware that the Freeman School recently discovered that certain MBA admissions data previously submitted to U.S. News & World Report for its survey of graduate business programs had been misreported. In January, following a thorough, independent investigation by a third-party firm engaged by the university, the Freeman School submitted corrected data to U.S. News & World Report and other organizations for the years 2007–2011. The Freeman School is committed to the highest possible ethical standards. It is deeply regrettable that this situation occurred, but our focus remains squarely on the future and our future continues to look very bright indeed.
Our cover story in this issue pays tribute to John Elstrott, professor of practice and longtime executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, on the occasion of his retirement. John is someone who has truly changed lives, educating and inspiring countless students to pursue their dreams and become entrepreneurs. That in itself would be praiseworthy, but John’s lifelong emphasis on ethics, social responsibility and the philosophy of “conscious capitalism” makes his contributions to the lives of our students and alumni that much more significant. While he no longer is serving as executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute, John will continue to teach MBA students each spring, and I look forward to working with him to develop external support for some exciting entrepreneurship-related programs we are in the process of developing.
As I write this message, we’re about to begin what is traditionally our busiest time of the year. In the coming weeks, we’ll be hosting the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Finance Case Competition, the Tulane Business Plan Competition, the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala, the Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference, and the 2013 Graduate Alumni Reunion. If you haven’t visited the Freeman School recently, I highly encourage you to attend one of these upcoming events. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many alumni at these events in the past, and I always come away humbled and inspired by their stories of how the Freeman School impacted their lives.
In closing, I’d like to remind you that that now is the time of year when many of our students are searching for jobs and internships. As someone who interacts with our students on a daily basis, I can say without qualification that they are among the most talented, highly qualified job candidates you’re likely to encounter. If you or your organization has hiring needs, I encourage you to contact our Career Management Center for resumes.