Thursday, August 5, 2010

John Hopkins: Elite Research University launches Global MBA program

Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins university is internationally renowned for its Medical and Public Health schools. For years the business offerings, mostly part-time degree and certificate programs, languished in the shadows. That changed in 2006 when the university received a $50 million gift.

The donation came from banker William Polk Carey and lead to the founding of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2007 along with its mission to become one of the world's leading schools.

The vision will be put to the test this August when the school launches its new Global MBA Program with a curriculum that the school's inaugural dean, Yash Gupta, says seeks nothing less than to reinvent the modern MBA. "Since we are the new kids, we don't have to change culture; we are building a culture," Gupta says. "We are trying to change the mould."

All eyes in the management education world will be on the new B-school in the coming year, reports Bloomberg, as Gupta essentially builds a new MBA program from scratch, a daunting challenge that few universities have been eager to undertake in the last decades. The Carey School is seeking to distinguish itself by designing a curriculum that will capitalize on Johns Hopkins' strength in fields such as medicine and public health, have a focus on emerging markets and ethics, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

Gupta is a B-school dean with a proven fundraising track record and 14 years of experience. His most recent deanship was at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business where he helped raise $55 million. His ultimate goal now is to put the Carey School in a position where it can compete with the world's top B-schools. The school is in the process of obtaining accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an essential credential that the school will need to get students and the business school community to take it seriously. Says Gupta: "We want to play in that sandbox”.

In the next few years, the school will have to obtain accreditation, launch a major fundraising campaign, build up its alumni network, ramp up its career services offerings, and continue to attract top-rate faculty. Says John Fernandes, the AACSB president: "It's not an easy task to go from nothing to a top school in a very short period of time."
The last large university to open a new B-school was the University of California, San Diego, which opened the Rady School of Management in 2003 after receiving a $30 million gift from businessman Ernest Rady. Robert Sullivan, the school's inaugural and current dean, says he faced numerous challenges: hiring faculty for a school with no track record; launching an executive education program to help pay the bills; raising $110 million for a new building and other expenses, no small feat when you have no highly placed MBA alumni to tap for cash. Says Sullivan: “It was really kind of Band-Aids for the first year.”

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