|Dean’s Letter: Embracing Change|
Relevance in an ever-changing world—that’s what Fisher College of Business epitomizes to me as I look back on my first year as dean. I’m particularly excited about this year’s annual report theme—“Time and Change”—because it was, indeed, a year defined by significant change in the business and political world that reverberated across campuses and home life.
The boundaries between academia, business and government continue to blur and that reality is evident both in and outside of Fisher.
The need for greater collaboration between academia, business and government has never been greater. We must leverage the full talents of our faculty, programs and student body to serve businesses of the region, the state and the global community. In our 2010 Strategic Plan for Fisher, I outline several goals that very much reflect this focus. They include uniquely preparing students to move seamlessly into careers, attracting and nurturing high performers, building world-class academic departments and demonstrating leadership in economic development.
At Fisher, we have created a vibrant learning environment that engages our students, faculty and the business community across disciplines. In this way, we are championing a new level of collaborative action-based learning.
Building a Unique, Distinct Reputation
At Fisher, our outreach and connection with the global business community is a key part of our overall strategy. Nowhere is this more evident than in our 10 cross-disciplinary centers, which support teaching, research, development and a professional forum for exchange between faculty, students and the corporate community.
By connecting our research and programmatic efforts to today’s business realities, we continue to build on a reputation for excellence that will strengthen Fisher as a true business management education destination, while contributing to a strong economic foundation in Ohio and beyond.
Two of these centers are profiled in this annual report, the Nationwide Center for Advanced Customer Insights—where Nationwide, in collaboration with Ohio State faculty and students, gains a deeper understanding of customers’ preferences and needs—and our Center for Entrepreneurship, which, among other initiatives, is supporting Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute in rapidly evaluating technology for commercial promise.
The Center for Entrepreneurship also will play an increasingly critical role as we launch the Office of Technology Commercialization. This office, housed inside Fisher, represents a new level of collaboration between Ohio State faculty inventors, students and business. It signals our commitment to supporting start-up companies and improving Ohio’s economy while generating new revenues for the university.
Fisher’s connection to the broader business community is felt not only in our centers, but in our level of community involvement, where student-driven activities such as Honors Cohort community volunteerism and Net Impact projects are improving the welfare of the broader community, while creating a sense of social responsibility that will remain with our students long after they leave Fisher.
Offering Business-centered Curricula
Beyond these business and community connections, Fisher also takes an integrated approach to curricula—focused on meeting the needs of the business community. One such example is the establishment of what might be the nation’s first Master of Business Operational Excellence (MBOE) degree program.
Our seasoned MBOE students learn from both Fisher’s talented faculty and from proven operational excellence leaders and apply their classroom learning to a key operational challenge at their respective employers. We also recently announced two new specialized master’s of business tracks in corporate finance and marketing. In all of these efforts, Fisher is helping both its traditional and executive-track students accelerate their specialized knowledge and hands-on expertise, so they can differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive workplace.
Cultivating Outstanding Faculty
Fisher’s world-class academic departments continue to attract high-quality faculty. It is our faculty’s insights and research that continue to redefine how we assess and ultimately solve issues on the forefront of the broader business community. This is evidenced by the research productivity of our faculty in the most rigorous peer-reviewed journals of their respective fields.
Fisher faculty’s insights are sought after by public officials, corporate executives and journalists from highly regarded publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal. Our faculty’s latest published research, heavily referenced in this year’s annual report, will have a far-reaching impact that will continue to be felt in the future.
Ensuring Our Students’ Success
Of course, it all starts with our students. We graduate more than 1,500 students every year cutting across graduate and undergraduate ranks. We uniquely prepare our students through a multidisciplinary curricula focused on helping them move from instructional theory to practice. They benefit from rigorous classroom training combined with experiences outside the classroom.
They’re guided by dynamic faculty members who continue to share their research and inspire critical thinking in the classroom. Our students’ strong standings in business case competitions this past year are featured in this annual report and underscore that Fisher’s hands-on learning formula works. This outstanding career preparation hasn’t gone unnoticed by the business world: U.S. News & World Report ranked us second nationally in the percentage of MBA graduates employed three months after graduation, while our enrollment levels in the MBA program remain robust in spite of the economy.
Further evidence of this demand for our graduates is the fact that the number of on-campus interviews for undergraduates has increased 21 percent. Our strong standing in national and international rankings reflects our commitment to the fundamentals of instilling excellence in our students, faculty and programs.
I welcome your thoughts as we tell Fisher’s story of the past year, including some of the defining moments involving Fisher’s unique collaborative community. By reaching beyond our borders, we can elevate our research, teaching, student experience and the practice of business. We are living in extraordinary times. Fisher is making a lasting impact on our world, as a relevant and resilient partner for change.
Christine A. Poon
Dean Poon on Ohio’s Economic Future
Fisher College of Business Dean, Christine A. Poon, discusses how business schools are engaging the business community and giving students invaluable experiences… creating a win-win-win situation for business, education, and Ohio’s economy on Ohio Means Business.
Ohio Means Business is a bi-weekly television show produced by Ohio News Network (ONN) in partnership with The Ohio State University and Fisher College of Business.