emphasis on teamwork and entrepreneurship at business school
the world of business changes, so does the UI College of Commerce
and Business Administration. The college has developed a blueprint
for a new model of business school where teamwork, entrepreneurship,
technology and diversity will be emphasized in an ongoing program
goal is that our students, when they enter an organization, are
able to hit the ground running, not just in academic and analytic
skills, but in interpersonal and practical business skills,"
Avijit Ghosh says.
Ghosh became the dean of the CBA in August 2001 after 20 years at
New York University, the last six as vice dean and deputy dean of
the Stern School of Business. Ghosh served as the director of the
Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Stern and seeks a similar
emphasis in course work and research here.
Undergraduate curriculum should reflect the fact that navigating
rapid economic change has become critical in business life. Ghosh
also believes learning to work together in a business environment
that is "inherently global and diverse" is crucial for
leaders need to have interpersonal skills along with analytic skills.
Our students need to learn how to interact with each other and do
successful group projects, which includes learning shared accountability
and responsibility as a way of working with diverse groups of people."
Ghosh said Illinois will develop vigorous student internship programs,
not only in the summer, but also during the academic year, by working
with Champaign area businesses. In "An Agenda for Excellence,"
a paper outlining the college's goals, Ghosh wrote of the need to
expand or create programs in private equity, new venture creation
and the digital economy.
business school hopes to marry its traditional strengths in finance,
accounting and marketing with the university's strengths in technology
and science. This means not only working with the engineering and
agriculture colleges, but also helping students participate in incubator
companies at the university's research park.
Ghosh emphasized that changes in undergraduate and MBA (master of
business administration) curricula will be gradual, taking the proven
course work of the present and directing it to new horizons. He
cites, for example, a marketing course that will teach not only
the fundamentals of selling retail goods, but also new technology
overall vision is to emphasize professional business education,"
he said. There are "tremendous possibilities" to organize
symposia and seminars to promote interaction among students, faculty
and industry professionals.
impetus for greater technology training comes in part from feedback
by corporate recruiters and in part by observing changes in the
marketplace. "We have a philosophy of continuous improvement.
This is how business organizations work, and this is how we need
To better reflect its mission, the school has proposed changing
its name to the College of Business. "We teach about business.
Commerce is not a word in common parlance today," Ghosh explained.
Under the proposal, the word "administration" will be
dropped because "it does not give the sense of entrepreneurship
we want to create."
The name change has been approved by the Faculty Senate. It awaits
approval from the provost's office, which has endorsed the move,
and is expected to be acted upon soon by the board of trustees.
initiatives under way to improve education and research include
developing accounting methods for better measuring business "value
drivers" such as technology, processes and other intangible
assets. This research is being funded by a $2.8 million pledge from
the accounting firm KPMG.
In addition, the college has opened the Center for Enterprise Development
at the Illinois Research Park and Incubator and the Office for the
Study of Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance.
The technology and management minor for undergraduates in business
will be expanded in future years, said Ghosh, as will international
business education conducted through course work. The college's
blueprint paper noted that "today's business leaders must make
all their decisions with a global perspective. To prepare such business
leaders, the college needs to ensure a global perspective in all
its academic programs."