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Dean Cosier

Much like many businesses today, business schools are facing rapid and significant change. As expected, this change is largely driven by "external" forces. New ways to "deliver" education, the needs of corporate recruiters, the importance of information technology, global business opportunities, innovations in other business schools, and students' rising expectations are but a few of the forces demanding change in business schools. Furthermore, it is reasonable to expect the best business schools to be leading change themselves. The successful business schools in the future will need to be masters at managing and leading change.

Unfortunately, academic institutions are not always considered the best models for affecting change. Like large organizations that focus on maintenance and control issues, some business schools are structured to avoid and resist change. These business schools usually reflect the "functional silos" found in bureaucracies. Their structures are very departmentalized with the faculty organized into the common groupings of accounting, finance, management, marketing, etc. Academic programs, such as those at the bachelor's, master's, and executive education levels, take a back seat in priorities to faculty interests in functional departments. These business schools will likely fail to recognize the demands in their environments and may fall victim to dot-com and corporate business schools.

The successful business schools in the future will need to be masters at managing and leading change.

An advantage of the Krannert School is that we don't even have departments! We are, in fact, one unit with clear academic and non-degree program areas. This can be a great asset for change. Recently, our faculty was faced with demands from students and corporate friends to offer an e-business curriculum. Within a short period of time our faculty developed and approved this new curriculum. This fall, 13 courses in e-business will be available in the Krannert School or in collaboration with another school on campus.

Another feature new to the Krannert School is the External Relations and Communications (ERC) group. Led by Tim Newton, this new part of the dean's office is focused exclusively on the interface between Krannert and its many external stakeholders. (The new Krannert Magazine is a product of Tim's unit.) The ERC group deals with publications (Purdue Marketing Communications), media relations (Mike Lillich) at the Purdue University News Service, events (Melissa Evens), and Krannert Web content (Tricia Reed). Under Tim's able leadership, the exchange of information between the Krannert School and its external constituents has dramatically improved. As an example, we invite you to surf the new Krannert Web site, www.mgmt.purdue.edu, which the ERC group has built in conjunction with our Webmaster, Todd Smoak.

Our external communications reach to all constituents of the Krannert School. Although our School's official name is the School of Management and Krannert Graduate School of Management, we have made the decision to use the shorter term "Krannert" to informally describe all of our management programs and services. Whether you received a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree or took a non-degree course from our School, you're considered part of the Krannert family.

It is clear that business schools cannot (and should not) survive in a vacuum. Viability and accountability are needed and warranted. The Krannert School's structure and culture are oriented toward providing the highest-quality programs and services to its many stakeholders. Stay tuned for changes at Krannert that will further improve our programs and enhance our leadership position among the world's best business schools. Building on our outstanding reputation in the management of technology and analytical management of technology and analytical management areas, our future is indeed bright.

With Purdue and Krannert pride,

Richard A. Cosier
Dean and Leeds Professor of Management

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