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 in the future will need to be masters at managing and
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,
Leeds Professor of Management