a combination of distance learning and on-campus residencies, Krannert
Executive Education Programs (KEEP) offer a variety of
options for participants
By Tim Newton
van Wyk was looking for an MBA-style education with a strong international
component. Laurie Sullivan needed an executive program that would allow
her to physically separate from her office. Alexander Volyk preferred
an option that would let him attend classes on weekends.
three found what they needed under the same roof.
Van Wyk is a student in the International Master's in Management (IMM) Program;
Sullivan is enrolled in the Executive Master of Science (EMS) Program; and
Volyk is a member of the third class in the brief history of the Weekend Executive
Master of Science (Weekend EMS) Program. The programs are three of five offered
by Krannert Executive Education Programs (KEEP).
delivers innovative degree and non-degree programs tailored to meet the
needs of mid-career professionals. Currently, 330 students are enrolled
in the KEEP degree programs, and between 400 and 500 students receive instruction
annually through non-degree programs.
Lewellen, the Herman C. Krannert Distinguished Professor of Management
and director of KEEP, says those numbers are likely to increase.
have by nature been an entrepreneurial unit, and we will continue to be
that way, Lewellen says.
first conversations about executive education at Krannert took place in
the mid-60s under founding dean Em Weiler. The idea remained dormant until
the late 1970s, when Keith Smith assumed the deanship. Smith was familiar
with executive education structures through his previous position as associate
dean at UCLA, and in 1981 he approached Prof. Dan Schendel to put together
a formal program.
the time, most of the successful executive education programs in the country
were held in large urban areas with a majority of students commuting to
classes. That model didn't fit the Purdue profile, but Schendel says Krannert
was able to turn a potential weakness into a strength.
knew the population base surrounding Lafayette wasn't enough to sustain
a commuter-type program, but we also knew that face-to-face interaction
was a key to making a program work," Schendel says. "We also
knew that technology and computers were a strength of Purdue."
we decided to design a program that would allow students to spend a couple
of weeks in-residence on our campus, while connecting them in their time
away from campus through modern technology. Of course, at that time, modern
technology meant WATS lines and modems, not the Internet."
about the same time, General Electric (GE) was looking for a program to
help train its managers while allowing them to keep working at their current
jobs. GE selected Purdue to administer the program over a number of schools,
including MIT and Carnegie Mellon, and the first class of 25 GE students
began in the summer of 1983.
that year, the school started its first open-enrollment EMS class. In October
1983, Purdue dedicated the new Krannert Center for Executive Education
and Research, a 30,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Krannert Building.
KEEP was on its way.
current Weekend EMS class is Krannert's
largest so far, and includes students from familiar Lafayette-area
companies, including Bank One, Caterpillar, and Eli Lilly.
there's a new company represented in this class - and it's anything
Trika works for F.S. Systems, an e-consulting business headquartered
in California. Trika is helping the company open a branch in Irving,
Texas, and he frequently travels around the country from Monday
through Friday. On Friday nights, Trika boards a plane in Dallas
and heads north to Purdue in time to attend Saturday morning classes
at Krannert Center.
earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Purdue.
He says several factors prompted his decision to fly 78 times over
a three-year period to attend a program designed for local students.
a Purdue alum, I know about Krannert's reputation, and there is certainly
nothing comparable in the Dallas area," Trika says. "I'm
too busy during the week to take classes, so this fits into my schedule.
And I don't know how my employer would feel about me missing two
weeks of work at a time."
native of India, Trika adds that his visa status would make it difficult
to attend classes held outside the United States. With several friends
in the airline industry helping him get discounted flights between
Dallas and Indianapolis (Trika pays for the program and all associated
costs himself), the Weekend Program is a perfect fit.
like to start my own firm in four or five years," he says. "Apart
from the first-class education the professors in the program provide,
I believe I will be able to learn about the various industries my
peers are currently associated with. This opportunity will allow
me to find the cream-of-the-crop techniques my classmates use in
their businesses to apply to what I'm doing now and what I want to
do in the future.
far, it hasn't been too bad. I'm able to do a lot of reading on flights,
and I keep up with schoolwork during the week. I fly home Saturday
night after classes, and I try to just relax on Sundays."
a Krannert faculty member since 1964, succeeded Schendel as KEEP director
in 1985. He grew the program through contacts with companies that recruited
at Purdue and via advertisements in select publications. He also began
to look for more programs to offer to potential students.
had been participating in a student exchange program with ESC Rouen in
France, and the partnership led to the eventual formation in 1995
of the IMM Program. The program is similar in nature to the EMS Program:
both are two years long, and both involve two-week on-campus residencies
between homework assignments.
difference is the location. While the EMS Program brings students to West
Lafayette for all of the in-residence sessions (except the final one,
which is an international trip), the IMM Program began alternating campus
stays between Purdue and Rouen. The Budapest University of Economic
Sciences and Public Administration was added to the rotation in 1998,
and the following year the Tias Business School of Tilburg University in
the Netherlands replaced ESC Rouen. Graduates in the program receive two
master's degrees: a master of science in management from Krannert, and an MBA
from either Tilburg or Budapest.
was truly the first collaborative joint master's program of its kind," says
Lewellen, adding that about half of each class is made up of American students
and half is from a variety of foreign countries.
same year the IMM Program became a reality, Krannert offered its first
Weekend EMS Program. The Lafayette-area business community and local Chamber
of Commerce approached the Krannert School about offering a part-time program
that would allow managers to commute to the Purdue campus while maintaining
their current workload. The result was a three-year program with classes
held each Saturday that school is in session in the spring and fall. More
than 50 students enrolled in the first class in 1995, about 45 entered
in the 1998 class, and a record 61 are participating in the 2001 class.
Students come primarily from the Lafayette area, but some have traveled
greater distances from cities such as Columbus and Fort Wayne.
also offers an Executive Master of Science in Management (EMSM) Program
at the German International Graduate School of Management and Administration
(GISMA) in Hannover, Germany. Krannert partners with Purdue's School of
Agriculture to offer an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)
in Food and Agriculture, geared toward mid-career professionals from the
food industry. All five programs are accredited by AACSB, the International
Association for Management Education.
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