We have finished our first year of revitalization, and what a year it has been! These past months, my focus has been on three primary areas — recruiting and marketing, curriculum, and alumni relations. Below is a snapshot of what we have accomplished.
- Marketing and Recruiting
- Alumni Engagement
- Upcoming Alumni Events
- From the Desk of Dr. Springate
- Class Snapshots
- Upcoming Recruiting Events
- Baby News
Please connect with us at your favorite social media venue.
Our Class of 2015 entered with 31 students, an enrollment up from our current cohort of 13. We did this through a renewed marketing campaign, the introduction of Vision 2025 and the use of social media. Once we connected with our prospective students, we tried to stay connected by offering them lunch on campus with guest speaker Larry Solomon (2002) and a Saturday evening out at the Mesquite Rodeo. We also offered a finance refresher course taught by Dr. Springate and an accounting refresher course taught by Patti McKee (2001).
We also held fast to our admissions requirements. Every student coming into the program has a minimum of eight years (including international and managerial) or 10 years of experience. Each candidate spent an hour with Dr. Springate and me to determine if our program was right for them and if they were right for the program. We turned away a number of candidates that were right at the eight-year mark, but whom we didn’t feel were strong enough for the caliber of discussion we hope to achieve in the classroom environment. Our cohort is on average 39 years old with 16 years of experience.
The six days of boot camp is no longer in the program. (I know…many of you feel that this is a rite of passage!) Instead, we have two days of pure orientation to ensure that our students enter back into academia prepared to be successful.
I’m proud of this class, and I hope this fall you will join us for a happy hour one afternoon and personally welcome them to the program.
Dr. Springate and I began this effort by spending an afternoon in the EDR listing every existing course on a sheet of paper and adding a number of other courses that we believed were needed. We talked about the content, the timing and changes that were necessary in each course. Then, through a series of meetings with alumni and business professionals, we began vetting our new curriculum and making changes along the way. Dr. Springate presented the proposed curriculum to several UT Dallas curriculum committees before it was approved by the University. Working with Jim Strand (2005), Dr. Springate formed the UT Dallas Executive MBA Advisory Committee to continue to regularly vet the curriculum. We love your ideas and encourage you to keep sending them. Please understand that we won’t be able to formally incorporate every idea into the curriculum, but we can certainly set aside time for guest speakers to introduce relevant topics.
We also carefully reviewed the past two years of faculty evaluations and made some adjustments to our faculty. We know how important it is for our professors to bring relevance to the program. We also recognize that not all professors are geared to teach seasoned business professionals. Above all, we continue to ensure that our Executive MBA program upholds its AACSB accreditation and maintains academic integrity within the cohort.
We kicked off the fall of 2012 with a 20-year celebration and a tribute to Dr. Springate. We brought back some favorite professors, including Dr. Richard Miller and Dr. Dick Tozer. We re-engaged with you through monthly newsletters, guest speakers and happy hours, the holiday party, a Special Session with Dan Arce, an alumni lunch and the newly formed Emerging Women Leaders initiative. JSOM held four PowerGrid events, and UT Dallas hosted the annual Summer Signature Event at the Dallas Arboretum.
A communications committee was established to help guide my preliminary attempts at social media and the newsletter.
Along the way, we put some traditions back in the program. The Springate Cup is back in the classroom and transitioned each month, and after a two-year hiatus, we brought back the Finish Line Cup at the Class of 2013 graduation.
Many thanks for standing by us this year. Thank you for those who reached out to help. And to all our alumni, we welcome your feedback.
Gain beneficial new connections and reconnect with former classmates. Hope to see you!
Thursday, September 12, PowerGrid, 5 – 7 p.m.
McDermott Suite, fourth floor, McDermott Library, UT Dallas
Join us for our next PowerGrid on campus with special remarks by Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas. Network with JSOM alumni and see the start of construction on the JSOM building addition.
Registration is required by September 5.
Thursday, September 26, 11th Annual Corporate Governance Conference
Executive Dining Room (EDR), JSOM
Presented by the UT Dallas Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance, the conference explores enhancing corporate performance through innovation, strategy, compensation and board dynamics. You can earn 7 hours of CPE credits.
Terry Jones, chairman of the board of kayak.com, founder and former CEO of Traveloity.com, CIO of Sabre, Inc. and author of On Innovation (Essential Ideas, Inc., 2012) will be the keynote speaker.
Register here. Alumni will receive a discounted rate of $346.50 for the conference (use the code: 2013utdalum).
This month my aim is to pull together previous discussions and show why we can expect more, not fewer, executive changes in the future unless management education can provide the critical difference.
Just look at four local situations that were much discussed in the news over the past decade: AMR, J.C. Penney Company, TXU and EDS; and two others: General Motors and J. Crew. The following seems apparent to me even if the sample is small:
- No company is too big to fail. The once-largest airline, the once-largest retailer and the once-largest industrial company provide proof. You might argue that the observation may not apply to large U.S. banks, but if Richard Fisher, head of the Dallas Fed, and others prevail and the banks are broken up, it is likely to hold.
- Predictions and forecasts that drive significant actions may be very inaccurate. Faulty estimates of energy prices to consumers and energy raw materials prices may prove to be the cause if the successor firm of TXU (now called Energy Future Holdings Corporation) goes through a bankruptcy process.
- Leadership may produce an outstanding success or a very unsuccessful turnaround. The examples of Dick Brown at EDS (negative — led to ultimate takeover by HP) and Mickey Drexler at J. Crew (positive results after several failed attempts under different CEOs) provide real contrasts as to success. There are many corporate failures.
To use an analogy, we can think of business leadership as an art, for which really good artists are relatively scarce. Knowing that unique events arise more and more rapidly as an uncertain future unfolds, the choice of which artist to have in place becomes critical and harder to accomplish. We can expect more, not fewer, top management failures and subsequent executive changes. Executive education provides a hope of reversing this expectation.
Each month, I’ll give you a snapshot of what each class is doing.
The Class of 2014
Brian Andrews (left) with Ray Bariso
Ray Bariso transitioned the Springate Cup to Brian Andrews. Ray presented Brian with Good to Great (HarperBusiness, 2001) by Jim Collins.
Class of 2014 members at Sherwin-Williams plant
On August 9, the Class of 2014 was hosted by classmate Sara Graham at the Sherwin-Williams plant in Garland, Texas. The visit was in conjunction with the last class day of Operations Management, taught by Professor Nick Hassan. The class celebrated the last day of Semester 3 on August 17 by moving to the top row of the classroom to reflect members’ status as “upper classmen.”
The Class of 2015
Incoming Class of 2015 student Mark Starnes
Incoming Class of 2015 students
Randy Black and Vinesh Reddy
On August 3, several of our incoming Class of 2015 members joined Connie Imhof and me at the Mesquite Rodeo. Many thanks to Donnie Nelson and the Texas Legends for allowing us to use their suite. We had lots of fun and a great barbecue dinner. It was quite a show for some of our students who had never been to a rodeo.
Class of 2015 in Finance 101 prior
to the start of classes
Twenty-one members of the Class of 2015 joined Dr. Springate on August 10 for Finance 101.
Alumna Patti McKee (2001) teaching
Finance 101 to the Class of 2015
On August 17, Patti McKee (2001), CPA and former CFO of ViewPoint Bank, taught “Accounting 101.” The class will have Dr. Ashiq Ali for Financial Accounting in the first semester, and Accounting 101 warmed them up for his first homework assignment, due on the first day of class.
UT Dallas mascot Temoc joined the
Class of 2015 for orientation
On August 23 and 24, the Class of 2015 had two days of orientation, where they learned that their “Americas Trip” will be to Panama. They also had their first team assignment when they were “Lost at Sea.”
Stay tuned for September’s newsletter on the first day of class!
September will be a month of reviewing marketing and recruiting efforts of the past year and developing our Class of 2016 marketing plan, which we will share with the Office of Communications in October.
Do you know a talented functional leader who has C-suite potential and would be interested in the EMBA Class of 2015? Please have them contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-883-4235, or Connie Imhof at email@example.com or 972-883-5983 for additional information.
Congratulations to Tina Adamson (2011) and her husband, Chris, on the birth of Hobbes Christian, born July 1, 2013.
Pamela Foster Brady
Director, Executive MBA
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