Naveen Jindal School of Management Recognized by AACSB International for Global Ingenuity, Innovation and Creativity

Jindal School

Assistant Dean Kutsal Dogan captured this view of the Jindal School building at dawn late in 2015.

Business schools have long driven change by creating environments where out-of-the-box thinking flourishes. On Feb. 1, at its 2016 Deans Conference, AACSB International (AACSB), the global accrediting body and membership association for business schools, recognized the Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas for creating one of 30 innovations that represent how business schools are modernizing and diversifying the business education environment.

The Jindal School was recognized for its Professional Online Portfolios (POPs) submission. Each POP is a student-designed and student-controlled website that features professional yet friendly photos of the student, examples of school or work projects others may see, descriptions of the student’s community and leadership experience, and information about personal interests and life goals. Each site is made using one of several free website creation platforms (Wix, Weebly and others) and is 100 percent the result of each student’s choices for design, content and approach.

About 2,000 students have created POPs since the projects were introduced in business communications courses as an undergraduate requirement in 2013. Business communication faculty regularly receive emails from former students reporting that they were called in for an interview because of the strength of their POP, and several graduates have received internships or job offers as a direct result of the impression of friendly professionalism they made in the POP.

At the start of the POPs project, students think, “it’s just a website,” Dr. McClain Watson, director of JSOM’s business communication programs and creator of the POPs project, said. “Then you get buy-in as they work on it and see the potential value. They say, ‘This matters because it’s my name and my future.’ ”

The websites are but one example of innovation at the Jindal School, which also takes pride this semester in introducing a startup launch program that makes $5,000 in enterprise seed funding available to undergraduates. Other recent advances include the opening of marketing, sales and finance trading labs, where students hone professional skills, and the creation of ProConnect, a matching program that partners MS in Accounting students with companies in need of solutions for accounting, finance, operations and other business challenges.

“We regularly innovate; we regularly change,” Dr. Hasan Pirkul, dean of the Jindal School, said. “It is one way we are responsive to the business community around us, and in being responsive to the needs of companies and corporations, we serve our students by training them to answer those needs.”

Celebrated as part of AACSB’s Centennial Anniversary and upcoming Visioning Initiative, the inaugural Innovations That Inspire shines a spotlight on innovation and diversity. Business schools are redefining the way that academic institutions of all kinds create, teach, connect and lead.

“This year’s inaugural Innovations That Inspire initiative has highlighted the tremendous, trailblazing power of AACSB’s member schools, and the value that they place on innovative and meaningful ideas,” said William H. Glick, chair of the AACSB Board of Directors and dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. “We are proud to spotlight the Jindal School’s innovation, as the ideas found within demonstrates how AACSB schools are catalysts for innovation, co-creators of knowledge, hubs of lifelong learning, leaders on leadership and enablers of shared prosperity.”

For a detailed overview of the featured innovations, please visit In the coming months, AACSB will continue to showcase more schools and innovations.

A comprehensive look at AACSB’s upcoming Visioning Initiative is also available online at, and findings from the Visioning Initiative will be presented at ICAM 2016 in Boston, MA, USA on April 3-5, 2016.