Innovator Article

Winter 2012 Dean’s Message
Celebrating 30 Years of Success at the Fastest-Rising U.S. Business School

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We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary this academic year—an important milestone and pivotal time in the evolution of the Graduate School of Management. The foundation built and extraordinary advances made in a relatively very short time have positioned us to achieve much more. In many ways, we are just getting started.

I recently presented our strategic plan for the School, a road map outlining our core values, pillars of strength and the resources we will need to become one of the truly great global business schools. Our momentum toward this ambitious goal is unmatched. We are the fastest-rising top business school in the country, having jumped 14 positions to the top six percent (No. 28) in the latest U.S.News & World Report graduate business school rankings. It’s the highest ranking in the 16 consecutive years the School has been recognized among the nation’s best.

This latest accolade reflects our historical commitment to ensuring the quality of faculty and students over the temptation to get bigger for the sake of simply being bigger. We use our scale to our advantage by being efficient and fast-moving in our operations and decision making. It allows us to make continuous improvements to our student experience and act on opportunities to propel our research and public service missions forward.

To fuel our vision, we must ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the School to deliver superior performance across all our programs and initiatives. With the continuing decline of funding from the State of California, we have a 10-year plan to minimize reliance on state funds.

In this issue of the Innovator, you’ll read about our three-pronged approach to strengthening our resources in ways that expand our influence and impact, opening up new avenues to promote economic growth and prosperity.

First: Philanthropic support is critical to our future development. We are actively engaged in The Campaign for UC Davis, the first university-wide, comprehensive fundraising campaign to inspire 100,000 donors to contribute $1 billion. In November, we established a new interdisciplinary institute for education, research and outreach in innovation and entrepreneurship with the help of a $5 million commitment from alumni Mike and Renée Child. The institute builds on the success and experience of our Center for Entrepreneurship, which since 2006 has been the springboard for research commercialization efforts at UC Davis.

Second: We are responding to rising industry demand for specialized training with highly tailored executive education programs. This is fundamental to strengthening our corporate relationships, adding another opportunity for companies and their leaders to tap into the School’s management talent, internationally renowned faculty and broad network of experts.

Third: We are launching and expanding academic programs. This autumn, we will become the first University of California school to launch a master’s degree in professional accountancy—a response to major changes in educational requirements and the resulting need for improved training of certified public accountants in California. We also intend to grow our Working Professional MBA programs in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area to meet the increasing need for world-class management talent across Northern California.

These are just a few of the many great activities happening at the Graduate School of Management as we glance into the rear-view mirror at the past three decades and turn our focus on the bright future ahead.

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