|Dean Andrew Ainslie|
A Strategy for Success
Like much of the Northeast, springtime at Simon is showing signs of new life and renewed energy for the coming season. It is also an important time to consider new directions for our School as we deepen our commitment to rise in the rankings and secure the School’s healthy financial standing.
In the Fall 2015 issue of this magazine, I discussed my goals for Simon and shared with you our drive to be ranked among the top 25 business schools by the 2020–21 academic year, while drawing less than five percent from the School’s endowment. That vision, which we now call Simon 2020, is already shaping many of our efforts and has been the driving force behind the School’s emerging strategic plan.
The Strategic Planning Committee identified areas of improvement that would have the greatest impact on Simon’s rankings. First among those areas were improvements in how we engage our students and boost their satisfaction with the Simon experience. After conducting one-on-one interviews, establishing peer benchmarks, and soliciting considerable student feedback, we made the decision to accelerate the creation of the new Office of Student Engagement, and it is already showing worthy returns. With assistant dean Carin Cole at the helm, the new Office of Student Engagement is focused on providing more experiential learning and real-world opportunities to become expert communicators, analytic problem solvers, and effective members of any business team.
In addition, our new student orientation programs are being revamped to better provide incoming students with the resources and training they will need to make the most of their time at Simon. To help maximize their learning and to continue to provide one of the top business education programs in the world, many of our classrooms, including rooms 107 and 207 in Schlegel Hall, will be renovated and refreshed for a brighter and more interactive learning environment, while rooms 118 and 119 in Gleason Hall will receive a substantial technology upgrade.
In the coming months, several committees will begin their work to help Simon Business School reclaim its place among the top 25 business schools. Just as we place considerable priority on the student experience, we also realize it is our alumni and corporate partners who will be vital to the School’s sustained success.
Perhaps one of the greatest assets of any top business school is its engaged and supportive alumni base and the generous support we receive from philanthropic friends of the School. Nowhere is that more evident than in the outstanding news that Simon received an anonymous $20 million gift. It is the largest in the School’s history and we are incredibly grateful for such substantial support. That spirit is reflected in this issue’s special feature, “When Business Gives Back.” We hope it is a way to honor your contributions, time, and talent that make it possible for us to do our jobs, continue the Simon tradition, and move our school into a bright and prosperous future.