Like task force Chairman Robert Bruner, dean of the University of Virginia’s Darden School, Snyder believes that globalization is not merely a hefty challenge confronting academia. It’s also a great opportunity to play a sweeping role in shaping the future of management education. Clearly, Snyder’s ambitious efforts to leverage the Yale brand and convene a network of global schools around a new degree program is no less than an attempt to redefine how global thinking is brought into the business school classroom.
A WHITE PAPER DESCRIBES THE RATIONALE AND MOTIVATION FOR THE NEW PROGRAM
In a white paper that explores the rationale for the program, Snyder notes that the more typical partnership approach to extending a business school’s reach has severe limitations. Such deals typically involve schools of similar perceived quality drawn from a limited set of countries. “Given their bilateral nature, even a set of well-functioning partnerships cannot match the robust, spanning character of the global economy,” according to the paper. “Rather than have a U.S. school ask, ‘What is the best school in China for us to partner with on a particular program?’ or vice versa, the network starts with altogether different questions:
“What are the new areas of economic power and growth in the global economy? What areas of economic power and growth are on the horizon?
“What leadership challenges face enterprises in the future?
“How can top talent from the broad horizons of a flatter global economy be access, developed, and connected?
“How can a broad set of business schools work together to address these leadership challenges and enhance leadership development around the globe?
“With these questions in mind, then strategies and actions follow naturally. In contrast to the partnership model, where the focus is often on ‘promising tuition markets,’ the intention of the new approach is to build on a more meaningful definition of global business, to understand the importance of top talent throughout a flatter world, and to leverage the benefits of networks.”
DEAN HAS HIGH OBJECTIVES FOR THE NETWORK AS A GAME CHANGING DEVICE TO GLOBALIZE SOM
As Snyder sees it, there are a half dozen objectives for the network:
1) To provide an exchange among schools of cases and other curriculum content on global business issues. “There is a clear need for such content and the network can immediately provide greater access to existing resources,” Snyder writes in the paper.
2) To develop new cases and curriculum content, involving global enterprises that become allied with the network.
3) To develop an Internet portal and website. “Based on discussions involving some deans and students, the portal will feature the capability of connecting student groups among the schools,” writes Snyder. “Thus, the finance, consulting, entrepreneurial, and marketing clubs of the various schools will be able to establish their own networks to share knowledge and build valuable relationships with fellow students around the world.”
4) To address the central leadership question over what challenges will face enterprises in the future through a series of launch meetings.
5) To facilitate and support existing learning opportunities such as student exchanges and international team experiences.
6) To develop global economic indices across cities and countries.
The new dean, however, also envisions direct benefits to Yale’s School of Management. He plans to connect the university’s Yale Entrepreneurial Institute with other groups of entrepreneurs at member schools. He will disseminate Yale SOM’s so-called “raw cases”—Internet-based case study material—to member schools as well as to develop new raw cases on global management issues with the network. Snyder also is creating a Fellows Program that will bring faculty members from member schools to Yale for short periods of time to interact with the Yale SOM faculty. Finally, he plans to align the destinations of SOM’s existing first-year international experience for MBA students with the cities and countries where the network schools are located.
The most immediate impact of the network, of course, is the new, one-year Yale degree program. Those students will be able to develop a customized course of study which include course not only at SOM, but also at other graduate and professional schools at Yale. Applicants need to be recommended by their dean or director. The tuition for the MAM is exactly the same as it is for Yale’s full-time MBA: $53,900 a year. The application deadline for the first cohort is May 10, 2012.
In the words of management guru Jim Collins, this is one “big hairy audacious goal.” But it’s also the kind of new thinking required to change the business school game.