B-School Deans Share 2019 New Year’s Resolutions


Duke’s Bill Boulding. Fuqua photo

I resolve in 2019 to double down on my efforts as dean of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and chair of the board of GMAC to explain how business education can help develop the kind of leaders who can use business to improve society. Critical to that mission is making sure students can study and work in the country of their choosing.

We must better explain the direct tie between immigration and economic development and how business school plays a role in that process. Research has shown repeatedly that immigrants are not job takers, but job creators. It is essential to the growth of economies around the world that the best and brightest talent be able to study and work where they desire.

Therefore, I will continue to advocate for GMAC’s belief that “no talent should go undiscovered.” Explaining the benefits of access is important not just for the business education industry — but for society.

If we can bring people and countries to a better understanding of the benefits of diversity, then we can also help heal deep polarization in the world. Very different people come together every day to work with common purpose in business — and that should be our exemplar in moving forward in society for 2019.

I would argue this is more important than ever in 2019: Some believe we are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as technology innovation continues at a rapid pace. The rise in nationalism in many parts of the world that we are experiencing today can be attributed to a backlash against globalization from people who lost their jobs. We risk another backlash if technology is seen as a job killer rather than a job changer that marries the best of humanity and technology. Business schools must develop the kind of leaders who not only have the skills to lead and manage innovation, but also consider the disruptions and find solutions for those who would otherwise be left behind.

However, to fulfill that mission in business school we must be able to recruit and train talent from all regions of the world. We must recruit students who have IQ (they are smart) + EQ (emotional intelligence) + DQ (decency quotient). That combination of capabilities will produce the kind of graduates who will not only do well for their companies, but good for the world. Those graduates will get us to a better place in society.

I resolve in 2019 to help people outside the business education community better understand the possibility that lies in business.


Georgetown McDonough’s Paul Almeida. McDonough photo

All business schools want to be good at teaching the tools of business, management, and leadership. It’s our duty to make a positive difference to the world. It’s not an option. It’s not an add-on. It’s a central part of why a Jesuit business school like Georgetown McDonough exists.

When each year turns, we are called upon in a renewed way to imagine how we can create a better world. Imagine a world with leaders who understand the big issues facing mankind; have the tools, expertise, and relationships to solve them; and are inspired to serve humanity. I want to live in that world.

We should rededicate ourselves in practical ways to actually achieving this aspiration. We are developing programs to educate our students to solve the world’s huge challenges, whether it’s global health or climate change or sustainability or cybersecurity — all of which need business skills as well as global skills.

My resolution is to make these programs more central to our community so we can make a difference to the world and also grow through that process.


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