MBA News Nuggets: Maryland Smith Gets A Dean From Texas

The University of Maryland has named Prabhudev Konana, Ph.D., dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, effective January 2, 2021. In this role, Konana will lead Smith in its mission to create knowledge, promote an inclusive learning environment that fosters intellectual discovery, and equip current and future leaders to assess complex problems and deliver innovative solutions, according to a university announcement.

Prabhudev Konana will take over as dean of the Smith School of Business in January. McCombs photo

“I am thrilled to accept the role as Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business,” said Konana. “As business education is rapidly changing in the current social, political, technological, and market trends, I look forward to all that can be accomplished with the students, faculty and staff at the University of Maryland.”

Konana currently serves as the associate dean of instructional innovation, William H. Seay centennial professor of information management, and distinguished teaching professor at the University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business. As associate dean, he helped develop the focus and identity of the McCombs School of Business, emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation, and successfully led the transition of the entire business school faculty to online synchronous teaching, among other notable accomplishments in teaching and research.

Konana will take the reins from Ritu Agarwal, who became interim dean in August 2019 when longtime Dean Alex Triantis moved north to Baltimore to become dean at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.

“Prabhudev Konana is perfectly positioned to assume this role in the highly competitive landscape of business education,” University if Maryland Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin said in a news release. “I have no doubt that he will swiftly implement big ideas, while strengthening academic connections throughout Smith and across campus. Dr. Konana’s contributions will positively impact the Smith School’s fearless and innovative academic reputation.”

Prior to his current role, Konana previously served as chair of the Department of Information, Risks, and Operations Management at Texas McCombs. As chair he founded highly ranked MS in Business Analytics in partnership with businesses, revamped advisory council, raised funds from business partners, funded several research workshops and symposia; supported visiting faculty for research collaboration, improved teaching standards in various programs, incentivized faculty to offer specialized electives and focused on recruiting high-energy and passionate staff.

Quantic releases free ‘Cultural Intelligence’ course to public in response to recent events

Universities all over the country are trying to figure out a way to keep enrollment and attendance up without threatening the safety of students. While other schools are seeing a decrease in attendance and an increase in deferment, Quantic, which has always been completely remote for over 7 years, is on pace for an 80% YOY increase in applications.

Even if you’re not in the MBA program, Quantic has a series of courses available completely free to the public, such as Finance, Marketing, Accounting and Microeconomics. Quantic’s unique learning setting doesn’t consist of a video professor droning on for hours on a single topic. Instead, similar to the format of Duolingo, Quantic provides feedback and opportunity for interaction, on average, every eight seconds. Many Quantic students come from top employers, such as Google and Tesla, who choose the program because it is entirely self-paced, making it the perfect program for people with demanding jobs.

Quantic is releasing its new Cultural Intelligence course for anyone to take and learn from, in an effort to increase cultural awareness and education in our society. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to create your own, free Quantic account by clicking ‘Apply Now’ on their website.

Wells Fargo CEO apologizes for comments about Black finance candidates 

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf apologized Wednesday for comments he made suggesting it is difficult to find qualified Black executives in the financial industry.

Scharf, a NYU Stern School of Business alumnus, said in a memo to employees “there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from” in corporate America. The memo was written in June, but became public only this week.

The comments and similar statements made in a Zoom meeting, reported by Reuters, led to an intense backlash in Washington and on social media.

Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business MBA enrollment exceeds projections

Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management enrolled 132 graduate students this year, a 12% increase over last year and a 32% increase over initial projections. Sellinger’s Emerging Leaders MBA program, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year, enrolled 36 new students, a 44% increase over last year and the largest class since the program began in 2010.

“Our graduate enrollment exceeded projections this year despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19,” said Kathleen A. Getz, Ph.D., dean of Loyola’s Sellinger School. “It’s a testament to the reputation of Sellinger’s MBA programs as powerful tools for developing strong, ethical business leaders, who we need as our nation faces unprecedented challenges.”

Sellinger’s Professional’s MBA program enrolled 73 students for the fall 2020 semester, the largest number since the fall of 2013. The Professional’s MBA is a part-time evening program designed for working professionals, while the Emerging Leaders MBA is a full-time, one-year program designed for recent college graduates and early career professionals.

The Emerging Leaders MBA program began 10 years ago as the first of its kind in the area with a cohort of 20 students. In the last decade, the program has doubled in size and earned a ranking among MBA Central’s Top 50 Fastest Accelerated MBA Degree Programs. The program emphasizes real-world experiences, including corporate visits, mentoring and internships, as well as domestic and international field study tours exploring emerging markets and new business climates and cultures.


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