I N T E R V I E W E D BY DAV I D V I N N I KOV ( W ‘ 1 3 ) , H A M A D A L M U D H A F ( W ‘ 1 1 ) , DA N I E L H E L LW I G ( W ‘ 1 1 )
THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION Dean Thomas Robertson, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, and Professor of Marketing and Management, has been the Dean of the Wharton School since 2007. Throughout our interview with Dean Thomas Robertson, we had the chance to learn about the future of the Wharton School, the importance of school rankings, and the new positioning of business education around the globe.
It has been over three years since you became Dean of the Wharton School. What do you feel have been your greatest achievements so far? One of the major achievements was getting us through the Ànancial crisis and not losing money. That is not as exciting as saying that we launched something new, but it is very important, especially for a business school like Wharton. We have been very successful in terms of getting through the crisis. The Wharton School is all about intellectual capital and about the brilliance of our students and faculty. A major part of my job is to bring in fantastic new faculty members. We have increased our faculty count to 219, which is the largest number our school has ever had. We also continue to bring in fantastic students and wonderful staff that keep us moving in new directions. Looking forward, in particular, there are three pillars that we are building: the social impact pillar, the innovation pillar, and the globalization pillar. We are now institutionalizing these. We have vice deans for each one of these pillars. I am proud to say that the school is committed to that direction and things are moving along pretty well.
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I N T E R N AT I O N A L B U S I N E S S R E V I E W
You came in with an endowment of approximately $600 million. What have been the developments here? Obviously, the last few years have made it fairly difficult to realize big increases. I think that we are at about $800 million right now. Official figures are released at the end of each academic year, and at that point we were not quite back up to where we were. However, the stock market has been kind to us and the gifts keep coming. So, $800 million is a good estimate right now. The question students always want to know about is rankings; we’ve fallen down to number 4 for Business Week. How do you feel about the importance of rankings in general? Is it something we should think about at all? I believe that people don’t like rankings; however, they are a reality. Potential students look at rankings. So, whether you like it or not, rankings are there, and they are relevant. We have to look at them and see what is going on. If you were to average our rankings over the last 5 and 10 years, for the US News World Report, Business Week, and the Financial Times, we are tied with Harvard for the
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11/27/2010 3:13:09 PM
Fall edition of the IBR magazine at the Wharton School.