The “C-Suite Café,” powered by Nashville-based OSA Roasters, opened in a newly renovated space. The Café is the product of student-led effort to bring a high quality Café inside Owen, including both great coffee and food along with an inviting ambiance. OSA roasting has operations in the Edgehill neighborhood and supplies many restaurants in cafes in Nashville. A key goal of working with a local provider is the possibility of creating a much larger impact than just food and drink. OSA’s partnership with the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures underscores the center’s deeper connection with the coffee industry. Project Pyramid will be working on a project this spring with a coffee grower in Columbia from which OSA sources beans. The project supports Owen’s strategy to create world-class facilities that support its personal scale approach.
Seven new faculty members joined Owen this fall. That represents one of the biggest recruiting years in Owen’s history as we build upon the legacy of retiring faculty and execute our growth strategy. The faculty will teach across all Owen programs including the new the Masters of Marketing and undergraduate business minor. The group enhances faculty diversity and represents nearly all business areas. They bring important new expertise to Owen including venture & entrepreneurial finance, big data, marketing analytics, and diversity & inclusion.
Brownlee O. Currey Jr. endows new dean’s faculty fellowships
Owen announced the creation of two Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Dean’s Faculty Fellowships. The new fellowships recognize young assistant professors whose research has a significant impact. Recipients hold the fellowship for a two-year term, which carries support for research activities. The fellowships support Owen’s strategy to enhance the impact of its world-class faculty.
Major library renovation complete
Walker Library opened its doors on August 21st after a $4.4M make-over. The renovation transformed the library from a book warehouse into a hub of discovery and collaboration. As a focal place for gatherings big and small, the library will take on a new role within the Owen community. Additionally, the expanded group meeting space and conference rooms will support growing needs for team projects and entrepreneurship. The project supports Owen’s strategy to create world-class facilities that support its personal scale approach.
Scholarships that enhance diversity
Owen received another gift to support diversity and is on-track to raise over a million dollars in new scholarships for women and underrepresented minorities. Most recently, Jonathan Stevens MBA ’95 gave $100,000 to support women from STEM fields to study business. The scholarship initiative supports Owen’s strategy to enhance diversity and attract world-class students. For more on recent diversity scholarships including the McKinnon and Conlee Scholarships, see the related Vanderbilt Business Magazine article.
Construction begins on the H. Laird Smith Courtyard
Through a $100,000 gift from the Henry Laird Smith Foundation, the H. Laird Smith Courtyard is receiving a significant renovation. The courtyard is a natural extension of Management Hall. It is visible from throughout the building, providing light and beauty to all three floors. It also naturally connects the historic Old Mechanical building with the modern Management Hall. Constructed in the early 1980s, the courtyard has served Owen well for more than 30 years. The renovation will give the courtyard a fresh look that will both enhance its beauty and functionality. Key enhancements include better access, more patio space, new furniture, and lighting to create a venue for everything from an informal place for students to meet, to a formal gathering space for lectures or receptions.
University approves new undergraduate business minor
In trans-institutional partnership, the Owen faculty with their counterparts in the undergraduate schools will launch a new undergraduate business program in the fall 2017. Vanderbilt undergraduates have long expressed interest in studying business and the new minor will help them launch exciting careers in management. The minor will integrate five required half-semester fundamental courses taught by Owen faculty with electives provided by the undergraduate schools. The initiative supports the University’s Academic Strategic Plan and Owen’s portfolio strategy.
Owen launches corporate partnership program
Owen announced the formation of a new corporate partnership program designed to broaden and deepen ties with MBA employers at the November meeting of its Board of Visitors. The initiative brings a new level of formality to the longstanding hiring relationships between the Owen School and top companies in a multitude of industries, expanding collaboration in areas like leadership-in-residence programs, student case competitions, speaker events, executive education and academic research. The initiative supports Owen’s strategy to develop Centers that provide unique programming and leverage faculty impact.
New gift bolsters entrepreneurship
Carolyn and Wendell Jackson Long Jr., commit $1.5 million to foster the Center for Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. The funds will be used to extend the programs developed through the Center, including immersion experiences that offer graduate business students summer or internship opportunities to research their business ideas; introducing an annual entrepreneurship conference; and creating programming in partnership with Vanderbilt’s new Innovation Center as well as Nashville’s growing entrepreneur community. The initiative supports Owen’s strategy to develop Centers that provide unique programming and leverage faculty impact.
Corporate funding enables new health care markets center
Through a substantial lead gift made by an anonymous corporate donor, Owen launches the Center for Health Care Market Innovation. The center will be supported by a group corporations whose business are affected by changing demand for health care. It will conduct research on the demand for health care, how it is changing, and the capacity for new financing and delivery models to successfully meet changing consumer needs. The new center will provide insight for health care leaders and help prepare Owen students for the changes ahead.
Owen launches new innovative MBA courses to strengthen critical thinking
Critical thinking skills are important for any professional. Our research including surveys of alumni and recruiters showed just how important it is for MBA students. The ability to reason and articulate a multifaceted business argument bubbled to a top priority in our MBA curriculum revision. Focused on second-year students, Owen is piloting three new courses focused on multifaceted decision making, communication, and strategic context building. This includes two courses piloted last spring (Learning to Thrive, Prof Lehman; Advanced Management Speaking, Professor Pace) and a third course starting in March (Managerial Decision Making, Professor McCann).
Owen enhances career-focused immersive experiences
Treks have long been part of the Vanderbilt MBA experience. As part of the strategic review, recruiters and faculty identified such immersive experiences as a key opportunity for deeper learning. Starting in the fall, the successful Wall Street Trek was redesigned to boost student understanding of role and interaction between key players in the financial system. Led by Professor Craig Lewis, (and former chief economist of the SEC), students participated in class sessions (for which they received academic credit) before the trip – learning from practitioners who visited the class. Professor Lewis then traveled with the students to New York, adding daily debriefing sessions after firm visits. Likewise, Dean Johnson traveled in January with an expanded tech trek to help provide an overview of company visits, from long-time tech titans like Intel, Apple, and HP to more recent disrupters like Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb.
New Master of Marketing program approved by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust
Completing a 9-month development process, the Vanderbilt Board of Trust approved a new master’s program at the Owen School that will give students the modern marketing toolkit necessary to accelerate their careers. The new Vanderbilt Master of Marketing degree program is scheduled to begin classes in July 2016. The 10-month program aims to put graduates on a fast career path in companies of all sizes—from new start-ups to large established firms—and in a variety of industries, such as consumer packaged goods, technology and health care. The new program supports Owen’s portfolio strategy.
Leadership Development Program 2.0
Owen’s Leadership Development Program, under the direction of Executive Director Melinda Allen, has matured into a significant point of competitive advantage and an exemplar of our personal-scale approach. Serving all of our degree programs, alumni, and EDI, Melinda’s team has honed a portfolio of offerings that serve the specific needs of each population. To build on this great success, Professor Tim Vogus will assume the new role Faculty Director of LDP. Tim will be partnering with Melinda and the LDP team to conceive and develop new initiatives and content, further integrating Owen’s outstanding academic courses with LDP activities. Initial areas of focus include leadership content to support student club leaders, further refinement of MBA second-year offerings, and content for alumni at different stages of their careers.
The Owen School’s new students are the personification of Vanderbilt’s vision of what a world-class business program should be. The class is diverse in its global reach, professional experience, education and ethnicity. Students from 33 countries were represented in our incoming classes this year. Each of the more than 300 students in the incoming classes has a fascinating personal story to tell. For more on the incoming students at the Owen School, read incoming class snapshots here.
White House convening a of Deans and Senior Administration officials for helping women succeed in business school
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management was one of 45 top business schools that visited the White House on Aug. 5 to announce that it was committing to a new set of best practices for helping women succeed in business school and throughout their careers. Collaborating with other business schools to develop the set of best practices, a team from the Owen School, led by Associate Dean Nancy Hyer, prepared a document outlining Owen’s strategy to advance women in business. Dean Eric Johnson attended the White House meeting and committed Vanderbilt to the new best practices document.
Executive MBA launches new curriculum
Executive MBA students of the class of 2017 were welcomed to the reconfigured program that leverages on-line components and a new second year-residency. Working on an expedited time-scale, the faculty developed the new curriculum that will allow EMBA students to complete the degree in 20 months, graduating in May rather than August. These innovations are also aligned with changes we have been implementing to make the program more attractive to women. The approach is working – the incoming class reached 37% women, which is the highest in history.
Owen faculty part of three winning teams for trans-institutional program (TIP) awards
Owen School collaborators were part of three trans-institutional projects selected for the initial set of awards from Vanderbilt’s new Trans-Institutional Program (TIPs). These projects illustrate the broad range of inter-disciplinary scholarship at Owen and are part of our strategy to leverage the resources across Vanderbilt.
Owen “lights fire” under PR and social media efforts
Owen is attracting and developing world-class faculty, by providing an intellectual environment that attracts and facilitates scholarship. To ensure that we create awareness for our faculty work and expertise, Owen has hired a new Director, Business News and Communication who is working with Vanderbilt News Service to ramp up social media and public relations efforts. The results are widely visible in the media coverage that Owen faculty have earned in recent months.
Long-time faculty member and Financial Markets Research Center (FMRC) Director Bob Whaley’s work on stock market volatility has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and in multiple radio interviews; Fast Company featured Professor Kelly Haws work on learning from your mistakes; Professor Jessie Blocher’s work on exchange traded funds was highlighted in the New York Times; and Professor Jessica Kennedy had her research on ethics and gender featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fast Company. Forbes featured Professor Jenny Escalas’s work on storytelling; Wall Street Journal highlighted Professor Miguel Palacios’ work on student loans; and CNN profiled Tim Vogus’ insights on physician bedside manner and the Wall Street Journal covered his work on hospital rankings.
Vanderbilt, MLT announce partnership to accelerate careers of minorities
An acclaimed talent development program for high-potential minority MBA students is being brought to Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management through a new partnership with Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT). MLT is a prominent nonprofit organization that provides talented black, Hispanic and Native American men and women with critical elements to succeed at each career stage and advance to senior leadership. MLT will help Owen attract more minority MBA candidates and equip these students with the skills and tools they need to succeed in business school and throughout their post MBA careers on up to senior leadership.
Cal Turner Family Foundation gift establishes center for social ventures at Owen
The Cal Turner Family Foundation committed nearly $1.2 million over five years to establish the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Established with extensive input from student leaders and faculty members, the new center will extend the success of Project Pyramid to support enduring market-based solutions to alleviate poverty. In addition to furthering the international work of Project Pyramid, the new center is will become a hub to coordinate social venture activities across campus.
Owen launches partnership with Forte at Women in Business Symposium
Elissa Sangster, Executive Director of Forte, visited Owen to speak at the annual Women’s Symposium and kick-off Owen’s new partnership. The Forté Foundation is dedicated to launching women into fulfilling careers. Partnering with sponsors, like Vanderbilt, Forté seeks to increase the number of women pursuing MBAs and offers many benefits and resources to women who are members of the Forté Fellows program. In an interview with Dean Johnson, Ms. Sangster noted that the new partnership with Owen is important in encouraging women to consider careers in business.