Part-Time MBA Directors Meet to Discuss Challenges
UT Dallas Hosts Annual Gathering of Graduate Business Education Leaders
Nov. 6, 2009
Experts in graduate business education met at UT Dallas to wrestle over a few business questions of their own recently: namely, how best to market and manage their schools in a tough economy, and how to build leadership excellence.
Assistant Dean Monica Powell said conference topics were drawn from ideas offered by the education leaders who attended.
The 16th Annual gave heads of part-time 75 MBA programs a chance to exchange ideas, evaluate progress and collaborate. More than 100 people attended the gathering on Oct. 7, 8 and 9.
“This conference has created a unique forum for MBA leaders and has provided a platform for both innovation and change for nearly two decades,” School of Management Dean Hasan Pirkul noted in welcoming remarks.
Monica Powell and Doug Eckel, both assistant deans in the School of Management, co-hosted the invitation-only gathering.
“We developed conference topics in consultation with the deans, directors and administrators who attended,” Dr. Powell said. “To prepare, we invited them to tell us what issues PMBA leaders should be discussing.”
In response, opening keynote speaker Rachel Croson, a UT Dallas professor of economics and management, urged the use of “in-sourcing” to solve higher-education management issues.
Croson explored how program deans and directors can use the expertise and insight of faculty members to resolve programmatic issues. For example, administrators could engage marketing faculty to develop marketing plans to increase enrollment.
Second-day keynoter Scott Spreier, a Hay Group senior consultant and national expert on leadership and talent management, reviewed best-practice ideas for creating and sustaining exemplary behavior and practices—particularly in demanding times.
Panel-discussion topics ranged from a review of how to engage part-time students in campus culture to a consideration of methods that universities with diverse arrays of part-time programs can use to increase both revenue and market share.
One particularly well-attended discussion featured four deans offering suggestions on how directors of part-time programs can best gain their support.
“Part-time MBA programs are the backbones of many business schools,” Dr. Eckel, who coordinates SOM’s part-time evening graduate programs, said. “This conference was a wonderful way to connect deans and directors from schools all over the U.S. and work collectively to enhance our programs.”