AACSB Associate Deans Conference: Leading in Challenging Economic Times by Karyl B. Leggio

Speaking at AACSB Associate Deans Conference 2012, Houston, TexasLeading in Challenging Economic Times


At the AACSB Associate Deans conference, Karyl Leggio, Dean and Professor of Finance at the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland, led a fascinating discussion on the issues in setting up new programs. The topic of the presentation was centered around generating revenues and “managing costs by benefitting from revenue sharing initiatives.” Given that we are now into the fifth year of the financial crisis with no easy end in sight, this is an important subject to address.

Current teaching methods

In her presentation, Ms Leggio set out some of the current trends in her business school and in the US in general. Ideas for change can come from many places such as the alumni and from local businesses. Increasingly, such stakeholders are also contributing to teaching as well. Indeed, this may be the first step in getting them to give back and can lead to greater employment for current graduates or to financial contributions to the business school.

Some faculty in university are still attached to an old model of teaching but in general it is easier to motivate faculty in the business school to change than in other parts of the university. Indeed, some of the changes are fascinating. One (young!) professor with a Phd in Social media at Loyola is now teaching on Facebook.

Boston University established radical approach towards its MBA programs

Loyola University Maryland has the fifth oldest MBA program in the USA. However, recruitment on some Executive MBA programs in the USA is a big challenge now because there are fewer executives without this degree. To some extent the market has become saturated. Given this and the changes in work practices, Boston University decided to cancel all of their traditional MBAs and looked at the trends for the next 10 years. They then totally redesigned their courses from there. This is quite a radical move.

Deputy Head of the UQ Business School Director of Education Professor of Business Information Systems BCom, BSc, MIS, PhD (The University of Queensland)

Fiona Rohde pointed out different expectations of international and western students

Fiona Rohde of the UQ Business School  pointed out the current dilemma in the delivery mode in business schools. Because we are now doing cross border recruitment, we now find ourselves with 40% of international students who want a traditional lecture and to be told what to do whereas the more western students want a more cooperative model of teaching.

Some schools are reporting 50% Chinese students in the class leading to a Mandarin speaking environment. This can have positive effects for the US students, who are exposed to their way of working. However, it is also a challenge to organize group work.


Current trends in research within universities

AACSB is opening the door to a more relevant model of research. In particular Standard 2 of the proposed changes to AACSB criteria will require proof that research has had impact on the community. This will change our approach to research in the coming years.

Standard 2 of the proposed changes to AACSB criteria will require proof that research has had impact on the community

Internally, this will be painful especially for professors who have worked hard to obtain AQ status. Indeed, a lot of faculty are used to publishing in academic journals but not so much in non-academic journals. However, this does not mean that they should not be encouraged to learn. Higher education is not the only industry that has changed and many people in other industries have had to learn to adapt. This change is in the interest of the professors since it will enable to progress in their career.

Several partipants pointed out that this move reflects the trend in the UK in the past few years with the Research Assessment Exercise which is published every 7 years and requires universities to demonstrate the impact of research. Australia has a similar system.

Tenure in universities and career management

Tenure will continue to decline in future years. This is coherent with the increased use of adjunct faculty that is currently being discussed in the USA. However, Ms. Leggio does point out that part of our job is to assist those we work with in the development of their careers and that we are failing as managers if we do not assist faculty in trying to obtain tenure. Again, this seems coherent with the new AACSB standards to be voted on 13th April 2013.

Lots of normalization work is done at Loyola to ensure that the system is fair and that everyone is going in the same direction

Loyola now has an input and output for scholarship and teaching. 30% of assessment is what people are doing to improve their knowledge of the field in which they study. Lots of normalization work is done at Loyola to ensure that the system is fair and that everyone is going in the same direction. There is a responsibility to get all the faculty on board and to be totally transparent. This type of move is a culture shift in many institutions.

The difficulties in implementing change

Loyola provides opportunities for faculty to interact on a social level and leads to enhanced cooperation at the university.

These changes are not easy for all members of the institution. Indeed, the increasing use of metrics to decide the return on investment of each program can be a shock for some faculty. Given that our environment has gotten tougher we sometimes need to find ways to lighten the atmosphere. One method at Loyola is to have faculty dinners and asking each member to bring a regional dish. This provides opportunities to interact on a social level and leads to enhanced cooperation at the university.

The discussion was made richer by Ms Leggio’s willingness to take contributions from the room. Great presenters are not afraid to sacrifice their beautifully prepared slides and listen to the dynamics of the audience and this was a fascinating discussion indeed.

For Associate Deans of AACSB Member schools you can join the AACSB Affinity Group by Clicking Here


See also:

Meet the Dean – Karyl Leggio

“As the dean of the Sellinger School at Loyola University Maryland since 2008, Leggio has implemented a number of new programs, including Loyola’s first its first AACSB-accredited accelerated master of business administration program; the Emerging Leaders MBA;” … and many others.

Ten Questions – Karyl Leggio

Financial Times: My job has a healthy mix of day-to-day operational activities and long-term planning responsibilities. I also like the fact that my days are not predictable. I know when I walk into my office in the morning what I plan to do; however, when I walk out in the evening, my day has rarely gone exactly as planned.”

Peter Lorange’s Blog

“Blog of Professor Dr. Peter Lorange , one of the world’s foremost business school academics.”

OESP’s and (Non) Disruptive Innovation

Higher Education Management: “Unlike disruptive innovations, the OESP model does not seek to displace the traditional model of higher education. It’s not a direct challenge, but an extension of the existing model through the addition of services, skills and capital that are otherwise unavailable to the client university.”

Not Quite Right: Higher Ed’s Business Model & Instructional Technology

Higher Education Management: “Digital higher education is now a strategic issue for colleges and universities. Online enrolment continues to experience double-digit growth. Investors are once again lining up to fund new companies in educational technology and media.”

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy and Higher Education

Higher Education Management: “I think universities can move in new directions; they can identify new opportunities and shift resources accordingly. But they don’t have much practice. For last several decades, universities have had the luxury of not needing to make especially tough decisions.”

Alfred Essa: The State of Analytics in Higher Education

Higher Education Management: “I’ve known Alfred Essa for a couple of years. From the start, Al struck me as one of those people that is truly focussed on improving higher education. After a career at various organizations in the US, including MIT and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Essa now serves as the Director of Innovation and Analytics Strategy at Desire2Learn.”

AACSB  Karyl Leggio  Grenoble  Studying in Grenoble  Business School  Grenoble EM  International Affairs   Higher Education   ESC Grenoble   Strategy  Blog  Global Ed   Graduate Business School    Mark Thomas

Peter Lorange Kai Peters
Is innovation becoming less and less effective in business schools? On MBA programme pricing Building Enduring Business


Wonderful essay that lays out the benefits of international trade. Nobel Prize winner and one of the best sellers this year. A must read for any business student. Why are some companies having problems keeping good staff? How do you manage to keep them?


Filed under Business, Business Schools, Careers, Economics, Education, Finance, Higher Education, Innovation, Leadership, Management, MBA, Research, Strategy, USA

11 responses to “AACSB Associate Deans Conference: Leading in Challenging Economic Times by Karyl B. Leggio

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