Any Michigan graduate will tell you the words “Go Blue!” transcend all language barriers. Michigan Ross alumni live and work in 88 countries and the University of Michigan boasts one of the largest living alumni networks in the world. Some 500,000 Michigan graduates are dispersed across the globe.
One of my key goals as dean at Ross is to keep expanding that global footprint with quality and integrity. We already have a rich array of programs and opportunities for faculty, students, and executives to engage in coursework, field studies, and other initiatives with multinationals, startups, and nonprofits worldwide. This year 46 percent of our MBA students engaged in multidisciplinary, action-based projects outside the U.S., with nearly 80 percent of students completing some type of project in a nation other than their home country. Ross MBA classes average more than 5,000 days of coursework outside the U.S. each year.
But to be truly global, a business school must be able to deploy its top-tier resources and academic programming in multiple locations. Thus, I recently announced that in fall 2012 we will deliver an annual cohort of the Michigan Ross Executive MBA Program (EMBA) in Los Angeles. Our EMBA faculty and staff have honed a superior model of distance learning in the program’s once-a-month format. And we’re confident this flexible model will appeal to executives who would otherwise not travel outside the region for education. This foray into a new market will pave the way for future delivery of our degree programs outside of Ann Arbor, domestically and internationally.
In addition, several Michigan Ross colleagues and I traveled to Malaysia in November where we discussed a potential collaboration with Kuala Lumpur Educational City and Bank Negara, Malaysia’s central bank. Through this collaboration, Michigan Ross faculty would build long-term educational capacity and help facilitate degree and non-degree graduate business education in Southeast Asia.
And just prior to visiting Malaysia, I stopped in London to meet with editors from The Financial Times and The Economist. While speaking to the media can be a challenging aspect of this job, it also can be very rewarding. And frankly it’s critical now that more top-tier players are emerging in Europe and Southeast Asia. The foreign press plays a key role in advancing our global footprint, and I am pleased to report that we are making great strides in reminding the global audience that Michigan Ross is indeed a global player.