B-School Roundup

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published a trio of articles on b-schools.

In Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major, we learn that business majors now account for a whopping 20% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded, but that a number of companies are finding such graduates increasingly lack the critical thinking, debating, writing and communication skills that come from exposure to the liberal arts. Last month, the Aspen Institute brought together more than 20 U.S. and European business schools to discuss how to better integrate liberal arts education into the business school curriculum. Participants included George Washington University, Georgetown University, Santa Clara UniversityFranklin & Marshall College, Babson College and ESADE.

According the the article, bachelor’s awarded by field for the 2008-09 academic year:

  • Business: 347,985, or 21.7%
  • Social sciences and history: 168,500, or 10.5%
  • Health professions and related clinical sciences: 120,488, or 7.5%
  • Education: 101,708, or 6.4%
  • Psychology: 94,271, or 5.9%
  • Visual and performing arts: 89,140, or 5.6%

Source: National Center for Education Studies

According to New Lures for ‘Quants’: Wharton Rebrands Itself, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is, well, rebranding itself. “The new marketing materials rely heavily on charts and graphs, including an infographic with concentric circles to show how far students travel to study at the school and another with colorful vertical bars to represent finance professors’ years of experience.” In addition to the new marketing campaign, Wharton is investing in three strategic areas: innovation, social impact and global presence, each of which is headed by a vice dean.

Finally, in Dean of Cornell’s Johnson School: Reflecting on Five Years of Tenure, Cornell University’s Joe Thomas reflects on his five years of tenure at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. According to the article, his biggest challenge was shepherding the school “through a financial crisis that cut into endowment payouts and temporarily devastated the finance industry.” Whereas 44.5% of the class of 2007 took jobs in finance, only 36.9% of the class of 2010 and 36.2% of the class of 2011 went into finance. “When the crisis first hit, we put extra funds into [job] placement activities, instead of other activities. We hired more [career service] staff, we started paying for buses to drive people back and forth to New York City, [we did] more job treks.”

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