Image of Dean Sharon Matusik next to "Michigan Ross" lettering

February Message from the Dean

Dear colleagues,

I hope your semester continues to go well, and thanks to those who attended last week’s events held on our Meeting-Free Day. The healthy breakfast buffet and yoga sessions were well attended, and we look forward to hosting more events aimed at bringing together our Ross community.   

In terms of updates, I want to share some important news regarding our Global MBA Program. After thoughtful consideration and the faculty vote on this, we are pausing the Global MBA. This means Michigan Ross will not recruit an incoming class for our next intake cycle, which would have begun in January 2025. This will give us time to gather additional insights on how we might reimagine this program, given how the market and this program have evolved and changed since 1996, when the GMBA was launched. A special thanks to Matt Ganderson and S. Sriram for engaging many stakeholders in assessing the current state of the program and market and in identifying some possible paths forward to explore in the future. Thanks also to the faculty who participated in the discussion of the program in our last faculty meeting. We have shared this information with the current GMBA students and reiterated that they are an important part of our community. We look forward to ensuring they have a very productive time with us as they complete their degrees.

In other news, I have a few updates on items related to our goals around raising the visibility and impact of Michigan Ross. The Sanger Leadership Center hosted the annual Leadership Crisis Challenge on Jan. 25-26. With 416 students participating — including 369 from Ross — it was the largest turnout in the program’s history. Students took on the roles of C-suite executives to solve a tech-centered challenge to help them better understand the intricacies of evolving technology and security services. Especially noteworthy was the fact that we had both the education editor from the Financial Times, Andrew Jack, and the editor-in-chief of Poets and Quants, John Byrne, in attendance. Both walked away from the experience very impressed with our students, the Sanger team, and how accomplished our alumni are. John wrote a nice piece on it in P&Q. Also, Andrew wrote a piece about our program that appeared in a Financial Times newsletter.   

While John Byrne was here, we showed off our Convatec Digital Learning Studio to him. We created a webcast interview in the studio on sustainability with myself, John, and Charlene Zietsma (our new Erb Institute faculty director) that was posted to the Poets and Quants website. While we are on the subject of sustainability, Michigan Ross hosted the ClimateCAP MBA Summit on Feb. 9-10. Our MBA students organized the summit with the theme of Sustainability in Motion. Many excellent speakers, panelists, and alumni were there, including Jeff Blau, BBA ’90, CEO of Related Companies, and Garlin Gilchrist II, State of Michigan Lieutenant Governor. The event drew more than 400 MBA students from 39 different universities across the country. 

I’m also pleased to share information on a new Michigan Ross podcast called Down to Business, in which I have the honor of interviewing our alums in C-Suite roles to talk about their careers and, of course, how their experience at Michigan Ross set them on their path to success. The first episode was released on Jan. 31 and featured Robert Isom, MBA ’91, CEO of American Airlines. If you have the time, check it out. The next episode will feature Jennifer Barker, CEO of BNY Mellon Treasury Services.  

Looking forward to March, we have an All Staff Meeting on Wednesday, March 6, in Robertson Auditorium. I look forward to seeing many of you there. In addition, the Mitchell Lecture will be held on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. Our guest speaker, Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, will be discussing the ethics of artificial intelligence and how it impacts innovation. All faculty, staff, and students are invited to register to attend.  

As usual, I would also like to remind everyone of my office hours. In March, the in-person office hours for faculty and staff will be held in the Davidson Winter Garden on the following dates and times:

Tuesday, March 5, 4:15-5 p.m.
Thursday, March 21, 3:45-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26, 4:15-5 p.m.

The monthly virtual office hours will be held on Friday, March 1, from 3-3:45 p.m. If you would like to attend the virtual office hours, please contact Heather Cooper (hmcooper@umich.edu) for an invite with the link to join.

To close, I am happy to share two additional pieces of news. On Feb. 12, Michigan Ross welcomed Kelly Higgins to the staff as the first-ever wellness director. Kelly will be working to develop and implement a student wellness strategy for our undergraduate and graduate programs. More information on her appointment and role is available on our Mission in Action page. Finally, in honor of our Michigan Ross centennial year, President Ono created a video commemorating our 100th anniversary as a school.  It does a nice job highlighting some of the key accomplishments in our history.  

I hope you all are able to enjoy a little downtime while the students are on break, and, as always, Go Blue!

Kind regards,

Sharon

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