Embarking on a Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

November 25, 2014


Twenty years ago Daniels reinvented the MBA, infusing the curriculum with lessons in ethical decision making and values-based leadership—a radical idea at the time. Today, the great majority of business schools are also positioning programs in this space. This value proposition, while still critical to Daniels, is no longer a sufficient condition by which to define our identity.

The current management education marketplace is increasingly competitive. Demographic shifts, the expansion of technology, and rising expectations for performance and value, as well as the proliferation of MBA programs around the world, require all schools and colleges of business to critically assess their long-term positioning strategies.

We recently conducted a market assessment of Daniels’ graduate offerings portfolio. After reflecting on the data—as well as soliciting feedback from many of our most important stakeholders, including recruiting and corporate partners, alumni, faculty and students—Daniels leadership concluded that five distinct MBA programs are not sustainable in today’s competitive environment.

“What we found is that Daniels is good at some things and excellent at others,” says Dean Brent Chrite, PhD “In today’s highly competitive management education market, being good is not enough. We must develop a consistent level of excellence across everything we do.”

This month, Daniels faculty voted to consolidate our current portfolio of five MBA programs into three, resulting in the sun-setting of our International MBA and our One-year MBA programs. The Full-time MBA program is also undergoing a full and comprehensive redevelopment that will result in a differentiated, innovative, experiential and globalized education for our MBA students.

“We believe this action is necessary to ensure the College’s long-term competitiveness and viability,” says Dr. Chrite. “It is part of our long-term strategy to competitively position the College for success in the 21st century marketplace.”

We envision no less than a radical transformation of the MBA. The redesigned MBA will elevate the reputation of all Daniels degrees, enabling our students to solve some of the world’s most critical challenges with innovative business solutions. A committee of 16 faculty, alumni and board members are currently designing the new MBA program.  

“We are relentlessly focused on creating a rigorous and immersive student experience,” says Dr. Chrite. “Our recent placement as No. 85 out of 85 in the most recent Bloomberg Businessweek Full-time MBA ranking is a clear indication that we have no choice but to do the hard work ahead of us. We must harness the deep reservoir of talent and creativity at the College in order to develop and implement an MBA experience unparalleled in the market. Our aspirations are nothing short of this.”  

During this transition, the International MBA and One-year MBA will continue to function as fully supported Daniels programs, allowing current students to complete their required courses and experiential learning activities as promised. Career support will continue to be available to students and alumni from all of our graduate programs.

Twenty years ago our MBA made headlines. Through this process, Daniels is on track to do so again. We invite the entire Daniels community to partner with us in supporting this innovative milestone—one that we believe will have a positive impact on future generations of students. Contact us at danielsdean@du.edu.