Similar to all institutions of higher learning, Wharton thrives on its intellectual capital—faculty, students, staff and alumni. At this time of year, our faculty-student engagement is back at full speed.
Our inspired faculty are excited to engage students in the learning process. Our talented, engaged students, in turn, motivate our faculty to strive for even higher levels of teaching excellence. It is a cycle that maximizes teaching and learning quality—but it also requires institutional support. We monitor our programs and offerings to ensure that we are able to anticipate the needs of our students and to prepare them for a myriad of opportunities. Faculty-student engagement is absolutely central to our core values.
In conjunction with the launch of our new MBA curriculum, the undergraduate capstone simulation course and our Knowledge for Action brand campaign, we are introducing a wide-ranging portfolio of engagement initiatives that enrich all aspects of the Wharton experience—for everyone.
Included in this effort are programs such as Iron Prof and BizTalks. Both are events hosted by our students with participation from faculty, who present slices of their latest research before an auditorium filled to capacity with students. We are now offering an Executive Coaching Program—a one-on-one experience for our students, who receive valuable feedback regarding strengths and weaknesses. Another new program is our Alumni Power Dinners, where we bring together groups of up to 30 students with influential alumni for a dinner event. We have many more engagement initiatives—up to 18, far too many to mention in this short letter!
In education, particularly in business education, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. The new MBA curriculum is infinitely customizable, allowing students to choose the right combination of core and elective courses to suit their individual backgrounds, interests and goals. It is our hope that these new engagement initiatives will have the same effect, fostering a diverse and dynamic learning environment and helping all of our students to develop the knowledge and skills that they will need throughout their lives.
I hope that you and yours are off to a great start this fall season.
Thomas S. Robertson
Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise