At the Head of the Class

New vice deans state their plans for the new school year. 

Three new, or relatively new, vice deans are no strangers to campus. All were on the faculty before taking on the lead roles in the Undergraduate, Executive Education and MBA for Executives programs.

Peggy Bishop Lane Peggy Bishop Lane, the new vice dean of the Wharton MBA for Executives Program, has taught financial accounting as an adjunct professor for nearly 10 years on the Philadelphia campus and is teaching it at the San Francisco campus this year. The course is a core class for the MBA for Executives students.

“We really pride ourselves on delivering the same degree as the full-time MBA,” she says of the difference, or lack thereof, between executive and full-time MBA students. “I think when some people hear the word ‘executive,’ they think it’s something short of that.”

Prior to becoming vice dean, Lane was deputy vice dean for academic affairs in the full-time MBA program.

Two of her goals for MBA for Executives going forward are to enhance learning through technology and to better produce global leaders. The Wharton- Cisco Connected Classroom will play a role in integrating student experiences in Philadelphia and San Francisco. As for global learning and leadership, the program is rethinking its international trips.

“Just taking people around the world doesn’t necessarily make them globally savvy, but we see it as part of a bigger package,” Lane explains.

Lori RosenkopfAs vice dean of Wharton Undergraduate, Lori Rosenkopf plans to leverage her academic interest in social networks, which she has pursued as the Simon and Midge Palley Professor of Management.

“We are looking to collaborate with all sorts of entities within the School and outside of the University, including reaching out to alumni,” she says.

One strategy underlying that goal is the full implementation of the Wharton Sophomore Experience. A pilot program last year, the initiative is designed to help students overcome the “sophomore slump” by providing the ability to connect with and engage in a variety of opportunities. The program offers incentives and an online “Guide to Personal Success” to track academic and career activities, options and accomplishments.

Rosenkopf, who has taught Management 101 for the past 10 years, says she has been overwhelmed by the offers from staff, faculty and alumni to help her and the program succeed.

“It’s fantastic,” she says. “I am looking forward to a great term.”

As an adjunct faculty member, consultant in leadership development, executive coach and expert in adult learning, Monica McGrath has been part of the Wharton community for 15 years. Now as vice dean of Executive Education, she has an opportunity to advance the educational mission of Wharton to the more than 9,000 attendees of Wharton Executive Education courses. These executives are back in the classroom, often for the first time in many years, and they want to learn from the best.

“Business leaders today at every level of the organization are facing a complex set of challenges that often require new ways of thinking and behaving,” McGrath says. “The vision of Executive Education is to deliver transformative learning experiences through a well-designed course, taught by faculty thought leaders, and where the ideas come alive in classroom interaction with peers from around the globe.”

—By Anne Freedman

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