Posted by: Louis Lavelle on February 6, 2012
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management today will be announcing a new strategic plan for the highly ranked b-school that includes some of the most sweeping changes since the school was founded more than a century ago.
Many details are not yet available, but here’s what we know based on an interview with Kellogg Dean Sally Blount, who took the position in July 2010 and for nine months has been developing, in conjunction with faculty, a strategic plan designed to take the venerable institution into the 21st century. We’ll update this post with a link to the announcement as soon as one becomes available.
The changes Blount has in store for Kellogg are premised on her belief that the world has shifted in fundamental ways that make “business as usual” no longer tenable for b-schools. World events, including the global economic crisis and the Lehman Brothers collapse, have changed the market for the traditional MBA, and not for the better, she says.
“Demand for the two-year MBA is slowing. One-year and alternative masters degrees are a reality. And people in their 20s are going to live so much longer than their grandparents, yet they perceive they have so little time for education,” Blount said. “The world has changed and we’re never going back. Our goal is to truly internalize that.”
So what does Blount have in mind? Nothing less than a radical overhaul:
• The size of Kellogg's highly regarded two-year, full-time MBA program will shrink by as much as 25 percent over the next three to four years--from 1,115 students to about 850--and enrollment in the executive MBA program would also come down. At the same time, the size of the one-year MBA program will double or triple, from 80 students to as many as 240.
• New, one-year master's degrees will be added to the Kellogg portfolio. These would be alternatives to the MBA. One such degree that the b-school is considering is a fifth-year master of science degree for undergraduates.
• The entire Kellogg MBA curriculum and research program will come in for a major overhaul, its first since 2002-03 and its deepest in nearly 30 years. It will be structured around four areas: markets, customers, and growth; "architectures of collaboration," or managing relationships with suppliers and customers through the use of technology; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the role of public policy in private enterprise.
• New, short-term certification programs will be established in international locations, including Sao Paulo and Shanghai. The non-degree programs, which lack the academic heft of an actual degree, will allow students to earn a Kellogg certificate for taking a group of courses on a specific topic. Faculty will be reviewing this idea in coming months.
Blount sees the new Kellogg as better suited to what she calls the "collaboration economy," one where value is created through "immense, dense human connection" facilitated by technology. It's a bold move, but will it fly? Stay tuned.