Number one undergraduate international business degree. Number one public university business school, and number two overall for graduate international business (U.S. News and World Report). Number one for research productivity among international business faculty (Journal of International Business Studies), and among the top 20 percent of business schools worldwide for integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its M.B.A. program (Aspen Institute) – and that’s just for 2011.
When it comes to top-tier rankings and accolades from some of the world’s most prestigious academic and news organizations, the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina consistently stands head and shoulders above the rest. With more than 4,000 undergraduate and almost 1,000 master and doctoral students, it’s the second largest division of the University’s more than 29,000 Columbia campus students. For students, graduates, faculty members and the business and industry partners they serve, the future looks brighter than ever.
Dean Hildy Teegen: A Study in Leadership
Dr. Hildy Teegen is entering her fifth year as Dean, with an impressive list of accomplishments to her credit. These include identifying the school’s strengths and collaboration opportunities (international business; sustainable enterprise and development; risk and uncertainty management; leveraging talent; innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and global supply chain management); reorganizing and creating financial planning models to address critical budget impacts; enhanced engagement with the school’s Business Partnership Foundation board and alumni to meet the $45 million Darla Moore fundraising challenge; and launching several new academic programs and technologies to broaden opportunities for students and faculty, as well as external client organizations. A vibrant, forward-thinking leader, Teegen prefers to view challenges as opportunities for innovation.
“In the last couple of years, our business model has changed significantly. The downturn in the economy has created tremendous challenges for us, as it has for everyone,” says Teegen. “These challenges have encouraged us to focus on our mission, innovate, and target our efforts. Our educational programs are more targeted to the expectations of our students. Graduate and executive educational programs are better designed to meet the needs of our constituents in the business community. And we’ve become even better stewards of the financial support received from tuition, donors, corporate partners and taxpayers in terms of state support. Continued downward pressure on the economy requires us to be determined in our operational resourcefulness.”
“Business schools must find and maximize more diverse funding sources, including philanthropy and external client revenue such as sponsored research and executive education. We must also better demonstrate our value proposition to existing and new external clients,” says Teegen. To that end, the school has recently launched a statewide immersive telepresence network in collaboration with Polycom, Cisco and AT&T. This network, which includes six strategic sites in South Carolina and one in Charlotte, is the first of its kind in an educational setting.
“Traditional education is focused on bringing the world into the classroom,” says Teegen. “Telepresence and other multimodal learning platforms also allow us to take the Moore School to the world. This technology helps us engage students, corporate clients and other researchers in new and more effective ways.”
Teegen says satellite facilities in Charleston and Greenville have also been upgraded for academic offerings, executive programming, policy dialogues, business outreach and alumni service. The school has broadened its scope for the Office of Career Management to serve students with formal career preparation and job search support, and has launched several new academic programs gaining national attention – including a successful undergraduate cross-cultural cohort program with the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In prioritizing for 2012 and beyond, Teegen says she hopes to expand programming and reputation in business research, education and outreach; expand the successful China cohort program to other countries; and continue to build partnerships with the business community in South Carolina and around the world.
External Client Solutions: A Win-Win Situation
For some time now, Columbia’s business, industry and economic development leaders have worked diligently to build a strong knowledge-based economy, culminating in USC’s Innovista district – home of the business school’s new building (more to come on that). Despite the success of various start-up incubator and funding initiatives, members of the local and regional business community may be surprised to learn about the host of value-added resources available.
“A tremendous amount of our work is designed to directly support businesses,” says Teegen. “Our Division of Research in particular is an important resource for the State of South Carolina and its economic development efforts. The research division provides an important data gathering and analysis function, highlighted in our annual Economic Outlook Conference.”
Another valuable asset is the Corporate Solutions division under Executive Director Maragaret Dawson, offering comprehensive business solutions to state, national and international organizations. From open and customized executive education programs, to providing talented and skilled graduates, to customized university-based business and economic research, Corporate Solutions delivers the knowledge and expertise necessary to compete in challenging local and international environments.
“We’ve recently reorganized the school to be more responsive to student and external client needs,” says Teegen. “Part of the reorganization was to create the Corporate Solutions division, which combines student career services, alumni relations, sponsored research, and executive education. It eliminates traditional bureaucratic silos and more effectively engages corporate clients with our students and research.
“One of the things we’re grateful for is a real sense of ownership, especially from the local business community. Guest speakers, corporate solutions partners, philanthropy, case studies – all of these help demonstrate the great success stories that are happening every day.”
In addition, graduate degree programs such as the Professional Masters of Business Administration (P.M.B.A.) offer working professionals the opportunity to gain a competitive edge without interrupting their careers. Focus areas include marketing, management, global supply chain, finance, banking and international business. Other programs include an I.M.B.A. (International), Masters programs in Human Resources (M.H.R.), Accounting (M.A.C.C.), and other concentrations, and doctorates in Business Administration and Economics.
Under Construction: The New School of Business
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to design a world-class, state-of-the-art, net-zero facility (which means it will produce more energy than it consumes), the school broke ground on a $106 million building this past December, with completion expected by the end of 2013. Teegan says the project is an outward sign that the school is committed to recruiting the world’s best students, teachers and researchers. Located at Assembly and Greene Streets next to the Carolina Coliseum, the Moore School’s new home has been dubbed “the gateway to Innovista” because of the role it will play in commercializing the technology and research created there.
“The new building will be a major asset, not only to the Moore School and the university, but also to the city of Columbia,” says Teegen. “As the gateway to the Innovista district, it will serve as a meeting place and a center for entrepreneurship, economic development, innovation, business research and knowledge.” Through a partnership with USC’s School of Music, it will also offer a wonderful new venue for the arts, with two large spaces that can be converted from lecture halls to concert halls. The old building will be renovated and used by the U.S. Justice Department.
“The business of business education is very competitive,” says Teegen. “That’s true whether you’re talking about attracting the best and brightest students, or forging partnerships with individuals, corporations and organizations. Business demands innovation. It demands the latest technology, and the sort of image and branding that reflect expertise and quality. That image has to be reflected in your curriculum and faculty, and evident in your research and in the specialized knowledge you bring to the global business community. And it has to be reflected in the facilities you use to deliver that knowledge.” Fortunately for today’s business leaders and the bright, young minds that will lead us into the future, the Moore School of Business has it all.
GSCOM: Improving Your Bottom Line
Among many innovative majors, the Moore School offers a major in Management Science with a specialty in Global Supply Chain and Operations Management. Under the direction of the Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management (GSCPM), students are given the opportunity to work with companies on specialized consulting projects.
The GSCOM track cites two core competencies: operations and business process improvement and global supply chain design, analysis and improvement. It prepares students for corporate jobs in production, purchasing, quality control, distribution and supply chain management; in service firms for general operations management and logistics/supply chain management; and in consulting firms as business process and quality improvement consultants. Dr. Sanjay Ahire is a professor in the management science department specializing in global supply chain and operations management, and associate director of the GSCPM Center.
“Our programs have been launched in their current structure only since 2008,” says Ahire. “In just four academic cycles, we have grown enrollments in the undergraduate program to a high-caliber cohort of 100 graduates per year. We’ve been recognized as one of the most practical programs in the country (the undergraduate program is ranked in top 20 by the Gartner Consulting Group, and the IMBA-GSCOM program ranked in top 15 by the Princeton Review). Several Fortune 500 firms have named ours among their select target programs for recruiting top managerial talent. Most importantly, our students are acquiring career opportunities at premium compensations – quite often above 60k for undergraduates and above 100k for IMBAs.”
“Over the past five years, our students have executed more than 75 front-burner consulting projects in internal operations and business process improvements, as well inter-organizational processes for our GSCPM members,” says Ahire. “We’ve collaborated with organizations such as Coca-Cola Bottling, Colonial Life, Johnson & Johnson, Palmetto Health, Walmart, Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels and other high profile companies. Our projects have led to recommendations and implementations to help client firms improve their operations and supply chain performance in areas that include fixed and variable cost reductions, revenue/sales enhancements, customer satisfaction and experience improvement, competitive positioning improvement and more.”
In exchange for a $30,000 per year membership fee, GSCPM member firms receive faculty-guided solutions to at least one semester-long student team project per year. Additionally, client firms can tap into faculty resources with proven academic expertise and significant practical consulting experience for training/executive development, thought leadership and application research dissemination, and more intensive consulting engagements if needed.
“Our projects with partner firms have resulted in their savings of tens of millions of dollars in global supply chains and internal operations and processes,” says Ahire. “These quantifiable gains are accompanied by strategic mutual benefits and recruitment of some of the best graduates in supply chain and process excellence domain. Our goal is to have a Center consortium of 15 member firms from the manufacturing and service sectors.”
To learn how to become a member firm, contact Dr. Ahire at (803) 777-3482 or search for “GSCOM” at www.moore.sc.edu.