partnerships drive academic innovation at Kellogg, creating
a rich environment where leadership takes root
Kellogg students wanted an in-depth class on valuation, they
made it happen.
they wanted a course on business topics in developing nations,
they made it happen.
when they wanted more emphasis on leadership, once again,
they made it happen.
business schools — indeed, few educational institutions
at all — are as open to student input as the Kellogg
students elsewhere are sometimes free to launch extracurricular
clubs, invite speakers to campus and suggest new courses.
But most schools draw the line firmly at the classroom door.
The message from the faculty and administration is clear:
We teach, and you learn.
at Kellogg, where students are viewed as co-creators of their
education. The result is an unusual synergy between students
and educators and a curriculum on the cutting edge.
students aren't 22 years old," observes Dean Emeritus
Donald P. Jacobs, whose ideas about teamwork helped shape
the unusually collaborative atmosphere at Kellogg, starting
in the 1970s.
older, and they all come here with experience in the world
and at work. They have a lot to bring to the culture. They
want a great educational experience, and they have some very
good ideas for how the school can provide that. Our faculty
and administration are more than willing to listen."
have had a pervasive impact on the academic atmosphere at
Kellogg. They have helped to launch new classes, developed
course content and created programs that are now vital to
the school's curriculum. Students also review admission applications,
write cases and evaluate professors. They protect the integrity
of the learning process by serving on the Honor Committee
and enforcing its code of conduct, the origins of which were
entirely student-driven, says Jacobs.
Associate Dean Robert
Korajczyk believes Kellogg is unique in giving students
such a voice in the school's academic life.
our peer institutions, I don't see students getting involved
to this degree," he says. "It's really part of the
Kellogg culture. Our students know that the administration
and faculty will take them seriously. Listening to them isn't
just a PR move on our part. We really do view them as equity
holders with a significant stake in the future of the school.
a result, they are willing to roll up their sleeves and get
involved in areas where students don't usually have significant
influence is felt from the earliest moments of a student's
Kellogg experience, during the admissions process. In addition
to being reviewed by a professional admissions staff member,
each applicant's file is evaluated by a current Kellogg student
whose opinion is given equal weight.
reviewers are trained and sworn to confidentiality and must
apply the same standards as those of the school's admissions
1994 "During my tenure, we had one
of the strongest, most diverse communities at Kellogg.
The Black Management Association was one of the
largest and became a strong influence on the education
and growth of Kellogg.... Leadership opportunities
at Kellogg helped me sharpen key skills to be successful
as a businessman, husband and father ... and they
helped me in my career to be prepared for the unexpected
and build a team of leaders."
Spurgeon Robinson '94, Graduate Management
have a unique perspective on the admissions process,"
says Beth Flye, assistant dean and director of admissions
and financial aid. "As they look at each file, they can
ask themselves: Is this someone I'll find engaging in class,
someone who will raise the discussion level? This is a way
for them to help ensure that the quality of those joining
Kellogg remains extremely high."
students arrive at Kellogg, they find a culture that has been
shaped by generations of student input. Their first experience
at Kellogg is usually Pre-Term, a 15-day orientation planned
and delivered by students and faculty. Professors handle the
academic component of the orientation, an intensive core course
on Management and Organizations. But virtually every other
aspect of this introduction to Kellogg life is managed by
a welcoming and energetic group of second-year students.
Pre-Term and beyond, professors and senior administrators
meet informally with students to establish an environment
of trust and mutual interest. Each section selects a student
representative to serve as a liaison between students and
faculty. Dean Dipak
C. Jain and Senior Associate Deans Kathleen
Hagerty and Korajczyk host a quarterly forum with the
student body to solicit input on academic and other matters.
is the expectation that students will form a team with faculty
and administration to create a stimulating academic environment.
students have risen to the occasion. Earlier this year, for
example, Class of 2006 members Nathan
Lucht, Ben Olds, Renee Martin and Rick
FlorJancic delivered a presentation at the winter faculty
meeting. Their goal: to build more leadership opportunities
into the classroom experience.
been getting a lot of feedback from students that they wanted
more leadership experience at Kellogg," says Lucht, president
of the Kellogg Student Association (KSA). "We wanted
to give the faculty some ideas on how they could do that in
and Olds, KSA vice president for academics, urged the faculty
to engage in more cold-calling in class, to require more student
presentations and to encourage more classroom debate. "The
response was great," Lucht says. "They gave us a
lot of feedback and asked us a lot of questions. They were
very receptive to our ideas."
wasn't just lip service. Korajczyk notes that the school includes
students on its curriculum committee and leadership task force,
both "significant committees that help shape the direction
of the school."
curriculum committee, in particular, gives students an unusual
degree of influence over the school's academic offerings.
The panel, which decides which experimental courses are added
to the permanent curriculum, includes three student representatives.
One is a first-year student, the second is the KSA vice president
for academics and the third represents the Evening Management
Association, the student organization for the part-time Managers'
Program. Their votes are equal in weight to those of the other
participation is also integral to the leadership task force,
which the dean's office created in 2005 to leverage the Kellogg
School's strengths as a proving ground for future business
believe in leadership in action," Korajczyk says. "Our
view is that you can learn a decent amount about leadership
in the classroom, but when push comes to shove, leadership
is best learned by doing."
Kellogg students are comfortable with that leadership role,
proposing and planning a number of popular classes. Courses
that grew out of their initiative include:
Options. When a group of advanced finance students wanted
to learn more about valuation in the fall of 1999, they negotiated
a partnership with Mitchell
Petersen, the Glen Vasel Professor of Finance. Petersen
told them that if they were willing to do an independent study
with him during the winter quarter and help him develop the
material, he would teach the course in the spring. Within
months, Real Options was ready to join the Kellogg
through Experience and Action Program. LEAP was the brainchild
of a student who desired more hands-on experience in addressing
business issues. The popular course has allowed scores of
students to solve real-world management problems at client
companies eager to tap their insights and enthusiasm.
a class focusing on current issues in technology.
Much like the Global
Initiatives in Management course, TechVenture features
10 weeks of on-campus lectures followed by an intensive academic
trip to Silicon Valley.
the classroom, Kellogg students continue to work with faculty
to develop programs to complement their academic experience.
Recent innovations include TeamNet, a Web-based system created
by Professor Brian
Uzzi that enables students to give and receive feedback
on their team skills, and a 360-degree assessment of students'
programs aren't part of the formal curriculum, but they dovetail
nicely with what is going on in the curriculum," Korajczyk
contributions wouldn't come about if the administration did
not take students' contributions seriously, Lucht notes.
given us an opportunity to make a difference at the school,"
Lucht says. "We have an impact on the ways Kellogg is
being shaped, not just while we are here, but in ways that
will last after we are gone."