the best gets better
School fine-tunes its curriculum
satisfaction and perennial top rankings in business school
surveys count for anything, there’s little in the Kellogg
School curriculum that needs changing.
Even so, when the
Kellogg Curriculum Assessment Task Force reported details
of its nine-month study, the committee’s 11 members
recommended a few key adjustments. The changes include shifting
the sequence of the full-time Kellogg curriculum by moving
the Management and Organizations (MORS) core class into a
10-day pre-term format that occurs immediately after the school’s
CIM Week. The CIM Week orientation introduces new students
to Kellogg and its culture. This move will permit students
to take either the core finance or marketing course earlier
in their MBA studies, strengthening their academic portfolio
and their performance in summer internships. Kellogg believes
the internship is increasingly becoming a key recruiting vehicle.
Nothing in the
existing core presented serious concerns or demanded radical
changes, said David Besanko, associate dean of academic affairs
(curriculum and technology), who chaired the task force.
very important that we not mess up a core structure that has
worked well for us for a long time,” stated Besanko.
“That said, we had to walk a fine balance between doing
no more than was necessary, but also understanding that this
review provided a unique opportunity to engage the core curriculum
and think about ways we could improve it.”
force consisted of Dean
Besanko; Management and Strategy Professor Scott Schaefer;
Accounting Professor Ronald
Dye; Marketing Professor Alice
Tybout; Edmund Wilson, former associate dean for student
affairs and current ambassador-at-large for Kellogg; Assistant
Dean and Director of Student Academic Affairs Michele Rogers;
Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Professor Peter
Klibanoff; Director of The Managers’ Program Vennie
Lyons ’72; Finance Professor Robert
Korajczyk; and Management and Organizations Professor
Victoria Medvec. Not pictured is student representative
James Lutz ’02.
To arrive at its
conclusions, this team solicited input from many sources,
including a study benchmarking core curricula at peer business
schools, a survey of 2002 Kellogg MBA students from both the
full-time and part-time programs, and detailed interviews
with 15 members of the full-time program’s graduating
In addition, the
team integrated insights from Kellogg School Dean Dipak C.
Jain’s meetings with more than 125 corporate recruiters
during the past year.
The findings of
the task force indicate that the Kellogg core is both rigorous
and relevant, matching up well against peers and offering
ample opportunities for students to master such skills as
teamwork within the unique Kellogg environment.
In fact, Kellogg
has been so influential in this area that most other schools
have since adopted the innovation. Today, Kellogg once again
differentiates itself by leading the way, building upon its
existing strengths and culture.
have created the concept of ‘team leadership’
because we believe our students will best excel if they can
work well together in teams,” said Dean Jain. “But
we are also insisting that students develop outstanding leadership
skills while working in these groups. In this way, they develop
the necessary portfolio of abilities to enable them to reach
the most senior leadership ranks.”
The last time
Kellogg initiated a major curriculum review was in the early
1970s, said Besanko, although he noted that Kellogg has embraced
a strategy of continuous innovation with regard to individual
courses and their content, updating classes to meet student
and market demands.
and delivery of the core curriculum changed a lot over time.
What has not changed, until now, is the structure of it —
which courses go before which other courses,” Besanko
that Kellogg is making include redesigning the school’s
pass/no pass option and making it available to both full-
and part-time students; and changing the full-time class schedule
from 100 minutes to 90 minutes to allow students more time
to schedule such things as lunch meetings with recruiters
or study group meetings with their peers.
Kellogg is also
studying how to create an experience for second-year students
that parallels CIM Week enjoyed by first-year students.
force is still in business and has now turned its attention
to the second year of the curriculum,” said Besanko.
“We are considering the possibility of a course or experience
that would bring all the class sections back together in the
to the changes has been “very favorable,” said
Mark Moore ’03, vice president of the Kellogg Graduate
Management Association. Moore noted that the new curriculum
will roll out later this year when the fall quarter begins.
He is especially pleased with how the changes affect CIM Week
and believes that moving the MORS course, “Leadership
in Organizations,” into CIM makes excellent sense.
is one of our greatest traditions,” said Moore. “With
the addition of the MORS course, Kellogg is really jump starting
the school year with an emphasis on academics, while maintaining
all the CIM traditions that people have come to expect and
Moore also noted
that the MORS material involves leadership and working together
— “both of which are perfect for the CIM dynamic.”