May 21, 2003
Dean Addresses May Roundtable Attendees
Dean Avijit Ghosh spoke to alumni and friends of the College of Business at the Roundtable luncheon on May 20, 2003, at the Illini Center in Chicago. Ghosh addressed the state of the College, its achievements during the past year, and -- most importantly -- its agenda for the future.
"Our vision is really very simple: an engagement with excellence in its various forms - to rethink and recreate a very distinctive business program and then deliver that with distinction," stated Ghosh, who elaborated on the challenges for higher education in the years to come.
"I predict that the next 10-15 years are going to be some of the most challenging and some of the most interesting times for higher education. It's going to be challenging in terms of thinking through the business model for higher education - the financial models under which it has been based for the past 100 years are changing, and we need to confront that. But what is also changing is how we think about education, in terms of what we teach and how we teach. Business education, especially, has to be at the forefront of that change because business education is different from the others. So much of education today is based on students learning from each other - that's why we bring in such bright students. We also have to make sure that our students are learning from practice. Our goal is to integrate these aspects of learning into a holistic model that runs across our curriculum - one that impacts every student."
Ghosh also remarked on the College's progress in engaging the business community in Chicago and lauded the Executive MBA launch in downtown Chicago as being "important in the long run for the vitality of our institution in terms of flying our flag in Chicago."
Alumni in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions of the dean, several of which focused on the impact of the state's budget crisis. The dean offered his perspective on the tenuous position for the University of Illinois and the College of Business: "We cannot allow the quality of our program to degrade. The cost of trying to bring it back is just too much - the risk is just too high. We are moving ahead, yet we're at a critical juncture. I am confident that with help of all our alums and all our friends, we will meet our goals. Frankly, this is the time for angels. This is the time for heroes."
Roundtables, sponsored by the College Office for Development and Alumni Affairs, are quarterly events that generally feature speakers from the College of Business.
College of Business
470C Wohlers Hall
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820