Whitman Dean Melvin T. Stith envisions school as transformative and thriving
Whitman Dean Melvin T. Stith envisions school as transformative and thrivingJanuary 20, 2006Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
On Jan. 20, Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, presented his vision for the future of the Whitman School to an audience of more than 100 faculty, staff, students and alumni. The speech coincided with the one-year anniversary of Stith’s deanship.
Stith began his speech by remarking on how far the Whitman School has come since it was founded in 1919. That first year, the school had 350 students enrolled and classes were held in the Registrar’s Office. Later, the school moved to the basement of Slocum Hall. Over the years, the school has grown to include more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and has a brand new, state-of-the-art, 160,000-square-foot building located on University Avenue.
“Our programming matches the prestige of the new building,” Stith says. “We are ranked in the top 10 nationwide for our entrepreneurship and supply chain management programs. Our goal is to have all Whitman departments ranked nationally among their peers.”
Other goals for the Whitman School include a top-50 ranking for the MBA program; a top-30 ranking for the undergraduate program; a dominant global reputation; an increased number of endowed faculty chairs and professorships; and increased emphasis on professional programs like executive education and the nationally recognized iMBA. Stith anticipates reaching these goals in the next five years.
“This is a lot to undertake,” says Stith. “How are we going to do it? We have already started. This year, we undertook a major reorganization, going from seven departments to five in order to more efficiently leverage resources and adapt to corporate needs. We also recently secured funding for a supplemental chair in real estate, toward our goal of creating a real estate center.”
Stith also detailed the following specific accomplishments:
- the hiring of a communications manager to create and implement a branding strategy that will enhance the Whitman image and build stronger relationships through communications with external audiences;
- the creation of a branding advisory committee;
- development of a funding plan for a corporate diversity center and a professional skills development center; and
- prioritizing technology in the classroom and in student projects.
“Technological developments have yielded new rules of engagement for the business world and for business schools,” says Stith. “To remain competitive, business schools must likewise transform themselves. Those that do so successfully will be the new leaders in 21st century business.”
Stith encourages Whitman faculty, staff, students, and alumni to engage themselves in the mutual prosperity of the school.
“Ask yourselves: How can you help position Whitman for the future?” says Stith. “No idea is off the table. Be innovative in your thinking. Our school is thriving, and as a team, we are unstoppable in realizing Whitman’s potential.”