Allston Ambitions

Harvard business school (HBS) dean Nitin Nohria’s annual letter to his faculty is especially interesting this year. The headline item—that HBS exceeded its $1-billion capital campaign goal in 2016, and formally raised it by $300 million—matters less than the intended aims: more associate professorships and practitioner-teachers; more fellowships; further flexible funding for innovation; and “realizing the vision of One Harvard by supporting work across the University and…in Allston.” The latter may point to deepening engagement with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (see “Academic Allston, At Last,” July-August 2016), and perhaps HBS support for the proposed Gateway research building and data sciences, of import to both faculties (see “Developing Data Science”).

Nohria also addressed the migration of the school’s experience-based FIELD curriculum into the fall and spring M.B.A. courses of study; rapid change in executive education; and a goal of making the online HBX operation “cash-flow positive by 2019.” (Given that HBX collects tuition for its courses—$1, 950 for the three-unit basic business-skills sequence—this hints at the costs of such offerings, and perhaps the continued reliance on philanthropy to support the University’s HarvardX online courses; see “Online Updates.”)

Nohria also observed that the academic gaps between men and women in the M.B.A. program, and their different levels of satisfaction, had been closed. He identified the need for additional support for students who receive financial aid, and highlighted a fiftieth-anniversary celebration of the African-American Student Union, in 2018.

Read more articles by: John S. Rosenberg

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