The following is Dean Massey's welcome letter in the 2019-2020 Dean's Report. Click here to access the full report.
One year ago, I joined the Isenberg School of Management family as dean, and the last 12 months have confirmed to me that Isenberg is truly special. When I arrived, I knew the school boasted wonderful students, amazing faculty members, and engaged alumni and industry friends, all collaborating in ways that had led to our rise in numerous rankings. But what would it take for us to sustain and advance a reputation for excellence in all we do? I spent the fall meeting with various internal and external stakeholders to explore this question and discern how we could continue our positive trajectory.
In early 2020, following these efforts, the leadership team and I identified our top priorities. Investments in these priorities and the initiatives that underlie each of them are essential to further advancing Isenberg’s positioning among the top business schools. Collectively, our priorities would focus on creating opportunities for students and faculty, nurturing learning in innovative ways, and sharing knowledge and best practices.
Then, the Covid-19 pandemic happened.
We rushed to adapt and respond (in this report, you’ll read about how our community switched completely to remote instruction in a matter of weeks), but as we were doing so, we thought about our priorities and realized that instead of going on the backburner, they should take on heightened importance:
Attract Exceptional Students
Sustain Faculty Excellence
Enable Career Success
Create Global Citizens and Inclusive Leaders
Inspire Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Using all the expertise at our disposal to improve the experience our students have and supporting our faculty members’ efforts to pursue meaningful research make us effective regardless of whether we’re sitting in the beautiful Business Innovation Hub or working from a remote location. Having robust, flexible career services available is always important, but even more so when our students and alumni face turmoil in the job market. And ensuring that we’re instilling an inclusive mindset in tomorrow’s leaders means Isenberg alumni will continue to change the way businesses are run for generations—a necessity, as we can see from our painful reckoning with anti-Black racism these past several months.
So we’re doubling down on the commitments we had already decided to make, even as we are ramping up the speed at which we make them. Throughout this report you’ll see examples of how we’re supporting and developing initiatives that will get us where we want to be. A time of crisis is a time to push forward decisively. Isenberg is a great school now; we’re investing fully in the changes we need to become an even better one, so we can face the challenges of the short term and position ourselves as a leader in the long term.
I’m very pleased to be making this journey with you all!