The new Goizueta Business School Dean Erika H. James addressed Bowden Auditorium in a town hall format Tuesday night to speak and field questions about the current state and future goals of the school.
Among the 200 students, professors, alumni and guests at the event was Roberto S. Goizueta, the son of namesake of the business school Roberto C. Goizueta. After introducing James, Goizueta spoke about how he relates to his father’s vision for the B-School, referring to James as a woman who embodies precisely such an understanding of business and education.
James’ speech lasted half an hour and explored topics such as the B-School’s esteemed faculty and the structure of its programs.
“Every organization is perfectly designed to achieve the results it is getting,” James said. She explained that although she is proud of the B-School’s reputation and quality of education, there is always room for improvement.
James highlighted the three categories in which she feels the school already exceeds. First, she praised the Goizueta staff for their ability to create and disseminate knowledge for their students, calling the faculty “the lifeblood of this organization.”
James also acknowledged some of Goizueta’s great out-of-classroom transformative experiences as important resources for the students, referencing experiences such as going to Fort Benning and undergoing the same leadership training as military officers.
Finally, James spoke about how some of the Business School’s success can be attributed to the global impact of its alumni. She noted that Goizueta alumni are currently working in over 90 nations around the world.
James spent much of the evening describing her vision for the future of Goizueta and how she believes the future of the school will be based on its ability to be collaborative, influential and resourced.
James emphasized her belief that health care will be the greatest problem of this generation.
James said she “would love to see our school be the nexus that brings together” the business, medical and law programs at the University to help solve the growing health care problem.
The new Dean emphasized her belief in the importance of Goizueta getting involved with Atlanta’s corporate sector.
“The deeper we are able to connect to the corporate community, the more we will firmly entrench ourselves and become recognized as the go-to source for talent,” she said.
After the speech, James took a few questions from the audience, and one member asked what steps the B-School should take to improve its rankings.
She explained that, because of the way the rankings are set up, there is no specific course of action that the school can take to try to move up in the rankings.
However, James expressed that her goal is to consistently have the school ranked in the 10 to 15 range and move comfortably away from 20.
The entire session is available to view online at http://bit.ly/GBSvideo.
– By Jordan Rubin, Contributing Writer