Dominican invited to Aspen Institute's national consortium

Dominican University of California is among a select group of universities invited by the Aspen Institute to be a part of a national dialogue in March in Washington, D.C. on rethinking undergraduate business education.

Dominican's School of Business and Leadership is one of 30 U.S. business schools invited to participate in the Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium, a new consortium being launched by the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program. Dr. Dan Moshavi, Dean of Dominican's School of Business and Leadership, is leading a Dominican team to attend the inaugural meeting in the nation's capital.

Other participating institutions include: Georgetown University, New York University, Northwestern University, Santa Clara University, Copenhagen Business School, ESADE Business School, The College of William & Mary, The George Washington University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Denver, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, and Wake Forest University.

The impetus for the Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium is multi-faceted. With the recent critiques of the undergraduate business major confronting business schools and the pressures of vocational training and the popularity of the business major facing liberal arts colleges, the time is ripe for a closer examination of how institutions can effectively draw on the best from both disciplines to improve undergraduate education.

 “As our global economy struggles to regain its financial footing and create jobs, the roles of management educators and their students are particularly salient,” Moshavi said. “A strong liberal arts foundation provides an education that will enable our graduates to demonstrate responsible, competent, and ethical leadership in their professions and communities throughout the world.”

Dominican was invited to join the consortium based on the University’s leadership in promoting the liberal arts as essential learning for business undergraduates. The school’s undergraduate curriculum is grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation. Key components of the curriculum include coursework in the biological and physical sciences, creative arts, ethics, moral philosophy, and the humanities, including a first year experience in “Big History.”

In recent years, Dominican's School of Business and Leadership has led the way in the development of the MBA in Sustainable Enterprise. Dominican’s trademarked Green MBA® Program, created in 1999, was the first graduate program in sustainable enterprise in the United States.

Objectives of the Aspen Undergraduate Business Consortium are to create a forum for peer learning among a set of diverse institutions, allowing exemplary schools to further their own campus-based initiatives; to share stories of successful institutional change efforts; to raise the visibility of innovative pedagogies, curricular designs, and campus cultures that promote liberal learning; and to explore ways to “raise the bar” in the collective space of undergraduate business education and to strengthen demand among students, educators and recruiters for the infusion of liberal learning in undergraduate business education. Funding for the consortium is provided by the Teagle Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The consortium will use the BELL (Business, Entrepreneurship, and Liberal Learning ) study (conducted at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) and resulting book, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011) to initiate dialogue. The book makes a series of five recommendations for action which highlight the importance of bringing the perspectives of the liberal arts into business education. The three primary authors of the book – Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, and William M. Sullivan – are co-designers of the consortium with the Business and Society Program and will co-facilitate the program.

The consortium will convene twice over 18 months (March 19-20, 2012, and Spring 2013) to share specific institutional reform efforts and curriculum designs that have been effective in infusing business education with liberal learning. The consortium will have an action-learning component and the Aspen Institute—at convenings and in between—will encourage learning across institutions. Lessons learned from the consortium also be disseminated beyond participating schools.

Dominican’s business programs include the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (with concentrations in accounting, finance, international business, management, and marketing) and the Master of Business Administration (with majors in global management, strategic leadership, and sustainable enterprise). The School also offers the Bachelor of Arts in Management for adult, reentry students. In 2011, Moshavi was named Dean of the School of Business and Leadership at the University. He previously served as Dean of the College of Business at Montana State University. The School of Business and Leadership enrolls about 400 undergraduate and graduate students. Total undergraduate and graduate enrollment at Dominican is 2,278.


Contact: Sarah Gardner, Dominican University of California, 415-485-3239, [email protected].