Business School

Transforming Undergraduate Business Education

September 19, 2014  • Claire Preisser

The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program recently published a series of blog posts on LinkedIn focused on the future of undergraduate business education.

At a time of some tumult in higher education, these pieces are penned by faculty and administrators with a strong commitment to improving the quality of undergraduate business education — and with specific ideas for doing so.

The authors of these posts, along with their Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium co-participants, aim to more tightly integrate the liberal arts with business education so that students gain a deep understanding of how business fits into the fabric of society.

Read below for the posts from the series.

Nicolaj Tofte Brenneche
Postdoctoral Scholar at University of St. Gallen – HSG
To Transform Business Education, We Need Strategies From Both Sides of the Pond

As a European participant in the Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium, I had a unique opportunity to get a first-hand look at how the relationship between business education and society is being discussed in the US, and how this differs from the European discourse. Distinguishing how American and the European educators think and talk about change in management education gives us the opportunity to build on the best of each approach. Read More

Joe Hoyle 
Associate Professor at University of Richmond
Wanted: Education Innovations Big and Small

It has long struck me that the basic problem with education (especially college education) is that we have long relied on a “content delivery” model – where a smart professor passed out information and knowledge to students. That’s a system that focuses on memorization. In a Google world, that no longer makes sense. But the problem is making a transition to something else. What really is the purpose of a college education? And, assuming we can identify that, how do we morph such a huge system into that new model – especially when so many of us have lived our lives delivering content? Read More

Michael Johnson-Cramer
Director, School of Management at Bucknell University
Bridging Business and the Liberal Arts

From my perspective, the Aspen Institute has facilitated a rich dialogue about the integration of business and liberal education and about the importance of that effort in helping our students develop. Faculty and administrators from near and far tell powerful stories about progress toward this vision. But, they also occasionally lament how tough it is for business schools and liberal arts colleges to work together. Read More

Jeff Nesteruk
Professor at Franklin & Marshall College
Is Business the Next “Area Studies?”

As business and liberal arts professors engage in exchanges and collaboration, prejudices tend to dissolve. These are two groups who should be spending more time with each other than they do – and not simply at conferences such as this one, but back on their own colleges and universities. Read More

The Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium is designed to strengthen undergraduate education in both the liberal arts and business by focusing on curricular and co-curricular approaches that integrate the two. The next Consortium meeting will take place June 7-9, 2015, at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.