So I think the best advice student should have is pursue your goals, pursue something you are interested in, and if money is the only criteria and you will end up unhappy. And I will give you the example. I mean, I don't know how many students who come to the MBA program, I've taught in many different places, a lot of them come in after 5 or 6 years completely burnt out in the financial services industry. They've made money, they've been sitting in front of a terminal, either watching, you know, shares in the pharmaceutical sector or they've been watching exchange rates. How're they not getting bored out of their minds? I mean they're not using their mind. Yes they are in a very narrow way. But you know, for certain people, that's life and that's what they want to do. And if they got fire in their belly for doing it, I say Hallelujah. I mean for me, the thing I wanted most of all was a Welsh rugby cap, playing rugby for Wales. I couldn't get it. I was nowhere near good enough. I wouldn't even rated on a selector's radar, probably the radar dried up before they got my name. And so the nearest thing I got to a Welsh rugby cap was an honorary degree from Swansea University. And I've never had any association with Swansea University except I was born close to Swansea. My parents would've been delighted, unfortunately both of them had died by that time. But that would have been equivalent to a Welsh rugby cap for them and it was sort of for me. So I don't know. I think advice to students is, follow your dreams, and even if you get knocked down, get up again and do what you want to do because you'll regret it afterwards. And you know, people, you know the American film, Bucket list, people write up bucket lists. They should be doing the damn things when they're alive and still walking. Not, I want to go to Bhutan and trek through Bhutan. Well my god if you're in your 70s and trekking through Bhutan, what you need is a portable doctor because you will never make it. Or going to see the Amazon rainforest or whatever it is, or going to see the Aborigines or going to Darwin, do it while you can, don't grumble later on. I mean I think people whine and grumble too much. I've been influenced very heavily by Lynn who is a high positive. Her whole career has been advising others. And I think I've been lucky.
Well, you know, I'd been planning to go to Africa for a long time. I hadn't had a break from Deanship for 26 years, you know I've done 26 years on the trot until the end of December, beginning of January, whichever date you want to date it at. I planned Africa. I got money from the European Foundation for management development, and from GMAC. I persuaded them that was an area that needed to be looked at. My view is Africa is a completely forgotten continent in many ways and really people need educating about it. So I got a research grant. SMU didn't have to pay for my sabbatical, so I've been paying for my own sabbatical. And you know, I've got a book going to be coming out next June for the first part of the Africa Studies. The second one coming out after that and then the Latin American one coming out in-between. And I've got five books planned for the next two and a half years. It's really because traveling in Africa opens your eyes. And so people have got this perception of Africa as it's constantly have wars, constantly have strife. I mean it's not perfect, but a lot of that couldn't be farther from the truth. There's some tremendously entrepreneurial Africans, yearning for people to work with them. But they don't want a repeat of British, French, Belgian, Portuguese colonialism, or North American academic colonialism if you understand what I am saying. They want, and what I've learnt is I have to tell the story completely different from the one I thought I was going to tell, which is ok. I mean, I think people need to know more about Africa then I thought they needed to know. And there are some fascinating projects going on which I'm sure can keep me going for, that's a question about the function of your health and everything. I have got enough work for ten years if I wanted it. So I've been doing that. I am also teaching. I taught the executive MBA course again, I taught it every single year since it has been going. And I taught the PhD course in General Management, which I teach with the professor from NYU. And I also taught the Doctoral course in Strategy for the new DBA program. So I've been a busy boy. At the same time, I have also been teaching an MBA Consulting course, which is a project course with Johnson & Johnson, which is a company I've worked with for a long time. So the students are organized into five projects, which are projects of interest to Johnson and Johnson. And I am mentoring them and tutoring them to develop consulting projects for them. Well you know there are many consulting projects but nevertheless, I'm trying to teach some skills of consulting. That's the most difficult course to teach. Anybody who believes that projects and experiential learning is easy is an idiot. I mean the SMU-X initiative, they should be giving a faculty member double the teaching credit for doing that. The amount of time I spent anchoring between people in Johnson and Johnson, the students, mopping the students brows occasionally, is I mean I've done it twice last year, I did it with Phillips, even when I was Dean. And I found that fascinating too but its hard work and I am not sure I am going to do that again even though it goes down very well, it's hard work. So I've been teaching as well but I have been teaching over time since, throughout the time I have been as Dean so nothing has changed. But more graduate stuff now than it ever was.
One is the Asian identity. And so I just rattle on about the Asian identity but it's really saying that we need to be seen as a leader on the Asian continent. The second thing is to be seen as a school for management, not as a business school. In other words, we have to embrace much more our identity in term of solving problems, which are problems to do with not just business and industry, but government, civil society, the role of NGOs here in emerging industry environment. The interesting countries are not China, India, Korea or Japan, the interesting countries are the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bhutan, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Vietnam less so because it, I think in many ways it's a fairly brash American oriented place in many ways, even though it has a French heritage. But you know, we need to be helping the development of management education in institutions there, schools for management there to the degree I can help while I am here. And I also think the issue that front and center are in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, which we are starting a new entrepreneurship elective in the undergraduate program in the business school which is long overdue. And the grant I've gotten in Social and Financial Entrepreneurship will enable me to embed those kinds of ideas in the business school before I leave.
I think the one thing you've touched on, perhaps I'd like to say one or two words about is the question about the future of management education. And I think that's a very important topic. I really do. Some of what I say would not necessarily be not everybody would agree with what I am about to say. But I think management education is, let me use the word I use before, it's about schools for management, we have to get closer to those other entities whether it's in Singapore or whether it's in Mozambique or wherever it is I would be working. So I think there is understanding the broader role of what management is about is tremendously important. And therefore to lose the liberal concept of management education would be a huge mistake. I see too many people going back to what I call a wasteland of vocationism, making the courses, you know, well they fit the job, therefore they must be right. I think the way we tried to redesign the MBA program was right. We were talking about mindsets that people need to use in managing. I think the VUCA courses are right because we were trying to talk about mindset in managing. So I think the future in management education is such that, I would predict the demise of the MBA program, except in the very elite schools. I think the MBA program is passed its sell by date. It was novel. When I had gotten an MBA in the University of Chicago, there was hardly anybody. I mean I got more job offers than I had hot dinners and I dined on their hot dinners. I went and listened to everyone's job offers and actually went to places in Chicago I wouldn't otherwise have gone to. So I think the MBA program served a purpose right through from about 1960s to 1990s. I mean that was the golden age of management education in my view. Now I think we have to focus more on� I think the undergraduate programs are tremendously important, I think the liberal side of the undergraduate program. If you take an African context, you know, the remedial side of undergraduate programs, the matriculation rate for example in South Africa is 38%. So what's the first year going to be about? Well it's remedial math, science, English. There has to be linkage between K through to 12 and the university. And our elite business schools was the solution to the problem of management. In a lot of emerging countries, they are not. There about more to do with strong undergraduate programs, and strong high schools. And building an ethos and a tradition there. So I think the MBA program will die, because these people were more mature, they're in jobs, they know what they want to do. The problem with the MBA program is, you know, in the golden age, you're getting job offer after job offer after job offer and the kids thought well, five years time I am going to be the CEO. I think now they are lucky to get a job. And that is very very different. And so I think we as scholars, and educators should be thinking about what degrees we offer our people. I think the Master of Management degree is a much more sane alternative. It gets people job-ready, executive education needs to be much better developed. And I think what I will see is a lot more smart use of technology in education. I mean, this year, just by chance, it turned out that somebody was teaching in parallel with me on the executive MBA program and I couldn't get enough sessions so I turned around, I said to the director of the program, well look, why don't I just tape a few, so I went on elearn and did what you've been doing now. And I discovered I did my introductory lecture without any notes, you know, just 6 slides and it took me 65 minutes. I actually showed my wife and she said, that's not bad. So then I did a wrap up lecture as well. I am actually going through all other lectures and put them on elearn. And what I can do in class will be that, greatly different. But what I am hoping to do is to get them transcribed. There's a publisher in the UK who wants to publish them. I don't want any royalties. I'd be quite happy to, it's only going to be 150 pages or something like that, far more relevant than a 701 page textbook. I mean my text book on strategy is 701 pages. When we were in Warwick, a student came up to Lynn and I when we were in a dance and said, sir I really enjoy your textbook. And I said oh thank you so much and I said what particular part. And he said I should explain and he goes on to explain. That's the true story by the way. You think I am making this up, I am not. He said, recently we had a baby. And he said, I don't know what you call them, cots or cribs here, and he got it from the equivalent of Ikea. But one leg was not stable. So after he put it together, my book was perfect to put it under the leg and he told me his story and he'd had a few drinks. It was a dance. But you know, the metaphor for that, is the book is too long. I mean, you know, give them readable 100, 150-page books, then make the class interesting and participative. That's what we try to do but we don't convey it in the written medium, we don't convey it in this medium that we are working with now. I mean, we could make tremendous more use of it, for example, the projects in Africa which I am absolutely terrific where they're doing exactly that, which is what I would call the massification of education and massification of education has got to come. Some of these courses that have been staples like the MBA program, other than in the very elite schools and a very good state schools and places like SMU, they'll still survive. But in a lot of other places which have put on the MBA program to make money, they will die. And they will die in the next 10 or 15 years. I might not be around to see it, but I think it's true, other courses will come on, a lot more flexibility in learning will come. I'd like to see that happening. And I am writing about it so I will imbue and enthuse somebody to do it, you know, you has just got a some years to live in the and you need so much energy and enthusiasm to push it ... I am trying to persuade others as oppose to do it all myself. It's impossible. That's really the other thing I would like to say and otherwise, I enjoyed it.
The advantage I had was I had been Chair of the Board of AACSB in 2009-2010. I sat on the board on 2 separate occasions from 2002 to 2004, and then 2007 to 2011 so I knew how to do it and I knew all the people there. And I knew how to get reports written and I was able to tutor the people here. The other advantage for Equis was I was also Vice President for Business Schools, which is the senior Business school position at EFMD from 2000 to 2007, before I got co-opted onto the AACSB board. So I knew exactly how to do that. So we used all of my contacts, we did this in breakneck pace. We wrote the self-study reports in 2010 and early 2011, we got accreditation for both in 2011. And in Equis's case, we got 5-year accreditation which was totally unheard of for a young school. So I think we did really well. What we also did was; I was also chair of the board of GMAC which is the Graduate Management Admissions Council, which runs the GMAT test, which is the admissions test for business schools. I was on the board there from 1991-2000 but I was chair of the board from 1997-2000. So I wanted SMU to be a member of GMAC. It's a rank that's achieved by invitation. So I got them an invitation that immediately put them in the top 120 business schools worldwide. So by the end of 2011, we were in all 3. And so that was terrific because that gives you external credibility and it also makes the faculty, the faculty need to be persuaded why the heck they're doing this because they can't see the point. But once they were persuaded, they could see that that gave us external validity and external credibility, just like the University of Texas at Dallas ratings. Rankings gives us credibility on research and subsequently FT rankings, which we've also achieved. So faculty don't always get it, in those respects but you know, you are not only trying to build a terrific business school, you are trying to build a business school which is recognized, not just on this continent but globally. And I think the gain of accreditation is important from that point of view.
Well, I'm the thing I am most proud of is that I was born in Wales, therefore I am Welsh; I am not English. I am British. And my career has been really between Britain and several other places outside of Britain and I can go through them. I went to school in Wales, and in London I went on a scholarship to Dulwich College which is a public school, private school in Britain and extremely good academic school. But my heart was always in the welsh valleys so whilst I enjoyed the academic side of it, I wasn't too thrilled always with the very British side of British public school. I went from there to university then to graduate school and as an assistant lecturer in the London School of Economics, which was over 50 years ago. I then went from the London School of Economics to the University of Chicago as a Fellow of the University of Chicago and National Opinion Research Center for a period. Then I went back to the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer in Mathematical Statistics. So I am a Mathematician and Mathematical Statistician by background. And then from there, I finished my PhD and then I went to Harvard Business School as a Ford Foundation visiting assisting professor until London Business school was completed and built in Regent's Park which was in 1970 so I went to LBS in 1970 as an Associate Professor of, believe it or not, Statistics and Operations Research. I was the founding Director of the Doctoral Program, which I directed from 1970 to 1977. I also set up a group there called Decision Analysis Research Unit which got a ton of money from not only the British government partner, Trade and Industry and Atomic Energy Authority but also from Philip, Shellock and Unilever. And it was through that work in London Business School that I actually started doing work in Strategic Management. It was quite by chance. I was giving a seminar at LBS and one of the professors of strategy came up and said, Well you are actually doing strategy modelling and I said, Well really and he said yes. To cut a long story short, he invited me to co-lecture with him. So I started off as a professor of strategy in London Business school right about mid-1970s with no formal training whatsoever other than I have been to Graduate school and Business School. And then my career was both in Decision Theory, which is what my PhD is, but also in Strategic Management and therefore I brought to Strategic Management the lens of an analyst and a mathematician in the first instance. And so from London Business School, while I was in London Business School, I simultaneously had an appointment at the European Institute for Advance Studies in Management which was in Brussels and that was Ford Foundation funded. And I had that position for at least ten years until 1982 but in middle 1970s, I was appointed as a Foundation professor of Management as the Australian Graduate School of Management. There were four or five of us who were friends from University of Chicago who played in the sandpit, setting up a new Business school. And so I did a bit of everything there, I would run the MBA program, I would run the executive program. You know, we all, built a school and so that was my first experience of leading a school. I also then in the United States taught in MIT and Northwestern and then in the late 1980s, I'd been in and out of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Some of the colleagues there asked me if I would put my name up as Dean, which frankly I didn't want to do because I have One of the tenets of my career has been, I've never stopped doing research, it has been something I want to do and I never want to stop teaching so eventually I was persuaded by the Provost in Urbana-Champaign to put my hat in the ring but I made a deal with him that if I were appointed, then I needed full-time researcher assistant and I still wanted to teach. So eventually, I was appointed. So I did 10 years as Dean there. Prior to that, I had already been given an endowed chair at Urbana-Champaign, which I kept while I was Dean. I continued to do research. I mean my research has been very much in strategic management, but in a number of various strategic analysis, competitive strategy, actually the interface between behavioral strategy and analytic strategy and in all sorts of topics, I just get interested.So then I did 10 years in Warwick Business School as Dean. And towards the end of that, somebody here nominated me to be Dean at SMU.I actually never applied, I never thought of coming to Singapore. So you know it happened relatively quickly, at the beginning of 2009 I guess. So effectively I did 5 years from 2010 to the end of 2014, gave up in January 2015. And now, in the last year, I've actually, thanks to Arnoud, I had a sort of sabbatical. Well it isn't a sort of sabbatical, it has been a sabbatical. I have been traveling and doing funded research project on the evolution and rate of management education in Africa and in Latin America. So I've been traveling a huge amount. So that roughly is my background. Its 50 years as an academic and enjoyable years. Made a lot of mistakes on the way and hope you learn from mistakes. I can tell you every single one of the mistakes. Don't think I will remember all the successes but the mistakes you never forget.
Well, I think the challenge. You know the alternative was going back to United States and I'd been there, done that. I figured, I knew what I was talking about in terms of United States. I've been to Canada; I've been to Europe; I knew Australasia from the time I've been in Australia and New Zealand. So we came and what made me come? Well I saw a challenge, I also saw, in truth, a business school which I though was in strategic drift. It had not really developed significantly. You could tell, and I knew enough about Singapore from prior experience, you know, the global school had projects that, the Ministry of Education has done here that I knew intimately. And I knew that they would invest in this university, I therefore knew there was government money, which in the UK and European context is not quite as clear.
Over the period I was Dean, I launched PhD programs in every one of the other areas, going from the most strong, the second one was OB, the third one was marketing, the fourth one was strategy in organization, the fifth one was operations management. And we'd probably stop there. And we also in between launched the PhD in general management. You have to afford research. So I had to find ways to generate. So over the period, if you don't mind, I am going to consult my notes, but I listed down all of the post-graduate programs I launched since I was dean. First one was the executive MBA in 2011. That has now had 4 cohorts, and you would probably have seen the other day that we have entered into the Financial Times ranking. You have to have at least 3 sets of students through before you can go into the rankings. We came in as the highest entrant, 36th in the world. That's pretty good. And before launching that, which was in 2011, we did extensive focus groups across Asia. So we actually interviewed about 130 managers, and that's when we got the design of 9 modules, 6 of which were done in Singapore, the other 3 were done overseas. So we picked Wharton obviously because Wharton's relationship to our founding. And then we picked Peking in China, which is a really top research school, and ISB. In 2012, we launched the Master of Innovation. Surprisingly, that's done much better than I thought, and has managed to achieve the same heights of about 40 to 45 students. And I should perhaps point this out. I said that revamp the advisory board at the business school so changed it completely so it's much more representative, not just the finance but manufacturing and service industry and government. So one I revamped the advisory board and two I set up an alumni board of LKCSB and I took each one of these proposals in front of them. I used the advisory board to go through the strategy of the program. They kept asking the question, What's the job after the Master of Innovation? which is interesting question. And of course it is a jolly good question so we tried to answer that more and more. We understood that Entrepreneurship was the term that would, so there was a focus also in the program of entrepreneurship, which we have renewed in Gerry's tenure, well because he is the professor of entrepreneurship which is really hard to find. So Master of Innovation in 2012, and Master of Quantitative Finance, which was a relationship with Cass Business school in the city of London, which is probably, in Britain, the best finance school, LBS is probably the other one. And we launched that in 2012. 2014, we launched the Master of Management degree, which is, if you like, a management study degree for people who do not have an undergraduate degree in business studies or management studies, so tailored for people from the Humanities, from the Arts, from Social Sciences, from Technology and so on. And I pioneered that program in Warwick Business School. When I left Warwick Business School, we had 150 students in the program. When we launched it, the first class we had 70 students and a current one close to 100 or maybe 90. I always knew there was a market for it here. And I think it's a market that makes sense because it makes people job-ready who have not studied. And we also have a partnership with SUTD as well in that program which enables students who have done 4 years of Engineering degree to do the 5th year of management with a number of electives counted towards the master degree. That's worked out pretty well. And of course, just before I gave up, in the last year I launched the distance learning version of the MBA with Instituto de Empresa, which is a Spanish Business School in Madrid. I know the director extremely well and we launched that last year in 2014 and we now have a 2nd cohort in 2015 and that was because I always felt there was a need to be looking at distance learning in the context of Asia. In Quantitative Finance, well that's been a strength of ours for a long time. Master of Management was very much an MBA for people who didn't have a business studies degree. And so I engineered the reengineering of the MBA degree. That took place over 2011-2012 and we were launched in 2013. So we will have by, 2017, 4 cohorts of the MBA program so that we can go into the FT rankings.And I should add by the way, I know you have asked me about post-graduate programs, but I would add, and I also mentioned about the Doctoral programs, which is tremendously important. You should see those 2 things in parallel. The Doctoral programs, in many ways, was financed by the surpluses after the Masters programs. But they are also a source of students, very good students on there, we may be able to attract to do PhDs. And one of the objectives is to get good research, and good doctoral programs. Faculty will leave unless they have doctoral students. Unless you have a flow of doctoral students, you are going to get faculty leaving. So it's part of a virtuous circle, running a business school. If you are providing very good quality masters programs, and I think we do, then the resources we gain from that, we're putting into faculty development, which makes the teaching in those programs better in the long term. So just as it generates good quality research, it also generates good quality teaching. And it is a virtuous circle.
It's a bit like what I said earlier on about having accreditations and being ranked on research by the University of Texas at Dallas. It is nice to have, and in many ways, you need to have it. But having said that, you should not manage the school or manage the university on the basis of rankings. The resource allocation decisions and strategic decisions you make should be made on educational reasons, not to get up in the rankings. That said, we have been planning to go into the FT rankings ever since I got here. EMBA was not the first. Masters in Wealth Management got in in 2013, its number two in that field, dropped down the next year because we didn't have enough alumni responses, came back the next year at number three. So you know, what that attests to, is quality. But there's a tyranny in this game. If you manage for the rankings, you could be spending a ton of money, giving scholarships to students because they have higher merit than other students. You could be spending money on public relations instead of spending money on high quality academics, spending money on research. I think that's wrong. But I think for us to be in the position we are in, in the EMBA rankings, 36th, first time in, [is] great. You know the Master of Science in Corporate Finance also got into the rankings last year, and they got in, in the thirties, which, for an entry, was extremely good. And attest to the quality of our finance offerings. And then Master of Wealth Management, because it follows competition going in at two or three. But I think it's a mistake to then, start saying that we need to be in every ranking the world has ever seen and that, that is the only criteria that we should be operating to. That's quite wrong. I mean the right decision is to be doing things [for the] right academic and strategic reasons, not simply to make money for the institution.
Well obviously one of the research area of excellence in the business school is finance. It is also one of the research areas of excellence in the university and it will be completely stupid if we didn't have a strong finance area, which we do. I think it's stronger than any other school in Singapore. Not only do we have a strongly functioning PhD program, which was the only PhD program in operation when I got here. But it also has a core of faculty, who are research oriented faculty. We have programs like the Master of Science in Finance which has roughly 250 people in it every year. Master of Wealth Management which has 50 people in it a year. We have a stable suite of finance programs. And we also have a Master of Quantitative Finance, which we do with Cass Business School in the UK. We are known for finance; we have a very good finance faculty. So linking that into the areas of excellence here was completely, relatively a smooth thing to do. And you know, to greater or lesser degree, the other areas are integrated into those areas of excellence. And I think what that has done is made the faculty more aware across schools but I don't think there's as much research collaboration across schools as there should be or ought to be. I think academics will always tell you a tale about the importance of collaboration but they stick their head down and do the things that they want to do and it becomes much more difficult. What tends to oil the process there is very much research grants that cut across and therefore requires those kinds of skills. I think that in the other areas of excellence, we've done a fair share. But clearly in terms of finance, we've been, you know, a very strong deliverer. But if I look across the areas in SMU now and look at the quality of what we are doing, the UT Dallas ratings will tell you our research is about equivalent in terms of quality. And the other question you asked was its linkage to Singapore. I think there's probably been less within the business school than it has been elsewhere. However I would say that this university has one thing going for it, which cuts across all the schools, which is the community service project that the students do, in the 80 hours they have to do. And students grumble about it but they get involved in what I would call community outreach. And you know we are heavily involved in those projects in the school. We are also heavily involved in research in the near regions as well as in Singapore on social and financial inclusion. I mean I just recently got a grant on that subject from Mastercard. I am going to push that even harder. So I think we are making inroads into Singapore. But obviously Singapore grew through Lee Kuan Yew's vision as a global city state. I mean for it to grow as a global city state, it needed finance faculty, marketing faculty and so on, of the quality SMU has. And he was smart enough to know that he couldn't get all those people initially from Singapore, he knew he had to bring them from outside. The skill is blending those people into the Asian context and making them aware of the issues in Singapore.And as a university, I think we are different. And what we are trying to do is, you know, I don't know if we will ever get to this statement of philosophy, but I don't believe in the word business schools, I don't believe in the word at all because they should be management schools and actually schools for management, not management schools. Because the management issue is not an issue in just the business industry, it's in public sector, and most economies I know, certainly in Britain for example, 44% of the population are employed one way or another by the public sector. Even in United States where they hate public management, there's a significant proportion in public management. And then you have this whole sector of NGOs and civil society. I mean management is important there and frankly I've seen it in Africa, I mean, just under-skilling of managers across Africa which need to be attacked. Here it's a much more mature economy but at the same time, we should be calling them schools for management, not business schools; I mean it's an old-fashion term, actually it's an American term by the way and it got coined by the Americans. I say as a once dual citizen who is now no longer a dual citizen because, for various reason, eventually, if I ever retire, though my wife will never let me retire, because she realizes that, until I run out of ideas, she said once if I ever come back, and we live in Stratford on Avon and I cant find a job in the academic pursuit, she's going to send me off to Walmart or the equivalent to be a greeter or a shelf stacker to get me out of the house. So I don't think there's any chance of me giving up. I mean I think in a sense, we should be talking about schools for management. And the other important thing here in SMU is the Asian identity. We are going to be known internationally because we are a strong Asian school.
If I looked at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, that is a great state university by any standards. Huge, tremendous commitment to academia. I still think that the American graduate schools, be they private or the best state schools, are the best in the world. There are a few exceptions in Britain like Cambridge or Oxford, Imperial University College, London School of Economics and so on. But generally speaking, that was a well-run, well-oiled machine, tremendously strong mathematics department, engineering department and Computer Science at that time, Larry Smarr was there, we had the center of super-computing applications, Marc Andreessen was there as a research assistant and started up Netscape. I mean it was a science-oriented Valhalla in many ways but with great Arts and great Social Sciences faculty. Its business school was strong, very strong, number one public accounting school. And so on and so forth. It was easy to run the business school because the place was well-oiled. There were resource constraints in state universities but if you wanted to get somebody really good, you know, there were billion dollar campaigns Illinois had every five or seven years, which generated endowment money, that generated ways to pay very good faculty. So the rules and regulations there were well established; Americans worked incredibly hard too, and there was no compromise with regard to academic quality there at all. None at all. But a very different way of working. I mean very open conversations. The heated debates took place in committees, they never took place elsewhere. And I think that's healthy. Warwick is more British, and people say one thing to your face and knife you in the back when you are standing in the toilet. Do not get me wrong. It's a very different culture. So you have to be more political. So you have to understand the underlying politics very much more closely. Warwick was more political. Great school but affecting change there, you really had to understand the political system. There was a very different operation of what one may call the Council of Deans. It was more ritual rain-dancing then actually getting anything done. And the university Council was a load of worthies like the House of Lords who you need to kick awake to make sure they were still listening to you. So two very very different cultures but very good school that had strong academic traditions. And I don't think I'd fit a school that didn't have a strong academic tradition cause I have always done research, and I have always believed that if I can do it, then other people would see me as the wrong model and do it themselves. So Warwick was good but different.
The undergraduate program was a jolly good undergraduate program. And what I was pleased about when I got here is, I mean one way of describing it in a simplistic form is it was a modification of Wharton's 4-year undergraduate program. The one advantage of the Wharton program, and a lot of the American programs cause I've been a dean in the United States and taught in United States, is that a 4-year program gives the kids a chance, for 2 years, to figure out what they really want to do before they start looking at specialization and so on. And if you compare that to a British undergraduate degree, there are 3 years, but you know, if you want to do a degree in accounting, you do a degree in accounting; if you want to do a degree in finance, you do a degree in finance. So if you start in it, then you wanted to move over, you had to start all over again. This, to me, provides the opportunity for people to start all over again, point one, but point two, to give them a broad training to start. And I've always believed in broader programs. So when I came in, I was pleased to see that. I pioneered an introductory course Managing Volatility Uncertainty Complexity and Ambiguity. I designed it. It was intended to be somewhat like what I had in Warwick but different in the sense that, it exposes students to management before they get exposed to other subjects so they think about the problem with management. Without having somebody teaching finance and accounting, they immediately say it isn't a management problem, it's a finance problem, it's a marketing problem. Management problems cut across functional areas, cut across disciplines. So this is an attempt to do that. And I think largely, the feedback is good and, obviously we will be changing things and I've monitoring, I've been coordinating the teaching this year. And I reengineered that one and it's very much now a course on business models and business model generation. It isn't a strategy course, it's a course on what I call strategy realization. It's getting people to understand how to operationalize the strategy in practice. So the students have to do projects, they have to bring projects in. Lots of them bring in projects like opening a restaurant, or opening a swimming it doesn't matter what the project is. Getting them to think through the problem in a hands-on way and a project-based way is what we wanted to do there. And I think we've done it. And we have an alternative to that capstone course which we call the Great Books course. So we get students to read eight or ten books, which in different ways can be woven together to give a course on the philosophy of management. If I taught that course and I gave people a set of books, I would pick things like To kill a mocking bird, The grapes of wrath, 1984, and 1984 predicted much of what you see in terms of surveillance now and so on and so forth. And I would go through those. I mean there's some brilliant books out there and I read a lot, Grapes of wrath for example, from Steinbeck would be an example of the death of unions. Catcher in the rye by J.D Salinger, which is again an American novel, but a terrific novel. It's about growing up fundamentally so you could go down the list. And we have a list. I'm averse to too much of Plato's Republican and all the rest of it because you can get that in an ethics course. What I think you need to get to is persuading people, and the other thing which I put a lot of effort into is the redesign of our Ethics and Social Responsibility courses because we took the course over ourselves rather than have half the course taught by, I think it was probably the Law school, and the other half they had designed cases which cut across the whole university.