It's becoming more and more true that the B-School world is changing to become more businesslike. B-schools continue to bring in staff that were practicing business professionals in top B-School positions. In fact, it was not too long ago that the Career Center director at Wharton came in with no previous Academic career growth other than his education in Wharton's MBA program. Andy Chan, MBA '88 Assistant Dean and Director MBA Career Management Center Stanford Graduate School of Business is also someone who came from the outside. There have been numerous other cases of this as well over the past 2-3 years.
I agree with this philosophy to a point. It's bound to piss off a lot of staff members with years of academic background who were looking for that promotion. Nevertheless, I would much rather have someone teaching me who has been there in the trenches of the business world than someone who may not have the business background. I'm not saying that a Prof is bad or inadequate if they don't have the "in-the-trenches" background. It's just that... all factors being equal, I would chose the Prof with more hands-on that not.
Today, Kathy Matheson's had an article titled, "Business schools more businesslike as Wharton turns 125". I'm sure it's a PR motivated release from Wharton's direction, but there are some good points about how B-schools have changed over the years.
"The customer is king," said Terry Connelly, dean of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. "What we're seeing is a response to the consumer, and business schools have two consumers: the student who goes through it and the employer who engages their services."
-- When I was in college, I could never imagine a Prof saying this about a student.
"Business education is a booming industry," said Wharton dean Patrick Harker. "Business is the most powerful force for positive change in the world today."
Some schools now offer "executive" MBA programs designed to allow full-time workers to pursue master's degrees in business administration, usually on nights or weekends. Others offer online degrees.
Also popular are "executive education programs" - classes that offer professional training but not degrees. At Wharton, about 8,000 students are enrolled in those courses, compared with 4,600 in its more traditional undergraduate, MBA and doctoral programs.
The rest of the article was definitely Wharton advertising. Read it at your leisure.