The Dean's Corner
As we wrap up the academic year at RSBC, we take this opportunity to look back in order to move forward. With the vision to grow in reputation as a business school that serves as a catalyst for transformation through research, academic excellence, and engagement, SBC faculty and staff identified multiple initiatives to support our three strategic priorities: (a) deliver societal impact through student transformation and research excellence, (b) enhance RSBCs growth and reputation, and (c) grow internal capabilities to deliver on strategic goals. I share below our key accomplishments in each of these areas.
Goal 1 – Societal Impact: DELIVER SOCIETAL IMPACT THROUGH STUDENT TRANSFORMATION, RESEARCH EXCELLENCE, AND PARTNERSHIPS
Our program offerings have continued to grow and prepare students with forward-looking skills and knowledge. RSBC launched its MS in Finance in Wealth Management last year. This year, we received approval for an undergraduate B.S. degree program in Human Resource Management (HRM) and are awaiting approval for a graduate certificate in Fundamentals of Business. Two additional undergraduate majors in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as Business Analytics and IT, are at various stages of development and approval.
This year, RSBC graduated over 500 students, including 144 graduate students and 357 undergraduate students. Of those from whom data was collected:
- Undergraduate-Level Students
- 56% are employed full-time or part-time or participating in full-time service programs.
- 22% are enrolled in graduate/professional school/continuing education.
- 22% are seeking employment.
- Salary Average = $60,880
- Graduate-Level Students
- 94% are working full- or part-time.
- 2 are enrolled in a program of continuing education.
- Salary Average = $69,443
Graduates, such as Regina Whittick, corroborate our commitment to delivering high-quality and affordable education to learners as and when they are ready. Each day we reinforce our commitment to that mission. Student engagement was prioritized through a 30% increase in courses designated as experiential learning; 22 invited guest speakers who presented in class or through student networking and professional development events; participation in our peer mentor program by 27 unique mentors and 33 mentees; and student recognitions in international case competitions, including the Gamma Case Competition in Korea.
Enhancing the growth and reputation of RSBC as an anchor business institution in South Jersey necessitates ongoing engagement with corporate and community partners. RSBC initiated two important speaker events this year:
- Eminent Scholar Series: In Fall 2022, Jonathan Doh, Associate Dean of Research and Global Engagement, Rammrath Chair in International Business at Villanova University, spoke on sustainability and climate change.
- Eminent Business Leader Series: In Spring 2023, Kenneth Frazier, Former CEO of Merck shared his journey and perspectives in leadership in Spring 2023. We are thankful to the Holman Foundation for supporting this event.
RSBC also held the 2nd Annual Rutgers University–Camden Real Estate Symposium (RU CARES) on April 19, 2023. Over 90 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and corporate partners attended the symposium, which focused on Sustainability in Real Estate. The panelists held top positions in companies, such as The Kislak Company, Inc., Toll Brothers, The Michaels Organization, Wawa, Mercer Oak Realty, and ImpactWise LLC, among others.
Building on our commitment to lifelong learning, we continue to expand our corporate partnerships that offer important tuition discounts to their employees desirous of returning for undergraduate or graduate education. The partnership between the RSBC-supported Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Professional and Executive Education at Rutgers (PEER) led to the launch of leadership development for entrepreneurs in the cities of Salem and Camden, a program crucially important to our goal of contributing to regional economic growth.
Goal 2 – Growth and Reputation: ENHANCE RSBC’S GROWTH AND REPUTATION
We continue to find ways to enhance awareness around education as a positive value proposition through high-school programs, such as BizEd. This year, our undergraduate team initiated a summer BizEd event that connected nearly 60 high-school students to 20 professionals who shared valuable insights into business careers and college success.
Between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, our faculty published 32 articles and 4 book chapters in high quality outlets recognized for their academic rigor and influence. Research published by Drs. Kristie McAlpine, Chester Spell, and Rong Ma are some exemplars of impactful publications featured in high-profile outlets, such as the BBC, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Our faculty deliver research in important areas, such as leading virtually, environment and sustainability, gun safety, digital transformation, blockchain, and organizational leadership – research that translates equally well for non-academic partners as well as students. I encourage you to take a look at this website that highlights important areas that our faculty conduct research in. The development of these research clusters has greatly increased the visibility of our faculty with media.
RSCB’s non-credit education unit, Professional and Executive Education at Rutgers (PEER), forged new partnerships and programming with several organizations, including Northeast Gas Association, CHOP, South Jersey Industries, and Jansen, through focused training programs in Lean Six Sigma and leadership, among other diverse topics. Other partnerships resulted in programs in high-opportunity areas, such as e-sports, virtual reality, and cybersecurity. At a time when a significant priority for the school has been to better integrate its academic offerings with those that deliver non-academic training, I am most excited about the progress we have made in scaffolding our non-credit programs into credit towards our full-degree programs, further emphasizing our commitment to stackable credentials.
Goal 3 – Capability Enhancement: GROW INTERNAL CAPABILITIES TO DELIVER ON STRATEGIC GOALS
Our last set of initiatives focused on enhancing internal efficiencies to put us in a strong position to deliver on our strategic goals. Most significant of these has been a thoughtful and streamlined alignment of our budget, staffing, and initiatives with our strategic goals. We are confident that our efforts this year will serve us well over the course of the next five years.
Finally, and most importantly, we are forever grateful for the support of our alumni and friends who are deeply committed to the mentorship and success of our students. Their service through advisory boards, guest speaking, mentorship, and financial support provide deeply transformative opportunities for our students. We are grateful to Mr. Robert DiStanislao for his generous gift to support programming in entrepreneurship and innovation for our students. Mr. DiStanislao’s gift will build a strong academic and professional foundation for budding entrepreneurs and will support regional economic development in the long run. We are also delighted to welcome Mr. Steve Selfridge as our Executive-in-Residence in Fall. To this role, he brings not only extensive industry experience in numerous leadership capacities but also a deep commitment to student mentorship and success.
For these and many other accomplishments in this past year, I am deeply grateful to our staff teams who worked tirelessly to deliver a positive and seamless experience. I hope you will take a moment to read about some of these wonderful team members who recently were recognized for their positive impact on our students.
As always, I look forward to finding opportunities to meet with you to discuss how the school can better support you and, at the same time, how we can engage you better to support the growth and development of our students. Later this year, I will share more about initiatives to be implemented in the next year. Until then, on behalf of RSBC faculty and staff, I wish you a wonderful summer.
- Foremost is the opportunity for our business faculty to find synergies across disciplines. For instance, Dr. Karti Puranam (operations management) and Dr. Briance Mascarenhas (strategy and entrepreneurship) are collaborating on projects, one of which was recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), that are providing alternative solutions to medical practices including national resident matching.
- Second, the research clusters lend an opportunity to bring together faculty across schools and colleges. This extends the possibility of joint grant writing and collaboration around progressive and impactful areas such as sustainability, workplace wellness, and health equity.
- Finally, the clusters will enable us to expand partnership with industry through joint projects, faculty externships, consultation, and professional and executive training and development. Importantly, these industry engagements are deeply valuable as they come full circle in equipping our faculty to deliver applied knowledge and pragmatic skills to our students.
Across industries, trends that were visible in the horizon have expedited, sometimes exacerbated, over the past couple of years. Higher education is no different. Technological disruptions, evolving student preferences, andexpectations of a more meaningful impact have mandated that we at Rutgers School of Business–Camden (RSBC) reimagine our charge as a leading public business school in New Jersey.
The timing of this mandate couldn’t be better. This year, we launch our new strategic plan, a roadmap to 2028, that underscores the impact, flexibility, and agility that are so essential to the success of our vision to serve as a catalyst for transformation through research, academic excellence, and engagement. This vision is built on three strategic goals:
- Deliver societal impact through student transformation, research excellence, and partnerships.
- Enhance RSBC’s growth and reputation.
- Grow internal capabilities to deliver on strategic goals.
Foremost, we must intensify our efforts to empower through high-quality business education. Delivering high-quality, affordable education that intellectually and economically transforms our and students has been our missionand will remain an area of continuous improvement. Fundamental to this is caring for the whole student and delivering opportunities that build on their grit to grow their personal and professional selves.
Our new plan extends this goal of intellectual and economic transformation to our business and community partners. In the next five years, we will strength our partnerships, convene thought leaders, develop our communities, and serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
Academic and research excellence is built on a strong foundation of excellence – of people and infrastructure. Translating our faculty’s high-caliber research for impactful consumption by industry is a key priority. Our staff, deeply rooted in our communities, will grow as thought leaders. And our alumni and friends who have experienced first-hand the transformative work at RSBC, will be engaged as crucial partners.
This strategic plan is about relationships. And your relationship with will be crucial to our success. Join us in actualizing our vision and making a difference, one student at a time.
These past 18 months have been about transformation driven by technology, human relationships, and our relationship with nature, to name a few. Rutgers School of Business–Camden was poised for this transformation due to our continuous investments in innovative programming, a strong and positive internal culture, and our commitment to student success.
There is great excitement at the RSBC as we look to another exciting phase of our transformation – and for reasons that are better than the past 18 months! RSBC is preparing to launch our new strategic plan that will chart our course for the next five years. The data-driven process has engaged multiple stakeholders and includes initiatives that integrate social impact, capability enhancement, and the growth of our regional and national footprint. Beyond the Rutgers-Camden stakeholders, our advisory board members, alumni, and corporate partners have provided valuable insights into these initiatives. I look forward to sharing this plan with you later this semester and welcome your engagement with it.
At RSBC, we are proud that our business school imbues responsibility in everything we do: preparing students to strengthen the workplace, conducting path-defining research, and fostering social impact by empowering communities, businesses, and families. Our initiatives this year will continue to build on that foundation.
On behalf of the RSBC, I extend our profound gratitude for your engagement. For what lies ahead of us, I look forward to your partnership and will lean on you to help realize our vision.
We are back on campus, as expected, with mixed feelings. While there is elation about the campus returning to some normalcy with in-person classes, seeing students in our hallways, and having real-time faculty exchanges, our mask mandates are a reminder of our transitionary state. As a society, we have come a long way since last year with the pandemic, even as more needs to be done.
The same is true of our work at SBC. We accomplished much last year – new and revised graduate programs and certificates, a greater emphasis on student engagement, and a developing strategy for deepening our positive impact on our stakeholders. Our faculty have remained prolific with their research, even as they have balanced the demands of pivoting to online and care for loved ones at home. It gives me great pride to share that this past year, our faculty published nearly 60 articles in high-quality journals such as JAMA, Journal of Management, Contemporary Accounting Research, and Journal of Marketing Research – top journals recognized by The Financial Times. Our faculty’s impact outside their academic disciplines is recognized through research features in outlets, such as The Economic Times and BBC, as well as invitations to serve on boards and as subject matter experts for policy makers.
Our past accomplishments have strengthened our foundation for the work that lies ahead. Our efforts this year are directed to updating our undergraduate curricula to reflect currency and student preparation for future jobs and graduate education. An important part of our undergraduate experience is student development outside of the classroom. Our prior Student Experience Center (SEC) is being re-envisioned to provide a more holistic approach to student development. This office, now known as Student Engagement, Empowerment, and Development (SEED), has created a student journey that delivers transformative co-curricular opportunities, including a pilot peer mentor program, case competitions, and career management skills to our students. Your support of SEED is crucial to its success.
An exciting and important accomplishment for us this past year has been the formation of our Rutgers School of Business Alumni Association (RSBCAA) I am deeply grateful to Suzy Swartz (SBC’85) and Cal Maradonna (CCAS’74, SBC’79) for leading the charge on this. Suzy has graciously agreed to serve as the inaugural President of RSBCAA. Our officers are busy planning events for this upcoming year and I look forward to your participation, as alumni and friends, to make this a long-lasting community for our current and future alumni.
As we wrap up our strategic planning this Fall, I am excited – as I hope you are – for the future that lies ahead of us. For what we have accomplished this past year, I am deeply thankful to our students, SBC faculty and staff team, our advisory board members, alumni, and corporate partners who have provided valuable insights into our initiatives. For what lies ahead of us, I look forward to collaborating with you and will lean on you to help realize our vision.
Throughout the challenges of the past year, the Rutgers School of Business–Camden has met this crisis head-on by evaluating the impact that we make in delivering on our mission and planning for the work that lies ahead of us. Some of this impact is quantifiable – our Online Bachelor’s Degree in Business has been ranked #11 nationally and #1 in the state of New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report and our Online MBA was ranked #76 and #2 by the same measures. A new online graduate certificate in Modern Financial Technologies will debut later this year and our recently launched Online MS in Business Analytics enrolled over 35 students in its very first year.
The accomplishments of our alumni and their positive impact on our communities are the best testaments to our mission as a public higher education institution. One such exemplary alum of the Rutgers–Camden business school, Kris Kolluri, was honored last month by the AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) as a 2021 Influential Leader. With much pride, I note that Kris is one of only 25 outstanding graduates of AACSB-accredited business schools from around the world. These honorees are recognized for being influential catalysts for social change.
We began this month by celebrating Women’s History Month to recognize the important role that women play in furthering our progress but also to raise awareness around issues that women continue to face worldwide – from access to education and healthcare to equity in the workplace and in representation. Despite progress made over the past several decades, much more work lies ahead of us. At the School of Business–Camden, we continue to take important steps in developing and supporting women leaders. This year, we reinitiated the Women in Business Alliance student organization, which provides a forum to develop and empower our women business students and attain personal and professional success. The business school also partnered with Wings for Growth, a non-profit organization with a deep commitment to empowering women through positive mentorship. Four students from our Professional MBA and Online MBA programs were selected as Wings for Growth mentees. These students will enhance their leadership skills through a 10-month collaborative project with Wings mentors.
Additionally, featured in our newsletter today is Dr. Kristie McAlpine, one of our many promising faculty, whose research has important relevance to industry and design of work. Finally, I am delighted to welcome three new members to our Dean’s Leadership Council; all women leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others through their work: Veronica Hawkins, Vice President for Talent Strategies and Solutions at NFI Industries; Toni Pergolin, President and CEO of Bancroft Inc.; and Chaya Pamula, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of PamTen Inc. as well as a non-profit, SheTek.
More than ever before, equity and inclusion are driving leading brands and organizations. I am proud that our business school imbues these critical attributes in everything that we do: preparing students to strengthen the workplace, conducting path-defining research, and fostering economic growth by empowering communities, businesses, and families.
On behalf of the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, I extend our profound gratitude for your engagement. There are many ways that you can continue to support our work: supporting student scholarships through the Dean’s Academic Excellence Fund or the Responsibility Challenge Fund,; hiring our students for internships and full-time positions; or serving as a guest speaker, to name a few.
I hope you enjoy the highlights in this newsletter and wish you and your loved ones the best of health.
Nearly eight months ago, I began my new role as Dean of the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, just as universities shifted from in-person to remote instruction. The year 2020 has certainly tested us in many ways, as individuals and as a society. As we continue to deal with the pandemic and its social and economic ramifications, and as we reflect on the unrest stemming from a fundamental expectation of equal rights for all, we recognize our critical role in developing a generation of future leaders who can positively impact their professional and personal worlds.
It is time to reimagine our impact as a business school at a leading public institution. At RSBC, we are focusing our efforts on using past innovations as a springboard to envision the next decade so that our students, industry partners, and community think of Rutgers School of Business–Camden first – as a world-class leader in research and education, and in developing thoughtful leaders who can shape the future of our organizations and our communities. Our initiatives this year include strategic planning, expanding our student experiences, revising our graduate and undergraduate offerings, and heightening the visibility for Rutgers and our School of Business. As a friend and partner of Rutgers University-Camden, you will be a crucial partner in this re-imagination.
We build this foundation on you – our alumni and friends. You support our efforts through scholarships and by opening doors for our students to see a world to which they can aspire. I hope you will continue to endorse these initiatives by contributing to the Dean’s Academic Excellence Fund which goes to support our student scholarships, by creating internship opportunities for our students, serving as a guest speaker, or supporting the Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund that go toward creating new opportunities for our students, faculty, and community partnerships. Our partnership will strengthen our ability to prepare the business professional who can deliver value to business and to society as an innovative, thoughtful, and empathetic leader. On behalf of Rutgers School of Business-Camden, I extend a deep-felt gratitude for your continued engagement.
In this newsletter, we feature our students, staff, and faculty – all of whom have demonstrated tremendous creativity and commitment through these fluid times. Their stories highlight not only how Rutgers School of Business–Camden delivers impact in unique ways, but also the character of our institution.