B-School Classrooms Get Real

The New York Times published a worthwhile read earlier in the week about executives injecting real-world knowledge into business school classrooms. The piece profiles several top deal-makers from JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs who have recently traded the boardroom for the classroom.

While bringing in business leaders to provide a deeper dimension to lesson plans  is nothing new, many universities have stepped up such efforts in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

The Wharton School arranged a series of “24-hour teach-ins” over the last year, and during the spring semester brought Wall Street alumni to campus each week for a class on the crisis, the Times reports, while Tuck Business School launched a 14-person economics seminar on crisis economics this fall, co-taught with former Wall Street risk manager Michael G. Stockman.

With the job market severely contracted, business school deans have been ramping up their outreach to alumni and  the corporate sector to give students a hand in widening their search nets. Meanwhile, the article reveals that faculty members are relying on practitioners to keep their research current on fast-moving policy topics, like financial regulatory reform, and bring business case studies to life.

Jeffrey Garten, the former dean of Yale School of Management, tells the Times that bringing in more experts from business and government was crucial to helping financial leaders of the future avoid past mistakes. “There is a crying need for more understanding,” he said.

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