Dean Spotlight: Harvard Business School’s Nitin Nohria

dean of HBSFor those in the midst of the school selection process, it may be helpful to have a mental snapshot of those who are at the helm of some of the top-ranked MBA programs. This week, we’ll start with Nitin Nohria, who became the tenth dean of Harvard Business School in July 2010.

Building on input from faculty, students, staff, and alumni, he has identified five priorities for Harvard Business School:  innovation in the school’s educational programs, beginning with the MBA Program; intellectual ambition that advances ideas with impact in practice; continued internationalization, through building a global intellectual footprint; creating a culture of inclusion, where every member of the community can do their best work in support of the school’s mission; and fostering a culture of integration within HBS and across Harvard University that acts as a catalyst for entrepreneurship.

As dean, Nohria has upped the experiential aspect of the program by instituting a new, required year-long course—Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD)—which provides students with intensive, immersive, small-group opportunities to develop leadership, global, and integrative intelligence.

In his message to the graduating class of 2013, the first to participate in the FIELD program, Nohria called FIELD “the most significant experiment in our MBA curriculum since HBS began using case studies almost 100 years ago.”

In addition to highlighting the school’s plans to expand upon his initial priorities, in his annual January update Nohria spoke of the Harvard Campaign, which will launch in Fall 2013. This initiative is designed to strengthen each school and work together across the entire university in pursuit of larger common purposes.

Nohria closes his address with these thoughts: “What I think makes this School notable is its belief—embodied in its faculty, students, staff, and alumni—that it can serve a higher purpose. Individual by individual, idea by idea, we can work to transform companies and communities, and through that effort, we can enrich society. There is no nobler aim.”




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