Q&A With Dean Saloner of Stanford GSB

Stanford Dean Saloner2The year ahead includes curriculum changes, budget cuts and the pending completion of the Knight Management Center at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Curious to know how Dean Garth Saloner plans to navigate these waters? Check out some snippets from this interview, published last week by the Stanford Daily.

What long-term goals do you have for the GSB?

The three things that we’ve been working on the last few years that remain on our agenda are completing a successful campus, continuing to refine and optimize the curriculum, and thirdly, to increase the extent of collaboration between the GSB and the rest of the University. (…)

One of the incredible things about being here is that we have a medical school hundreds of yards away, an engineering school hundreds of yards away, sciences, law, education, HMS, all within easy reach of the GSB, so really enabling the free flow of ideas, people and students across those boundaries is a very important goal and initiative for us.

It’s really more about continuity than change.

What advice would you give to students who are undergrads choosing whether to go to business school or recent graduates searching for a job?

The way we think about the Stanford MBA is that it is two years where we take students with very high potential and we launch them into a life of meaning and impact. So, that’s what it’s really about, and if that’s you want, you have high aspirations and you want to go out and really do something great, then this is an education and a platform that can help you do that.

For our graduates, my advice to them is still to follow their passions and stay true to what they want to do. It does mean you have to in some cases do a more tailored job search…We have a new director of the [Career Management Center] who… will really help and guide students toward the next step on the journey.

Despite the budget cuts, what are you not willing to compromise?

This school is built on a world-class, outstanding faculty from which everything else flows. That’s how we educate our students. So, we have to continue to attract and retain the best faculty in the world. The second is we’re in the very fortunate position of attracting the highest-potential students that go to business school, and then having the privilege of helping launch their careers.

And we have to maintain that position and continue to attract the best students, and the way we do that is by giving the best education and experience. We won’t compromise on those two things which are the core legs of the GSB stool.

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