Faculty & Staff Achievements

A Message From John Veitch, newly appointed Associate Dean for MBA and Graduate Programs

by Gene Thomas

I’m joining the School of Management from The School of Arts and Sciences where I have been Chairman of the Economics Department.  I’m pleased to have this particular opportunity to communicate with my new colleagues, our students, and our alumni friends.   I believe that the School of Management has some distinct advantages, and I’m pleased to be joining you at this exciting time.

My responsibilities as Associate Dean are on the academic side of the MBA and graduate business programs.  That responsibility includes the existing MBA programs and the jMGEM program, which is now in its third year. I am also bringing into the School of Management programs that I previously directed in Arts and Sciences; the Master of Science programs in Financial Analysis, Masters in Investor Relations and Master of Science in Risk Management; 

What most appeals to me in Management education is the practical application of theory.  It's what motivated the successful graduate programs in economics and it's one of the guiding principles that I bring to the MBA and other graduate business programs. I’m committed to the idea that sophisticated theory applied to strong practice is incredibly valuable in the real world, and it's something that USF has a comparative advantage in delivering.

Our strong point is we that have faculty who understand and communicate high level theory, but who have practically-oriented goals in how they teach.  

As a result we can do things that, for instance, Berkeley and Stanford won't do.   Not that they can't do it, but Berkeley faculty don't want to teach to practice.  I think it’s considered somehow demeaning if you're in that academic stratosphere.  Nobel Prize winners don't teach practice, they teach theory.  Our faculty teach informed practice, a curriculum that is immediately applicable to real life.  

That's what makes us different from Berkeley and Stanford — in that we do high-level theory that informs practice.  That's what is our strength.  

It is also what makes us different from schools with a purely practical orientation.  The USF School of Management has faculty members who are academically qualified and who can bring theory into best practices. That’s what we do very well.   And I plan to make the most of that capability in how we design our programs.

The other strength of our MBA programs is our focus on the competitive advantage our San Francisco location brings.  Our Hospitality Management program can be expanded.    We have a strong Entrepreneurship program, but I can see focusing it in ways that other entrepreneurship programs can’t.  What's our advantage?  We're where Google is, where Facebook is, where Linkedln is, where social networking is based.  One of the programs that I know our faculty wants to pursue is business analytics.  How do you analyze the huge data sets that we now generate?  How to structure your business to generate useful data? That’s just one example of where we can achieve a strong competitive advantage.

I’m an academic entrepreneur.  I always ask the question: How do we structure knowledge to meet market demands?  How do we enrich our programs to produce students valued by business? The process is student centric, of course, but it's focused not just on what students want to learn, but on what businesses need students to learn.   

It is exciting to be part of the new leadership team in the School of Management. I look forward to meeting all of you in the days ahead.