Tuck Business School Launches Cluster Initiative: MBA News | TopMBA.com

Tuck Business School Launches Cluster Initiative: MBA News


Updated September 1, 2014 Updated September 1, 2014

An anonymous investment of US$100 million made to Dartmouth College – the largest in the school’s 244 year history – will be used to launch ‘cluster initiatives’ to improve MBA courses at Tuck Business School. These plans, still in their early stages, will see groups of scholars brought together to focus on themes under-addressed in traditional curricula.

Similar cluster initiatives are also emerging at other US business schools: North Carolina State University, the University of Connecticut, Georgia State University, the University of Iowa and the University of North Texas to name a few. These have arisen, in part, as a response to recent criticism that MBA courses do not expose students to other disciplines within their universities.

Accordingly, these cluster initiatives are central to Dartmouth’s ‘interdisciplinary vision’, which will see deeper ties emerge between Tuck Business School and the wider university’s resources. “Engineering, business, medicine [and] the nation’s premier liberal arts environment, Dartmouth offers just the right combination of schools to investigate challenges of global complexity,” says Carolyn Denver, the school's incoming provost.

Reorganization of MBA courses via cluster initiatives

Dartmouth’s cluster initiative aims to concentrate the knowledge and expertise necessary to tackle challenging problems, emerging issues and future challenges. Faculty collaboration and targeted hiring will play a key part in this process. It is hoped that the establishment of new approaches, which cut across traditional disciplines, departments and schools, will fundamentally change Tuck Business School and Dartmouth College as a whole.

Proposed clusters will have up to eight faculty members and will each create three new faculty positions, with this number increasing to as many as 30-40 over the next decade. Dartmouth plans to build 10 clusters, the first three of which will be completed before the end of the 2014 academic year. The advances in MBA courses will consist of new courses, curricula and research opportunities structured around these new cluster initiatives. Proposals made by academics will be reviewed both by the provost and the academic deans, who will then make a decision on which proposals to fund.

Although still in its early stages at Dartmouth, cluster initiatives have already built up steam elsewhere. Whether these initiatives will address perceived shortcomings in MBA courses remain to be seen, but efforts to address such issues can certainly be taken as an acknowledgement of the need to improve.

This article was originally published in April 2014 . It was last updated in September 2014

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