New mission selected for Tuck

by Megan Clyne | 10/13/16 12:30am

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The Tuck School of Business

by Seamore Zhu / The Dartmouth

One year ago, Dean of the Tuck School of Business Matthew Slaughter, along with several members of the leadership team, set out to refine the graduate school’s mission. In late September, they condensed the mission to a one-sentence statement: Tuck educates wise leaders to better the world of business.

The previous mission statement emphasized the provision of a world class business preparation and outstanding faculty.

Last year marked Slaughter’s first year serving as dean, and he felt it was the right time to look at both Tuck’s strengths and its future.

The expanded version of the new mission identifies three aspects of wisdom: confident humility, empathy and judgment.

Tuck professor Howard Anderson said that confident humility refers to individuals who are motivated and ambitious and develop confidence by doing the right thing - in short, being “confident but not doctrinaire.”

Tuck professor Robert Shumsky added that confidence originates from practicing interactive skills. Students in his classes consistently speak and present about a variety of topics to enhance their communicative abilities and fluidity, he said.

To foster empathy, the newly-launched TuckGo offers an opportunity to experience diverse regions and cultures in the world.

TuckGo, which was implemented fully in the last academic year, requires that all Tuck students take at least one course abroad in a country that is new to them. Participants travel in groups of five to 30 students, and trips last somewhere between 10 days and three weeks.

“The program connects students with the diversity and dynamism of the global economy,” he said.

Tuck Associate Dean for Innovation and Growth Punam Keller said she aims to increase inclusion in the three programs she oversees in order to promote empathy.

She oversees the Tuck Business Bridge program, the executive education program and innovation centers associated with alumni.

Keller and her team are working towards attracting more military veterans, professional athletes and Olympians. In addition, Keller has helped implement a Back to Business program for women who have taken maternity leave.

In order to develop keen judgment, students go through academic programs, such as business simulations and case methods, Shumsky said.

Anderson echoed Shumsky, saying that in his sales class, students have to make decisions on pricing and effectively introducing a new product. These decisions help the instructors gauge whether students are too bold or too conservative in their approach.

Anderson also said that he emphasizes the importance of making smart hiring choices. Instead of hiring people that look and sound exactly like them, students must look for potential partners with international experience and diverse ideas, he said.

This new mission is exactly what Tuck aspires to accomplish, Anderson said, adding that Tuck wants to make great leaders but believes that great leaders make themselves.

Instead, Tuck hopes to give its students the skills they need to make advancements in the business world.

Slaughter hopes the new mission will sharpen Tuck’s admissions message to candidates so they may understand why Tuck might be a good match for them.

Keller said she hopes the refined mission will attract students who are interested in taking business principles and applying them in a variety of new fields, such as non profit organizations.

Keller added that these three wisdom attributes of the mission emphasize the idea that success has new criteria, and that students and future business leaders must seek ways to give back not only to shareholders but also to employees and to their countries.

Correction appended (Oct. 17, 2016):

A previous version of this article listed countries in the TuckGo program where students could study. In fact, as part of TuckGo, students are required to take at least one course abroad in a country they are not familiar with. In addition, a previous version of this article stated that Keller and her team are working towards attracting military veterans, professional athletes and Olympians to the Tuck Business Bridge program, when in fact her work in this regard is not associated with Tuck Business Bridge.