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March 19, 2009 - zicklin : school of business - CUNY


Zicklin School of Business

Minutes of the Faculty Meeting of 19 March 2009

Room 1200—14-250 Vertical Campus

I. Record of Attendance

Attendance sheets are appended hereto and made a part of the minutes.

II. Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the 19 February 2009 Zicklin Faculty meeting were approved unanimously.

III. Report from Zicklin Administrators

(a) Dean John Elliott made the following announcements:

(1) Our meeting today will be devoted to three things:

(a) Discussion of proposed Framework to redesign the MBA Core

(b) Approval of the revised Zicklin School By-Laws

(c) Discussion of proposed Zicklin School Mission Statement

Dean Elliott noted that he does not expect us to come to a vote today on the

Framework and Mission Statement. Both require further discussion and deliberations.

(2) On Wednesday, 25 March 2009, John Grifonetti, BBA '90 and currently

President and COO of Creditex, will participate in our distinguished speakers

series. However, for Mr. Grifonetti, the format will be a discussion moderated

by Professor Paquita Davis-Friday.

(3) On Friday, 3 April 2009, the School will recognize some of the faculty for

distinguished teaching, as follows:

(a) David Frame, Department of Real Estate

(b) Naomi Gardberg, Department of Management

(c) Debbie Kaminer, Department of Law


(d) Nanda Kumar, Department of Statistics & Computer Information Systems

(e) Hugo Nurnberg, Stan Ross Department of Accountancy

(f) Gloria Thomas, Department of Marketing & International Business

(g) Gwendolyn Webb, Bert Wasserman Department of Economics & Finance

(4) Faculty and staff are invited to nominate staff for service excellence awards.

(b) Committee on Graduate Curriculum

(1) Dean Elliott noted that initial consideration of reforming the MBA core

started two years ago. The Committee on Graduate Curriculum (GCC) unanimously

proposed a major reform of the MBA core. Dean Elliott noted that

graduate management education is moving in the same direction nationwide

and around the world. Many schools have smaller cores than our core currently

has. Recent visitors from business schools at the University of Michigan

and University of Oklahoma thought well of our proposed changes; so did

a colleague at NYU. We're at the beginning of a conversation; please keep an

open mind. In Dean Elliott's opinion, smart students wisely choose courses

that are challenging and good for their careers. Students will still be held to a

57 credit requirement, but they will have more choices.

(2) Dean Elliott noted that the proposed revision is a framework. It takes many

subjects that were required and reduces them in size, from 3.0 to 1.5 credit

courses. There's nothing magical about 1.5 credit courses. You can teach them

in half a semester and still come up to the 57 credit total. It's administratively

easy and allows us to more efficiently utilize our constrained space. We'll

have more flexibility in scheduling teaching. But we can't just cover the same

subject matter by talking faster; we have to discuss and decide what is important

and only eliminate the unimportant. Bear in mind that presently we have

some overlap. For example, breakeven analysis is an important concept both

in marketing and accounting. Our students may not need so much redundancy.


(3) Dean Elliott also noted that AACSB expects continuous improvement, strategic

planning, and mission relevance built into what we expect of ourselves,

and a cycle of execute, plan, measure, feedback, and design. What we do today

need not endure for the next twenty-five years. In a good continuous improvement

process, we wouldn't wait nearly that long to approach a change.

This gives us an opportunity to emphasize what we've been working on for

the last couple of years. At the undergraduate level, Dean Phyllis Zadra has

engaged many of you in rethinking about learning and what we do with students

to reduce the importance of what we present and increase the importance

of what they learn. This conversation about the MBA core has the potential

for doing the same thing.

(4) Professor Barry Rosen suggested that when we revised the curriculum a while

back, the sentiment at the time was that we were offering too many choices

that resulted in delaying students from graduating. So we chose to streamline

the curriculum to speed up graduation. Why should we reverse course now?

Additionally, the MBA supposed to be a general business degree, not a specialized

degree, principally for those without a business undergraduate degree.

(5) Dean Elliott responded that the proposed framework does not increase the

amount of concentration in a particular discipline. Additionally, he noted that

there is a tradeoff between a standardize core that pushes students through the

program efficiently and a flexible core that enables students to choose the

courses they need to build their careers. At the MBA level, we're in a competitive

market, and we need to be able to show prospective students what's

exciting at the Zicklin School in order to attract them here..

(6) Chairman Terrence Martell distributed copies of the Graduate Curriculum

Committee's report, Report of the Zicklin Graduate Curriculum Committee,

henceforth referred to as the Framework. (The report is posted on the Zicklin


School website with these minutes.)

(7) Chairman Terrence Martell noted that the Committee's report is a framework

for discussion and for action over a period of time. We've come a long way

from five years ago when the MBA core included one required elective.

We've substantially increased the flexibility of our MBA by reducing the

number of courses in the major and drastically reducing prerequisites across

all subjects. The Framework is the next step in that process. Simultaneous

with these changes in the MBA, the Zicklin faculty developed and approved a

set of learning goals for the MBA degree.

(8) Chairman Terrence Martell noted that if the Framework is approved by the

end of the semester, the Committee will flesh it out next year with individual

courses that will hang off the Framework. He urged faculty to think about the

core not as a series of courses that lead to a major, but as a series of courses

that lead to the context in which we can put the majors; this is the overarching

idea underlying the Framework. The increased flexibility reflects the fact that

the Zicklin School has more and better MBA students who are more likely

than heretofore to make intelligent choices about what they want to do. The

School also has considerably more support services available to our MBA

students than heretofore. We also have a stronger and more diverse faculty.

The existing MBA core is not sufficiently flexible to enable students to have

as much exposure to our faculty as they would like to have. Additionally, the

range of skills needed by MBA students includes not only the functional skills

but also an understanding of the context in which business decisions are made.

(9) Chairman Martell noted that the Framework reflects three fundamental principles:

(a) An MBA curriculum should be based on learning objectives developed

and approved by the Zicklin faculty.


(b) An MBA curriculum should contain sufficient flexibility to allow student

choice in the pursuit of diverse professional goals.

(c) An MBA curriculum should balance broad scope and specialized depth in

its course offerings.

(10) Chairman Martell noted that the Framework's schemata (see p. 9 of the report)

is designed to give students a flavor of an area, to understand the context

in which business decisions are made; the Framework is managerial in emphasis,

integrative in nature. At the same time, the Framework reflects the

eight learning goals that have to be accomplished in the core:

(a) Teamwork and Leadership

(b) Communication

(c) Information and Technology

(d) Ethical Awareness

(e) Global Awareness

(f) Quantitative Analysis

(g) Knowledge Integration

(h) Intellectual Competence

(11) Chairman Martell noted that the proposed core includes fifteen courses worth

twenty-one credits. The MBA will also include a minimum of eleven major

and elective courses worth thirty-three credits, and a capstone course worth

3.0 credits, adding up to fifty-seven credits. Most of the core will be 1.5 credit


(12) The idea behind the 1.5 credit courses includes flexibility in scheduling and

flexibility in facilities utilization while making sure that there is representation

from each of the areas within the core. While not educationally superior

to 3.0 credit courses, 1.5 credit courses simply constitute the mechanism that

allows increased student choice and specialization while retaining student ex-


posure to the entire common body of business knowledge. These 1.5 credit

courses will be new, managerially oriented courses rather than introductions

to the various business disciplines; they will be designed to encourage students

to pursue advanced three-credit courses consistent with their professional

objectives and interests. These courses should concentrate on priority

topics important for individual managerial performance. Importantly, they are

designed to inform non-majors rather than prepare majors.

(13) In comparison to the current curriculum, the Framework proposes reducing

the core from thirty to twenty-one credits, to provide the flexibility to enable

students to take other courses, perhaps to develop a second major, to broaden

their opportunities, to develop into more well-rounded students. (Please see p.

10 of the report.) Most of the 1.5 credit courses were formerly 2.0 or 3.0

credit courses. The Committee added 1.5 credit courses on international business

analysis, legal environment, and strategy formulation to the core, and

removed managerial accounting as a separate course. It contemplates that the

3.0 credit financial accounting course that remains in the core will be redesigned,

perhaps similar to what we had five years ago, when it had a managerial


(14) Chairman Martell solicited comments from the floor, resulting in the following:

(a) Professor Gloria Thomas compliments the GCC for listening to faculty in

developing the Framework. However, she is concerned that in reducing

courses from 3.0 to 1.5 credits, subject matter will be retained and presentations

will be eliminated. Dean Elliott suggests that there will be more

use of cases, and that these courses should capture the oral and written

communications skill sets our students are developing.

(b) Professor Seven Lilien spoke about outcome measures and achieving

learning goals. Did the Committee consider where are we currently plac-


ing our students? Where do we want to place them? What are the opportunity

sets we want to create? Chairman Martell suggested that GCC considered

all of these issues. The rationale behind enhanced flexibility is

that we have better students, who are more attuned to career opportunities;

we want to give them the opportunity to choose those courses that

will be more supportive of their career goals. We consulted with career

guidance personnel in developing the Framework.

(c) Professor Hugo Nurnberg suggested that it is a terrible idea to eliminate

the 2.0 credit managerial accounting course from the MBA core. The current

core is a major improvement over the previous core by having a 2.0

credit managerial accounting course that is separate from the 3.0 credit

financial accounting course. These are probably the two most useful

courses in the core for Zicklin School students. Chairman Martell suggested

that the Department of Accountancy could develop a 1.5 credit

elective managerial accounting course.

(d) Additionally, Hugo Nurnberg suggested that we have a different set of

students from those at the University of Michigan, NYU, and maybe the

University of Oklahoma. Their students are principally full-time students,

while ours are still principally part-time students. Part-time students may

be less committed to 1.5 credit courses than full-time students.

(e) Professor Kishore Tandon commends the GCC for all its work. He prefers

just one three credit statistics course in the core. The logistics of offering

1.5 credit courses can be resolved. But he has some major reservations

about the Framework with respect to finance, which he prefers to

express in private.

(f) Professor Kapil Bawa complimented the GCC on the Framework, but

seeks some clarifications. Where is the ethics learning goal in the


Framework? In the Business and Society course? Chairman Martell suggested

that the current GCC thinking is that no one course is charged with

a learning goal. However, the Business and Society and Legal Environment

courses will address the ethics learning goal. Dean Elliott added that

in his experience in reviewing course proposals before the GCC, it is expected

that each syllabus will be explicit about the importance of ethics

in the course.

(g) In response to another question from Professor Bawa, Chairman Martell

noted that the rationale for the Service Operations Management course is

to replace the Operations Management course, which is oriented to

manufacturing industries, with a course oriented to service industries that

our graduates are more likely to encounter in their careers.

(h) Professor Chris Hessel suggested that the Framework reflects a mindset

similar to one that went into creating the Executive MBA: thinking about

all the skills needed to run a business rather than offering courses to seduce

students to become majors. A problem is that in a 1.5 credit half

semester course, seven weekly meetings (including one for the final

exam) does not give much opportunity to achieve all of the learning

goals. So the 1.5 credit course might not be the best vehicle for achieving

the reorientation of the MBA core.

(i) Professor Edward Rogoff wants to add his voice to the growing consensus

that the structure makes a lot of sense, that it's more flexible but will

be more rigorous. In response to a clarification about the zero credit

communications courses, Chairman Martell noted that they are already in

the full-time MBA program.

(j) Professor Ted Joyce applauds the GCC's effort and notion of flexibility.

But he noted that in the health care area, the faculty worry that students


do not get a common skills set. He favors beefing up the core to enhance

the skills sets in finance, accountancy, and statistics at a minimum. A 1.5

credit course will not give them the skill sets to do anything more substantive;

the next course will spend a lot of time building the skill sets

they should have developed in the first course. Chairman Martell suggests

that all these things are possible. The extra 9.0 credits of electives

could be used in part to do this. Dean Elliott notes that the flexibility is

already in the Executive MBA and the Health Care MBA.

(k) Professor Barry Rosen is very supportive of the Framework but has one

small practical concern: All the teaching materials—books, etc.—are set

up for 3.0 credit fourteen week courses, not 1.5 credit seven week

courses. It would take a lot of work to extract the essence of a fourteen

week 3.0 credit course into a seven week 1.5 credit course. Dean Elliott

noted that the issue has already been addressed around the country in

many MBA courses.

(l) In response to a question from Professor Kishore Tandon, Dean Elliott

noted that some students have been exposed to the Framework. However,

the GCC has not formally taken the Framework to the students for their

views until the faculty adopts it.

(m) Dean Elliott thanked the GCC and everyone here and looks forward to

future conversations on the Framework.

(c) Chairman Sankar Sen of Zicklin School Executive Committee summarized the

proposed changes in the Zicklin School By-Laws:

(1) Recognize the endowment of the School and its several departments, and refer

to the Zicklin School of Business, the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy,

and the Bert Wasserman Department of Economics & Finance.

(2) Include the Department of Real Estate as one of the departments and include a


representative from that department on the Executive Committee.

(3) Change the number of student representatives in various committees to recognize

that we no longer have separate day/evening undergraduate programs,

separate day/evening graduate programs, and separate student governments.

(4) Add two standing committees: an undergraduate Assurance of Learning

Committee and a separate graduate Assurance of Learning Committee.

(5) Removed from standing committees the Committee on Evaluation of Business


A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to adopt these amended


(d) Associate Dean Myung-Soo Lee led a discussion of the proposed revision of the

Zicklin School's Mission Statement as part of the AACSB reaccreditation site visit

preparation. (Please see file of proposed revision and elicited comments thereon

posted with these minutes.)

(1) The proposed Mission Statement reads as follows:

The mission of the Zicklin School of Business (ZSB) is to create and

disseminate knowledge and support learning environments to foster success in

global business.

ZSB accomplishes its mission by:

• Providing access to excellence and capitalizing on our diversity and

location in a world city through our undergraduate, MBA and other

master’s level, doctoral, and executive business programs;

• Supporting scholarly research and professional visibility in areas

valuable to business and society; and

• Building a professional community of students, faculty, staff,

alumni, and businesses through our academic centers, non-degree

programs, and public events.


(2) Dean Lee then summarized some of the comments elicited before this faculty

meeting. (Please see file posted with these minutes of Proposed Mission

Statement and elicited comments.)

(3) Additional comments were elicited from the floor, as follows:

(a) Professor Moshe Banai suggested that the word ethics should appear

in the Mission Statement.

(b) Professor Eliot Axelrod suggested that the first sentence of the proposed

statement is in fact the Mission Statement, and the remainder is

how the mission will be accomplished. He suggested that the statement

should be reformatted. Dean Lee noted that the Committee considered

this issue and liked this format.

(c) Professor Seth Lipner suggested that the statement should emphasize

that the School provides access and promotes excellence rather than

provides access to excellence; the latter sounds too aristocratic. He

also suggested moving diversity to the community section.

(d) Professor Terrence Martell suggested that the idea of access to excellence

reflects loss of our unique status as the only BBA program in

CUNY. Now there are five BBA programs; the differentiator is excellence.

(e) Professor Hugo Nurnberg noted that when he chaired the School's

Executive Committee, it and the dean crafted a mission statement that

emphasized excellence first and access second. Although this might

sound elitist, he has no trouble with the Zicklin School aspiring to become

an elite business school.

(f) Professor Cliff Wymbs noted that we could wordsmith all day. One

way we could reach some common ground is to [state that the mission

is] to foster success in global business and then just list the three bul-


let points.

(g) Professor Ann Brandwein asked why the proposed statement does not

include the goal of becoming one of the top 25 business schools in the

nation, as in the last mission statement.

(h) Dean Elliott suggested that there will be multiple elements to the things

we publish, including a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement. The

current thinking is that communicating our aspirations in such a precise

way is not about our mission. The Mission Statement should be more

general, with supporting communications [including our aspiration to

become one of the top 25 business schools] built under it.

(i) Based on all of these comments, Dean Elliott concluded that we're in

the ballpark of a mission statement that the faculty finds acceptable.

He welcomes additional input. Please communicate them directly to

Dean Lee who, with the Strategic Plan Review Committee, will continue

working on the mission and vision statements. Expect that

committee to come back to you at the next faculty meeting with

something that we are prepared to act upon.

(j) Dean Lee indicated his intention to summarize all of these comments

and communicate them to the faculty. He expressed his appreciation

for all the hard work of the Strategic Plan Review Committee in developing

the proposed mission statement: his co-chair Sankar Sen; atlarge

members Phyllis Zadra, Frank Fletcher, Joseph Weintrop, and

Terrence Martell, Seth Lipner, Don Vredenburgh; and departmental

representatives Aloke Ghosh, Linda Allen, Naomi Gardberg, Thomas

Kramer, Donna Gitter, Abdullah Tansel, and Su Han Chan.

(k) New Business



The meeting adjourned at 2:19 PM.

Respectfully submitted,


Hugo Nurnberg, Secretary

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