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
(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
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-
(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.
Hugo Nurnberg, Secretary