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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 21, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 31
Business School to Be Dedicated

Innovation in the new economy will be the focus

By Dennis O'Shea

Did the world really need another business school?

Johns Hopkins answered, "Yes, absolutely," when it established the Carey Business School last year. This week, the school's first dean, Yash Gupta, will flesh out that answer.

In an interview as he prepared for Friday's dedication of the Carey School and his official installation as dean, Gupta pointed out that growth in today's economy is driven by knowledge and technology — personal computing, the Internet, genomics, biotechnology — that didn't exist just decades ago.

The need, he said, is for business leaders who specialize in the innovation that will fuel continued growth. Where better, he asks, to educate them than at Johns Hopkins, a world center for discovery and creativity.

Innovation, Gupta said, is "inherent in what we do. It's who we are."

Gupta said he will lay out in his address at Friday's ceremony in Homewood's Shriver Hall a vision for a research-oriented school that focuses relentlessly on innovation in the new economy.

The dedication — with remarks by university President William R. Brody and Provost Kristina M. Johnson — will also pay tribute to the philanthropist who made possible the establishment of the new school. Baltimore native and trustee emeritus William Polk Carey, through his W.P. Carey Foundation, made a $50 million commitment, the largest ever to Johns Hopkins in support of business education. The school is named for his great-great-great-grandfather James Carey of Loudon.

Gupta said his vision for the Carey School is to educate broadly prepared students ready for the challenges of the innovation economy but also interested in more than money.

"I believe that future leaders in business are not called upon just to balance the balance sheet," Gupta said.

"Future leaders are called upon to be role models in ethical behavior," he said. "They'll be called upon to be part of thinking about what society we build. They'll be called upon to become statesmen. They'll be called upon to help build policies on a national stage."

The aim, he said, is to produce MBAs and other graduates armed not only with technical knowledge and analytical skills but also with the critical thinking and flexibility that are the hallmark of a humanities education.

"We're going to educate people who are not simply good at the particular disciplines of business," Gupta said. "It's a new kind of education where students are truly going to make a difference in the world."

Gupta expects to build on the quality programs for part-time students that have existed at Johns Hopkins for decades. He will add a core of research-oriented full-time faculty and programs for full-time students. Students in all the school's degree programs — full-time and part-time — will benefit from the singular focus on innovation, he said.

"How do you fuel innovation through HR, for instance?" he said. "How do you fuel innovation through investments? How do you fuel innovation through an understanding of technology? How do you fuel innovation by leadership?"

While specifics of the school's curriculum will be determined by the faculty, Gupta imagines courses in which teams of students are paired with scientists, university technology transfer staff and business professors to learn about the process of innovation. Other students, he said, might partner with Johns Hopkins nursing and public health students to work on building social and economic capacity in developing nations.

"Until now, a CEO's mind goes: How do I maximize shareholder value?" Gupta said, of the value of such community-building programs for business students. "Now they call it the triple bottom line: People. Planet. Profit."


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