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A look back on the 2023–24 academic year

By Judith Whipple
Monday, April 29, 2024

As we wrap up the 2023-24 academic year, I want to reflect on some of the highlights I’ve had in my role as the Broad College of Business’ interim dean this year. With each passing week, I have truly been inspired by our students, faculty, staff and alumni for their abilities to connect and collaborate to achieve excellence.

Kicking off the fall semester, we welcomed seven full-time faculty members to five of our departments and invested in a number of new support and academic staff positions, in alignment with our Broad 2030 strategic plan. We held our annual Faculty Recognition Dinner and Investiture Ceremony, honoring Broad faculty for their academic achievements, including endowments, promotions and teaching awards. Our Broad Matters podcast continued in its seventh season, featuring faculty and staff guests discussing a range of topics centered on our strategic themes. Finally, we launched an Employee Spotlight series to shine a light on the many faculty and staff who strengthen our community every day.

The year was filled with many new accomplishments that provided me with a great sense of pride. On the programmatic side, our M.S. in Marketing Research and Analytics became the college’s fifth STEM-designated master’s program, our Full-Time MBA program announced a concentration in entrepreneurship and our M.S. in Accounting and Data Analytics welcomed its first class of students. Our programmatic offerings continue to evolve and align with changing industry demands, preparing our students for success as future business leaders.

Partnerships throughout our community enabled the launch of exciting new programs, initiatives and events. Thanks to a grant from Michigan State University, we kicked off the Leadership in Action program, bringing together student leaders to deepen their impact and embrace inclusivity. We also held the inaugural Champions of Diversity and Unity week for students to start the year off making meaningful connections with employers and alumni.

We hosted numerous large-scale events and lectures, welcoming alumni and executive leaders to campus to speak with Broad Spartans. I had the pleasure of moderating a fireside chat with leaders from Reddit and was honored to attend this year’s Gupta Ethics Lecture Series and the Ethics of Water Symposium — both university-wide events hosted by Broad — and most recently the Schmidgall Lecture Series on Ethics and Leadership. Through these events, our Broad and MSU communities come together to engage with and learn from peers in business and academia.

It was wonderful to celebrate many rankings this year that reflect excellence across our undergraduate and graduate programs. U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings placed our renowned supply chain management programs once again at No. 1 for undergraduate, a spot we’ve held for 13 consecutive years, and No. 1 for graduate, held for eight consecutive years. Broad was also ranked No. 2 for Best Online Master’s Programs and No. 1 in U.S. News’ Best for Veterans category — our best standings ever — among U.S. public universities. Topping it off, our Full-Time MBA was ranked in the nation’s top 10 and our Executive MBA was ranked in the top 15 among U.S. public universities, and our entrepreneurship program was ranked in the nation’s top 15 overall.

Our faculty continue to publish timely and impactful research in top journals in their field, serve important roles on editorial boards, demonstrate thought leadership through grant activity and mentor Ph.D. students. Broad faculty have also continued to share insights and commentary on current events in national media outlets. A few recent examples include weighing in on Airbnb’s ban on surveillance cameras for the New York Times, the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore for the Associated Press, spotting fake product reviews in the Wall Street Journal and the pervasive impact of AI in The Conversation. Broad research and expertise were also featured in MSUToday — the university’s newsroom — illustrating our strengths in supply chain, uncovering inconsistencies with COVID-19 reporting, offering advice for exploring nonalcoholic beverages for Dry January and identifying political polarization in financial news. Finally, Broad was highlighted for collaborating with peers from MSU’s Colleges of Education and Engineering on a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce.

We also saw many high points for our students this year. I have personally enjoyed engaging with our Broad Champions. Launched in the fall with support from the college’s Advisory Board, the 15 champions in this student ambassador program have been exceptional, representing their disciplines and peers with our esteemed alumni and donors. Broad students have also put their heads together to support student-athletes in navigating NIL deals thanks to the unique collaboration between Multicultural Business Programs and MSU Athletics.

Broad students also competed in MSU’s seventh annual Diversity Research Showcase and the Broad College Venture Capital Competition, an inaugural event hosted by the Financial Markets Institute. The strength of our student organizations has showcased the dedication our students have to take on new and diverse opportunities for learning. Seeing our students succeed in these ways is inspiring because it shows their determination and grit to make an impact beyond the classroom.

Like our students, Broad alumni reconnected with campus in many meaningful ways. We hosted international alumni Parth Gandhi and Yuan “Linc” Lin as Global Engagement Fellows for week-long visits on campus. At the annual Sylvan T. Warrington Visiting Lectureship in Ethics and Leadership, I was joined by Linda Hubbard, Carhartt president and COO, where we discussed how she is a champion for ethical leadership. Finally, at MSU’s 77th Alumni Grand Awards, two Broad alumni were recognized for making an impact in their professions, in their communities and for their alma mater.

Our alumni also made generous contributions to support the next generation of Spartans. Gary and Sue Farha, MBA grads in the Class of 1982, gave to support the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment program. Officially launching the Dashney Women’s Leadership Accelerator, Priya Balasubramaniam (MBA ’01), VP of operations at Apple, pledged a game-changing gift to propel women students into the C-suite, and Tamira Chapman (B.A. Supply Chain Management ’01), president and CEO of Storehouse in a Box LLC, has given to the support our Entrepreneur Leadership High School Camp for the next three years through the Chapman Family Foundation.

Earlier this month, we honored the life of MSU alumnus, esteemed business leader and dedicated philanthropist Bob Burgess, who passed away on April 2. We paid tribute to Bob at the sixth annual Burgess New Venture Challenge, an event that he loved to attend each year. Bob was passionate about entrepreneurship, having pledged a significant gift in 2005 that gave his name to the college’s Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His dedication to Spartan Nation was unmatched, and I know that his legacy will continue to have an enormous impact on student success for generations to come.

We also welcomed MSU President Kevin Guskiewicz to the Broad College complex in April. I personally enjoyed hosting his journey through Broad, showing him around our spaces, introducing him to some of our faculty, staff and students and hearing about his vision for the university. Taking a group photo on the grand staircase in the Pavilion was certainly a wonderful end to his time with us!

This weekend, we gave well wishes to more than 1,000 undergraduate and 390 graduate students at commencement who earned degrees from the Broad College. Of the undergraduates, 36 earned Board of Trustees awards, marking the highest scholastic achievement, a 4.0 GPA, at the close of their last semester. We were honored to have some outstanding alumni and speakers join us for the ceremonies, too. Alison Gleeson (B.A. Marketing ’87), retired Cisco senior vice president and the college’s current Advisory Board president, addressed business undergraduates. In addition, April Clobes (B.A. Marketing ’94), president and CEO of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, addressed master’s and educational specialist graduates and Bolaji Balogun, CEO of Chapel Hill Denham Group, addressed doctoral candidates. Clobes and Balogun received honorary doctorates in business for their achievements and lasting impact on business.

As I reflect on these achievements (and more), I want to express my deepest gratitude to our Broad faculty, staff, students and alumni for all that you do. Each day I am motivated by the passion, dedication and collaboration that surrounds me — because I can truly see how Broad Spartans are inspiring the future of business together.

I hope you take time to reflect on your personal and professional accomplishments and that you take as much joy in celebrating the past academic year as I do. Thank you, and Go Green!

All my best,

Interim Dean Judith Whipple's signature



Judith Whipple
Interim Dean
Broad College of Business

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