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Letter from the Dean

David Schmittlein John C Head III DeanDavid Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean

Dear Alumni and Friends of MIT Sloan,

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of management education at MIT, it would be easy to sit back and rest upon our laurels and, indeed, there are many laurels. The last 100 years have been extraordinary! One need look no further than our groundbreaking research—from Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y to the Black-Scholes-Merton model to Jay Forrester’s development in the field of System Dynamics—to find proof of our community’s contributions to society. We will permit ourselves the well-deserved indulgence of recognizing the achievements of the last century of innovation. However, and in the words of our philanthropist-in-chief Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., “nothing is finished in a world that is moving so rapidly forward.” Luckily for us, the future is bright at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

The Fall 2013 issue focuses on China Lab, one of our most popular action learning course offerings. Like Global Entrepreneurship Lab, our flagship action learning course, China Lab provides a setting for transformative learning outcomes. Our students partnered with Chinese management students and women entrepreneurs in Kunming Province, and their stories illustrate global impact, collaboration, and innovation. These layers of partnership catapult students into the reality of working in a global economy where language, culture, and tradition are equally or more important than finance, marketing, and supply chain management. By taking management theory out of the classroom and into the world, our students emerge ready to become the principled, innovative leaders that the future demands.

Even as we expand educational opportunities around the world, our faculty members continue to drive educational innovation in our Cambridge classrooms. Professor Michelle Hanlon and Senior Lecturer Bill Aulet, SF ’94, talk about their approaches to teaching and learning—reflecting on how the topics they teach are impactful in new business development, entrepreneurship, and thought leadership.

As we learn from today’s accomplishments and look to the promise of the future, reflecting upon our foundation is essential. Throughout the magazine, there are highlights from the last 100 years: profiles from our first graduates (including E. Pennell Brooks, SM ’17, who went on to become the School’s first dean); the words of Course XV’s program director Erwin H. Schell, SB ’12; and imagery from international students trips in the 1930s. Today’s commitment to improving the world through management education has its roots in the founding of the Institute and in the decades of leaders who have come before us. Ours is a bold and brilliant community, renowned for the development of groundbreaking theory and practice—which could only have happened at MIT. I look forward to sharing in this celebration with you.

Warm regards,
David Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean