John C Head III Dean David Schmittlein shared MIT Sloan’s many recent accomplishments during his annual “State of the School” address at MIT Sloan Reunion 2023. He provided updates on academic programs, as well as new faculty and MIT leadership.
Dean Schmittlein acknowledged that MIT Sloan alumni have played a key role in the school’s success. He began his address by thanking alumni for supporting MIT Sloan’s transition to hyflex education during the pandemic.
“During a time when so many people were suffering so much economically as well as personally, our alums stepped up in so many ways to support us ... so that we could support our students during a time of unusual need,” he explained.
Later in the session, the dean reiterated his gratitude towards alumni donors and showed numbers reflecting the steady support to the MIT Sloan Annual Fund over the last six years.
New MIT leadership and MIT Sloan faculty
Dean Schmittlein was quick to praise MIT’s new president, Sally Kornbluth. He said that she believes in the value of MIT Sloan and its role in the Institute’s overall impact. She sees MIT Sloan as essential to contributing to MIT’s goals around major subjects such as climate change.
“I’m very grateful that she is the president of MIT,” he remarked.
The dean went on to discuss the accomplishments of the MIT Sloan faculty. Junior faculty are conducting research in today’s relevant finance and business issues such as energy economics, organizational economics, the future of work, and artificial intelligence
“It’s just informative to me looking back to see that that's what we have been doing, which is to a large degree, what I think we should be doing,” he reflected on these research topics.
MIT Sloan has four incoming faculty members: Benjamin Vatter (Assistant Professor of Applied Economics), Chara Podimata (Assistant Professor of Operations, Research, and Statistics), Swati Gupta, PhD ’17 (Assistant Professor of Operations Research and Statistics), and Catherine Wolfram, PhD ’96 (Professor of Applied Economics). Some faculty were also promoted to tenure. The dean noted that President Kornbluth is very impressed with the research of these newly tenured faculty members.
Thriving degree programs and student success
of the current MIT Sloan MBA graduating class belong to underrepresented minority groups.
Dean Schmittlein reported on the progress of each of MIT Sloan’s degree programs. He mentioned that the school is engaging more undergraduate students than ever before. Approximately 7% of undergraduates major in Course 15 at MIT Sloan. By graduation, 42% of undergraduates have taken at least one course within the school.
The MIT Sloan master’s programs continue to be successful and competitive. The comprehensive pre-experience Master of Finance and Master of Business Analytics programs are extremely popular and have 16 applicants for each student spot.
The MBA program has its most diverse study body ever, with 33% of students in the class of 2023 belonging to underrepresented minority groups. The dean expressed that it has been a priority for MIT Sloan to create an inclusive environment that encourages student retention.
“Our efforts around diversity are not about admission. They’re about matriculation,” he said.
Dean Schmittlein then reviewed the top industries where 2022 graduates are currently working. They are employed in industries such as finance, technology, and consulting. For those who are not currently employed, MIT Sloan works with them to find opportunities.
Asia School of Business leadership
Dean Schmittlein also provided an update on the Asia School of Business (ASB), which MIT helped to develop. While ASB is not an MIT program, its students spend a month on campus as part of their education and receive a certificate recognizing their participation at MIT Sloan.
ASB’s founding President, CEO, and Dean Charles Fine (MIT Chrysler Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management) recently served his full term. MIT’s Sanjay Sarma (Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Former Vice President of MIT Open Learning) will succeed him.
“He is a great choice as the incoming leader for that partner school and it sustains our partnership,” the dean commented.
Celebrating MIT Sloan
Dean Schmittlein ended his presentation by encouraging the MIT Sloan alumni community to celebrate its successes. The dean showed a slide of publications written by alumni, noting their intellectual and professional accomplishments.
“This is a reflection of the thoughtfulness of the MIT community and maybe a reflection of what we would choose to celebrate,” he said.
He also mentioned that MIT Sloan is currently working on new ways to get alumni together in-person or online post-pandemic and encouraged alumni to share their ideas with the school.
The dean urged alumni to promote and celebrate MIT Sloan’s unique position within the business school community.
“Let’s be thoughtful about making sure the world knows what we are because we are unlike any other leading school of management,” he declared.