GME Summit: Summer 2022 

Hosted in partnership with the Association of MBAs (AMBA), BusinessCAS convened the most recent GME Summit in Boston on July 27th.  Leaders from across the full spectrum of GME institutions gathered to discuss the best approaches to managing the complexity of ongoing disruptions.   

In a field where novel innovations quickly become openly shared best practices, many schools have reported working through some common issues:  

Enrollment Management

Most schools are saying that the traditional indicators of enrollment show there are sufficient applicants and admits in the pipeline to fill classes in the coming fall.  There have been, however, many conversations about the difficulty in recruiting US-domestic students in both full-time and part-time programs, and some reported challenges working international students through the pipeline earlier this year.  

Operations Complexity

Among the many changes shaping GME school operations, staffing has dominated conversations.  There is not only a wave of ongoing searches for school deans, but a second wave of resignations in admission and recruitment teams. There’s also a negative externality wherein the “veteran” staff who have picked up the slack from departed employees have neither the time nor the energy to train incoming new staff.  And in discussions regarding program platforms and online instruction, many schools are working through the process of figuring out how to provide the on-demand flexibility most students seem to want right now. 

Mission & Vision Commitment:

Despite the challenges of the pandemic era, many schools are seeing some progress in finding context-driven ways to work toward their DEI goals.  Schools are finding novel ways to work with their stakeholder communities, to develop ways to embed the university in the community, to improve access to business education, and to meet their mission/goals around these areas. 

Discussion sessions centered around a few key areas of school administration that represent both ongoing and novel challenges:  

International Students – Strategy & Tactics 

Among the key insights coming from the conversation is the acknowledgment of the importance of context in driving international student efforts; most agree that the fundamental motivations for these students have not changed, but it’s clear a lot of work needs to be done to support the full inclusion of international students in our school and program culture.   

DEI as Strategic Imperative 

The discussion around DEI highlights the full-spectrum complexity of our most pressing issues.  From basic definitions to the challenges of reasonable goal setting, success in DEI efforts seems most dependent on whether goals are based on institutional context. General goals will not be sufficient to meet future demands or support the fulfillment of a vision, and the seemingly universal sentiment for this discussion is that context should drive the conversation. 

Data Analytics as Core Operations Need 

How can GME leaders incorporate the tools and methods of contemporary data analytics to meet their goals better?  This session focused on understanding the evolution of analytics from descriptive to prescriptive, and the use of specific tools that support the identification of high-propensity leads and the development of strategic insights at the individual level. 

Micro-Credentials and the Focus on Lifelong Learning 

Lifelong Learning is a conversation that has been ongoing in GME for decades, yet few schools have mastered the art of keeping graduates continuously engaged with various discrete learning opportunities. This session focused on ways that schools can develop pipelines and curricular offerings that connect working professionals at all stages of their careers with content and learning experiences to support them along the pathway of continuous improvement. 

Worldwide Alliances and Partnerships 

Most universities understand that an external partnership can help with core elements of operation.  To meet the demands of the current environment, however, university leaders need to look beyond the traditional transactional partnerships of the past, and innovate through the establishment of targeted, integrated partnerships.  This session focused on some of the best practices to establish innovative partnerships between schools to support more stable international recruitment pipelines.   

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