The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is the second-oldest business school in the world. “And second to none when it comes to influencing business education and business practices,” so believes Sunil Kumar, the dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “Our mission is to create knowledge with enduring impact, and to influence and educate current and future leaders,” he says. Established in 1898 as the College of Commerce and Politics at the University of Chicago to offer practical business instruction, today the school’s MBA programmes rank among the best in the world. Kumar, who joined the Chicago Booth faculty on January 1, 2011, has since then concentrated on broadening and strengthening the intellectual footprint of the school, including expanding the faculty, supporting increasingly diverse student aspirations, and expanding the reach of the school’s programmes. The school’s another Indian connection is in the form of Raghuram Rajan, the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, who is on leave from the University of Chicago, where he is the Eric J Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School.
In an email interaction with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, the dean shares, among other things, how the school is strengthening its presence in Asia. Excerpts:
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is relocating its Asia Executive MBA from Singapore to Hong Kong. What does this mean for Indian students?
From Chicago Booth’s perspective there should be no change at all for Indian students other than just the location of the programme. We have always had very strong interest in all of our programmes from Indian students and we certainly look forward to welcoming more students from India to the programme at our new Hong Kong campus. The programme is exactly the same as it was before, Pure Chicago, taught by our professors who fly in from Chicago to teach the same MBA classes with the same rigorous Chicago Approach.
What are the academic highlights of studying at Booth School? What unique opportunities can the school offer Indian students?
There are a few distinctive elements that Chicago Booth provides its students from an academic perspective. Aside from having some of the most talented faculty in the world teaching our classes, we offer a highly flexible academic environment. Of the 21 courses needed to complete the MBA programme, only one is required; couple