Virginia Tech® home

March 26: The Pamplin Pulse

From the Desk of Dean Sarker

Late last month, I attended my first ever AACSB Dean’s Conference where I met new and veteran business school deans from around the world. In addition to connecting with many new colleagues and friends, I also met with the deans who visited us last November as part of the AACSB peer review team. The conference focused on such topics as the education mission, effective leadership in business schools, and many other pertinent issues. Additionally, there were opportunities for networking, participation in hands-on activities, and discovering what is keeping “deans awake at night.” 

Here are a few highlights from the conference:

  • The opening keynote given by Gianpiero Petriglieri, associate professor of organizational behavior, INSEAD, was an uplifting and motivating presentation urging us as leaders of learning – not to lose sight of bringing more humanistic approaches to research and curricula, as well as to our work in organizational management. He highlighted the importance of the humanistic roots of leadership which are found in emotions and relationships and the importance of collaboration. As I sat through the keynote, I could not help but reflect on our three R’s, especially, our emphasis on “responsibility,” both in terms of instilling responsibility amongst our students, integrating it into our educational curriculum, but also our deep responsibility toward each other and toward our college and society.
  • Data-driven decision making has been at the center of Pamplin and will likely be more so in our future as we craft the next-gen Pamplin.  AACSB has also been on that journey with its DataDirect application, and its new extension titled “AnalyticsHub.” As a true IT nerd, I found myself sitting in the front row of the AnalyticsHub demo session with my laptop so I could follow along. This tool can provide meaningful market analysis and can be a valuable asset when we roll out new programs and initiatives.
  • It is probably not surprising that the final day of the conference ended on a topic that was on everyone’s mind: AI. The panel discussion on AI and education with academic deans and industry partners continued in the subsequent breakout sessions. I learned that having a task force dedicated to AI – something that we have had since last November – is not common among business schools and that ours is likely to be used as a model by many deans going forward. It was also clear to me that as Pamplin thinks through our future curriculum and courses on AI, it will be important to not just to have a course on AI, but on learning how to learn with AI. Clearly, we cannot address the topic of AI without deep engagement with our industry partners, which we are already pursuing. AACSB is putting together a dedicated conference on AI in May, and Pamplin will be there so we can bring back the latest thinking and best practices surrounding AI to weave them into our own design of next-gen Pamplin. 

Overall, it was a successful conference, and the sixty-degree weather in sunny Barcelona did not hurt either!

Featured Story

Professor Mark - Day in the Life

Meet Mark Michalisin, associate professor of practice in the Marketing Department. Professor Michalisin brings with him over 25 years of B2B sales expertise. A Union College B.A. and MBA graduate, his career includes leadership roles at SCA Tissue and Morcon.

Join us in a snapshot of a day with this seasoned sales educator.

Hokies on Wall Street

Join the Pamplin College of Business in NYC for Hokies on Wall Street! Enjoy an exciting short program discussing the future of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) featuring industry experts and network with fellow Hokies beginning at 7 p.m. Cocktails and food open at 6 p.m.

Registration is $10, which includes heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, as well as a $5 gift to the Global and Business and Analytics Complex fund. Space is limited, so register today!

Register Today>>

More upcoming events

Leadership Lunch Series featuring Dean Saonee Sarker

Noon - 1:15 p.m.
Monday, April 25

The Inn at Virginia Tech

Latham Ballroom

Join us Monday, April 25, for the Leadership Lunch Series featuring Pamplin College of Business Dean Saonee Sarker, hosted by AdvanceVT, the Women’s Center, and VT Women Connect.

If you work at one of Virginia Tech’s extended campus or centers and would like to join us via Zoom, please register here.

Register Today>>

Pamplin in the News & Notes