Celebrating a century
As business education at Ohio State turns 100 years old, Fisher College of Business Dean Anil Makhija draws on the past to build toward the future
It is rare when an event can truly be described as “once in a lifetime.” As dean of the Max M. Fisher College of Business, I have the distinct honor of celebrating with our college community a milestone that really does occur once in a lifetime.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the College of Commerce and Journalism — the predecessor to our modern-day Fisher College of Business. Throughout the next year, our college will celebrate the achievements as well as the alumni, faculty, staff and friends who helped transform business education at The Ohio State University.
It is a wonderful occasion to look back at all we have accomplished, but our centennial represents much more. It is a critical opportunity to rededicate ourselves to our guiding mission of creating ideas, encouraging scholars and developing leaders who positively impact their community and the world.
New ideas and impactful thought leadership have served as a strong foundation for business research at Ohio State for the past century. Some key examples of idea creation at Ohio State include:
- the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire, a valued and still-used tool for quantifying leaders, which was created at Ohio State in the 1940s
- the Accounting Hall of Fame, established at Ohio State more than 60 years ago
- the Journal of Business Logistics, which was founded and first published here in 1979
- the study of consumer behavior in marketing, which Ohio State pioneered in 1980s
- the editorship of the Journal of Finance, which was held by a Fisher faculty member for an unprecedented 12 years
- the Master of Business Operational Excellence, established as the nation’s first master’s degree in lean management in 2008
The faculty thought leaders who helped create these tools, journals and programs also established a legacy of excellence in the classroom. As our commitment to business research has flourished, so too has our dedication to providing students with a rigorous educational experience.
Mirroring a trend at the university, Fisher’s most recent class of incoming undergraduate students scored an average of 29 on the ACT. We are committed to offering these high-achieving students a curriculum that brings textbooks to life and providing a four-year experience that encourages them to engage, emerge, dedicate and lead from their first day on campus. At the graduate level, this emphasis on hands-on learning is the driving force behind the innovative programs that are connecting MBA students with valuable business opportunities around the world.
How we educate our students now will determine our success throughout the next 100 years. Whether hearing from recognized business leaders such as Les Wexner and Jamie Dimon, working with Ohio companies to boost international exports or taking a deep dive into today’s most relevant industries, our students not only study business — they experience it.
Partnerships with the business community remain one of the most valuable ways we’re enriching the educational experience at Fisher for generations to come. These unique collaborations provide a two-way conversation between Fisher and industry — where businesses leverage our faculty thought leaders for critical insights and solutions to present-day challenges; and we look to our partners as sources for mentorship and professional development for our students.
This year’s centennial celebration also represents a valuable opportunity to reconnect and reengage with what I consider to be the college’s greatest legacy from the past 100 years — our alumni. The support of our 87,676 graduates and countless other friends is what has made our programs, initiatives and partnerships possible. They are benefactors to our college, ensuring that Ohio State — as a land-grant institution — is a leader in research and innovation that propels our community and state forward. For our students, our alumni support scholarships and serve as valuable mentors and life-changing connections to careers in business.
As you can see, it truly is an exciting time to be a part of Fisher. In just a few weeks on March 7, we will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of our college with a birthday party. I invite you to join us that day as we look back at a century’s worth of accomplishments and prepare for another 100 years of creating new ideas, encouraging the very best scholars and developing leaders to elevate business and transform the world!