Updates & Latest Information on Partnerships
Thank you for visiting One Thunderbird, the main hub for information and updates regarding potential partnerships for Thunderbird School of Global Management.
We all share a common ideal, that in order to ensure Thunderbird’s continued growth we must be united as One Thunderbird.
In October 2012, Thunderbird President Larry Penley focused his attention on assuring Thunderbird's competitive position for the long term. Recognizing its historic position as the original school of international business and the School's continued metamorphosis over multiple decades, Dr. Penley and the Board outlined three criteria for any potential alliance. These criteria have not changed. Any future partnership must:
The most important priority for all of us – faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers and other stakeholders – is to move the institution forward and to lay the groundwork for competitive growth. Thunderbird is an excellent academic institution, and we all care deeply for Thunderbird.
In this new process of finding a strategic partner, the administration is committed to:
Dr. Penley's Letter in Das Tor - March 30, 2014
March 30, 2014
By President Larry Penley
Over the past two weeks, I have taken part in hundreds of conversations with students, faculty, and other leaders in higher education around the world. Without exception, every single one of these dialogues has shared a common theme: in order to ensure Thunderbird’s continued growth we must be united as One Thunderbird.
Reflecting on this early stage of my tenure as President of Thunderbird, it is clear that the greatest changes and improvements that have happened resulted from having open and transparent dialogue with the faculty, staff and especially students. Our students have been some of the most powerful agents of change within this institution. One recent example of this is the continued curriculum enhancement to the full-time MBA program, an innovative evolution of the Thunderbird MBA program, which will continue in the fall of 2014. These improvements would not have been possible without the open and constructive feedback and conversation between administration and our students.
Another great example stems from the student-initiated dialogue regarding the finance curriculum. In Spring 2013 I was in casual dialogue with students in the MS Finance Program in the Yount Building Lobby. The direction students gave was constructive and clear. The faculty acted immediately with recommended modifications. With more time for deliberation in Fall 2013, the Master of Science in Global Finance was significantly modified in response to student recommendations and current market drivers. The school also used this opportunity to revisit the Master of Science in Global Marketing curriculum. The enhanced curricula for both programs will launch in fall 2014 as well.
Perhaps the best example of students’ adding value to Thunderbird is the development and launch of Task Force 20/20. When I first heard about this project I was intrigued by its mission to facilitate cross-functional stakeholder engagement with a work product focused on the core areas of student experience. The progress reported at a recent First Friday meeting confirmed the very significant value of Task Force 20/20. This type of collaboration embodies the values of T-Birds, and I believe it has laid a strong foundation to ensure that this Thunderbird, founded in 1946, will not only thrive towards 2020, but also continue to be One Thunderbird in 2046 for our centennial anniversary.
The Thunderbird faculty and my administration understand the value of dialogue and open communication channels, as demonstrated by the success of these three examples. We will continue to make this a central component in key decisions made at the School. And as Thunderbird continues to innovate, the involvement and feedback of our Thunderbird community will become even more important in order to ensure that Thunderbird endures as the leading educator of international managers.
And on the topic of successful international managers, I am proud to announce that our graduation speaker for the 2014 academic year will be a friend – of mine, Thunderbird’s and several of our faculty. He is a renowned business strategist and former chief operating officer of Microsoft Corporation, Bob Herbold. Currently, Dr. Herbold is the Managing Director of the Herbold Group, a consulting business focused on profitability, strategy and operations. Herbold also serves on the Board of Directors of Agilent Technologies and of Neptune Orient Shipping Lines. Some of you had the chance to hear from Dr. Herbold when he spoke on campus. We received wonderful feedback on his talk and look forward to welcoming him back to campus on May 9th as we usher in the newest members of the Thunderbird Alumni.
Thank you for all you do to make Thunderbird such a special place.
Thunderbird Townhall Recap - March 20, 2014
March 20, 2014
Dear Thunderbird Alumni,
You are all aware of the fundamental changes taking place in higher education globally. Adapting to change is an important part of the Thunderbird DNA since its origins under General Yount. One important reason we have endured as a leader and our students have succeeded globally has been our ability to adapt to the global business landscape and its many employers within the context of our mission and brand. All of the important changes implemented in recent years were designed for that purpose. I believe we must continue this pursuit and constantly challenge the status quo as a requirement for continued vitality.
What We're Doing Right Now
Last week's news regarding HLC's decision not to approve the Laureate alliance as proposed was not expected, and many of you were disappointed. While we were surprised by the HLC decision, we did not let that impact our efforts to react quickly. The Board of Trustees immediately commenced a thorough analysis of the HLC decision for solutions to the specific HLC issues and engaged in further dialogue with HLC representatives. At the same time, the Board also began actively pursuing various strategic alternatives, including a modified collaborative relationship with Laureate and communications with other potential strategic partners.
Although opinions on the Laureate alliance have been mixed, the need for a partnership remains. In October 2012, the Board of Trustees focused its attention on assuring Thunderbird's competitive position in the long-run. Recognizing its historic position as the original school of international business and the School's continued metamorphosis over multiple decades, the Board outlined three criteria for any potential alliance; those criteria have not changed. The partnership must:
- Support Thunderbird's global mission;
- Preserve the Thunderbird brand; and
- Provide for the School's long-term sustainability.
Moving Forward Together
I recognize that the Thunderbird community has endured more than a year of uncertainty, and the process has taken its toll. The most important thing for all of us -- faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers and other stakeholders -- is to move the institution forward and to lay the groundwork for competitive growth. Thunderbird is an excellent academic institution, and all of us care deeply for Thunderbird.
As Thunderbird moves forward I make three pledges to guide the process:
- First, the administration and Board are committed to Thunderbird going forward as a formidable competitor.
- Second, we will work quickly to secure a suitable partner that provides for the School's competitive position, consistent with the Board's October 2012 charge for the process.
- Third, we will engage Thunderbird stakeholders and provide regular communication within the constraints of protecting Thunderbird and potential partners during the ensuing negotiations. In the last three days, we have already reached out to
• Leaders of the Thunderbird Student Government (TSG),
• Faculty and Staff,
• The Alumni Council of Thunderbird (ACT).
Working through these groups and the Thunderbird Global Council, we will listen to your suggestions and keep you informed. We will also act quickly – before the end of this academic year – for the sake of the Thunderbird community. The ACT motto, "One Thunderbird," will be our rallying cry as we work together to educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide. Thank you again for your continued interest, passion and support.
|Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D.
Thunderbird Update on HLC - March 14, 2014
March 14, 2014
Dear Thunderbird Community,
On September 15, 2013, Thunderbird submitted a proposal to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for a change of structure related to a planned strategic alliance with Laureate, under which Thunderbird would remain independent and a jointly-owned service provider would be formed. On March 12, 2014, HLC informed Thunderbird that the HLC board did not approve the proposed plan, as presented, based on specific elements of the strategic alliance.
Thunderbird has been given the option to submit a new application addressing HLC's concerns. HLC reiterated that Thunderbird's accreditation remains intact, and noted that Thunderbird is scheduled to host its next evaluation for Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2022-23. Thunderbird is continuing conversations with HLC. The School's Board of Trustees is also exploring various strategic alternatives, including models of collaboration with Laureate, which would respond to the specific concerns expressed by HLC.
|Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D.
Chairman, Board of Trustees