The University Record, January 31, 2000

Business School announces joint venture for online executive education

By Keith Decie
School of Business Administration

The Business School and FT Knowledge will pioneer a new category of online executive education through a joint venture announced Jan. 24. FT Knowledge is a division of the international media company Pearson plc, whose holdings include the Financial Times, Penguin Books and a major interest in The Economist.

The jointly-branded online courses will essentially create a new category of Web-based management training. The approach will use technology to enable participation from anywhere in the world at any time but retain valuable components of traditional classroom learning such as interaction with highly qualified classmates and first-rate faculty. Admission standards will pre-qualify participants. To facilitate interactions enrollment for each course will be limited to 50 participants.

Four courses are being developed based on successful on-campus executive programs. The first courses will be launched this summer and will be live throughout a two-month period during which time students proceed on their own schedules with regular interaction from faculty.

Courses will primarily be marketed to companies and will be equivalent to a one-week, full-time, on-campus program. The initial offerings will be programs for which there is high demand on campus—Finance for Non-Financial Managers, Sales Management, Marketing for Non-Marketing Managers and Basic Management.

The partnership is ground-breaking in both its approach and its combination of assets. The Business School is the first highly-ranked American business school to partner with a multi-media company. The parties contribute complementary capabilities to the venture.

FT Knowledge has many years in developing course content in a variety of media, and has an established infrastructure to deliver and market programs internationally. FT Knowledge, as part of Pearson, has access to intellectual property of the world’s largest education publisher and a leading provider of international business and financial information in the Financial Times Group.

The Business School’s executive education arm is the worldwide market share leader in university-based open enrollment programs. The School was the first top business school to have a technology-based management education program with its Global MBA, which began in Hong Kong in 1991.

“Our stock-in-trade is combining unsurpassed intellectual capital and innovative teaching to produce superb results for our students,” said Business School Dean B. Joseph White. “In management development, quality matters enormously because only high-quality, sophisticated training produces first-rate know-how in students. FT Knowledge knows the value of quality and impact, and together we have the assets not only to create high quality and superb results for participants but also to take these products all over the world, to most everywhere they can make a difference.”