A message from Thunderbird’s New President - Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D.
Changes have come quickly at Thunderbird in recent months, and you deserve an update as a valued member of the T-bird family.
Despite my short time on campus, I have already seen firsthand the extraordinary diversity, value and entrepreneurial spirit of the Thunderbird alumni. Thank you for embodying the brand of this great institution. In my previous roles at Arizona State University, Colorado State University and as Chair of the AACSB, I caught glimpses of Thunderbird's vast global network with some envy, I will admit. Now that I see you in action, my admiration is only greater.
I am honored by my appointment as Thunderbird's President and Chief Academic Officer. To succeed Interim President Barbara Barrett and Chief Operating Officer John Berndt is humbling. Both of them worked tirelessly in the weeks prior to my appointment to bolster Thunderbird and ensure a smooth transition.
Thunderbird has made a major commitment to modernize our curriculum, embrace technology and build stronger relationships with employers. You can be sure I will endorse a culture of high-quality customer service for Thunderbird students, and for the employers who hire them, as they embark on their career as a member of our proud alumni family.
Thunderbird's global network is one of the school's greatest assets. In order to thrive as a community - for you and for our current and future students - it deserves the school's consistent attention and support. Your leadership in public, private and social sector organizations in countries across the globe provides a distinct competitive advantage for the school; you differentiate Thunderbird from all other rivals. I am already working with alumni on our Board of Trustees to broaden our capacity to maintain effective communication with alumni.
You may be aware of the very significant changes in the graduate business education industry. Applications to two-year, traditional MBA programs like ours have dropped sharply. The number of people taking the GMAT has leveled off in many parts of the world. Applications are increasing in some sectors where Thunderbird is not currently competitive, for example, the one-year MBA programs that reduce students' opportunity costs, and 100% online MBA programs (Thunderbird's On Demand MBA is a hybrid program). The good news for Thunderbird is that an update to our full-time MBA experience is already under way, and the intent is to make it more competitive. Our relatively new, specialized master's programs have seen an increase in enrollment, and this is an area where applications are up in the industry.
That said, it is important to note that the pace of change and the cost of remaining competitive create challenges for leaders like Thunderbird. We face many more competitors offering global programs, and significant innovation is occurring at an increased pace. We are actively evaluating marketplace changes as we chart and adjust our strategic path forward. Operationally, we have made tough but needed choices to cut overhead and bring expenses in line with revenue. In making those choices, ensuring a quality student experience has always remained our primary focus.
At my side during this process is a highly competent and capable Senior Management Team. Members of the team bring solid global business acumen to their roles. Each has second-language skills and has traveled abroad extensively, many have experience managing international operations, and half of them have lived abroad.
Education has opened the world to me, and Thunderbird's learning experience is doing the same for our students. I am enthusiastic about the future, and I look forward to working with you and on your behalf in service to Thunderbird.
Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D.
President and Chief Academic Officer
Thunderbird School of Global Management
December News Briefs
Thunderbird Global Impact Report 2012
Impact is hard to measure, but our data clearly shows that Thunderbirds have a far reach and are changing the world. Check out this year's Thunderbird Global Impact Report to find out where T-bird students are serving real world clients, which faculty case studies are bestsellers, and what alumni are doing around the world to make a difference. Click here for the full report.
The Gift That Keeps Giving
Thunderbirds, past and present, share more than a degree. They share a passion for global business and cross-cultural interaction, an abundant spirit for affecting change, endless entrepreneurial drive, and a global mindset. These are essential attributes in today's fast-paced multi-cultural world. Now, in difficult economic times, the world needs Thunderbirds more than ever; and Thunderbird needs your help more than ever as we continue to educate the global business leaders of the future.
Tuition covers only about 65% of a Thunderbird's education. Whether it's a scholarship to help bridge the financial gap for the most deserving students or developing emerging technology to strengthen learning platforms and expand our menu of degree options, we need your support in order to keep Thunderbird at the forefront of global business education.
Your generous gift to Thunderbird's Annual Fund, in any amount, will most assuredly make a difference. Your donation demonstrates your vote of confidence in Thunderbird's mission. When you give to Thunderbird, you say yes to a vision of educated, skilled, ethical, and globally minded leaders who will create sustainable prosperity in all parts of the globe, and we thank you.
Please make your tax-deductible gift for this calendar year before December 31:
Online: http://www.thunderbird.edu/mygift (safe, secure, convenient)
By phone: 800-457-6981; 602-978-7716; 602-978-7309 (M-F; 8-5)
By mail: Thunderbird Annual Fund
1 Global Place, Glendale, AZ 85306
Alumni Webinar: "Global Economic and Financial Outlook: A New Financial Architecture"
Join Professor F. John Mathis on December 5 at 10:00 a.m. Arizona time for a discussion on global economics and finance. The topics will include:
• Global investing opportunities and risks
• How the loss of wealth in Europe is impacting capital flows
• Global growth prospects and the significant implications
• Economic and financial interlinkages and how this will change the impact and outcomes of economic policies
Visit http://thunderbird.edu/wwwfiles/sites/webcasts/alumni.html to attend the webinar on the day/time of the event. The link will not be active until the day and time of the event.
Join us for the 2012 Fall Commencement Ceremony
On Friday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m., 170 T-birds will join the alumni network. We invite you to attend the Commencement Ceremony in the Thunderbird Event Center (TEC) where the keynote address will be delivered by Karen House. House has held the positions of Publisher of the Wall Street Journal and Senior Vice President of Dow Jones & Company. We hope you will join us! Click here to learn more.
Free Harvard Business Review Webinar with T-bird Professor
Sign up for a free HBR interactive webinar with a panel that includes Thunderbird Professor Gregory Unruh, Ph.D.! The broadcast, titled "Building a Sustainable Future: Unlocking the Energy Challenge" will be presented live from Doha on Thursday, December 6. Register here: http://www.krm.com/hbr/FutureInfluencersCL
Job of the Month
Global Connect: #6346
Job Title: Consultant
For more information on this position and other opportunities log in to GlobalConnect. If you are a new user, please allow 2-3 days to be admitted into the system.
Something to Brag About: Chapter Events
We had several chapters send us emails about the cool events they have hosted in their areas. We love hearing about what goes on when T-birds get together, and thought it would be fun to share with everyone!
Taipei - The Taipei chapter held a successful event this month, with about 30 alumni in attendance who graduated between 1985 and 2012. Shao-Ping Pan '05 said the group also included prospective students, friends, and even a Thunder baby. You can check out all of the pictures here: https://sites.google.com/site/thunderbirdtaipei/
Washington State - The Washington State Thunderbird Alumni Association has become a chapter to follow. Over the past year the chapter has held a number of great events (in addition to First Tuesday). Each January the Chapter holds a black-tie dinner. Over the summer, the chapter rented a sky box at a Seattle Sounders game and held a pre-game tailgating session. Don't forget the winery tour and Oktoberfest bar crawl that brought out a bit of the Chapter's wild side. The Chapter has more great events planned for the New Year and is focused on building alumni participation throughout Washington State. To check out more you can visit their new webpage at: http://washingtonthunderbirds.webstarts.com or visit the WSTAA Facebook page.