I write these words as I sit on the runway at Chicago’s Midway Airport, returning home from the Annual International AACSB Conference. Associate Dean Mike Strauss and I were proud to represent Yeshiva University, as the Sy Syms School of Business was formally recognized by approximately 600 peer schools as having achieved accreditation.
As I take a few minutes to reminisce, I am gratified that our business school has not only met all AACSB Standards, but in every case, we have exceeded them. Specifically, this means that we maintain both an academically-qualified and a professionally-qualified faculty, providing students with the best in contemporary business education. Students receive excellent advising. Our Career Center is considered state of the art. The students of the Sy Syms School of Business are highly-motivated, entrepreneurial, intelligent, and energetic.
The three members of the AACSB team that visited with us for four days this past February, all deans of comparable business schools, were unanimously impressed with the teamwork and trust at Yeshiva University, noting especially the support of Board Members, the President and Provost of the University, fellow Deans, students, full-time and adjunct faculty, staff, alumni, and all of our various stakeholders.
For me, though, the most important take-away from this journey was the genuine respect AACSB showed towards our goal of providing students with a business education in the context of our University’s unique mission of combining Torah-Umaddah. This goal sets us apart from every other business school in the world, and we should be extremely proud of our rigorous Jewish studies and Torah Programs, our unique classes like Principles of Success taught by Professor Charles Harary, Leadership in Non-profits taught by President Richard Joel, Ethical and Legal Environment of Business taught by Professor Rob ert Greenberg and Rabbi Daniel Feldman, and Rabbi Feldman’s brand new course on Business and Jew ish Law. We stand tall in our support of Israel through our newly-launched Leading with Meaning Series of lectures and hosting visiting faculty like Dr. Haim Levy from Israel.
My goal as Dean is that every one of our undergraduate business students embarks upon his or her career, not only with the ambition of rising to the top of his or her profession, but with the aspiration of always conducting business according to the best values of the ancient Jewish tradition. One of the most famous ad campaigns of all time, tells us to “Just Do It.” I suggest modestly that we at the Sy Syms School of Business amend this slogan ever so slightly to read, Just Do It, But Do It Jewishly.
Attaining accreditation, “what a long strange trip it’s been,” to quote a legendary rock group. But like all great journeys, this one has left us right where we began only stronger, wiser, and even more ambitious than ever to renew our commitment to start all over again.
The pilot is telling me and my fellow travelers that we are about to make our descent into La Guardia Airport, and I must turn off all electronic devices. As I return to campus this evening, I am grateful to have been invigorated by my colleagues at AACSB. I am excited to be bringing back with me new ideas to experiment with and implement. But, I also note, with significant pride, it’s great to be home again.