The "Next" Century

The winning team at the 2018 Cincinnati Bell Corporate Challenge Innovation Sprint at 1819 Innovation Hub. (Left to Right) Akshay Kher, MS-BANA ’19; Mariana Sosa Saldana, DAAP ’21; Karl Blevins III, BBA ’20; Nonso Okonji, BBA ’22; Zea Zhou, DAAP ’19.

The Carl H. Lindner College of Business is discovering, defining and fulfilling its role in the University of Cincinnati’s strategic direction, Next Lives Here.

One hundred years ago, the Lindner College of Business was awarded accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world’s authority on business education. Since 1919, business education has advanced with the introduction and adoption of innovative technologies, groundbreaking research, experimental theories and economic seesaws.

In an era where the relevance and perceived value of higher education is at risk, business schools face great challenges — yet have a unique opportunity — to truly differentiate themselves. The AACSB acknowledges those challenges and the potential for transformation in its 2016 report, “A Collective Vision for Business Education:”

“Business schools are challenged to examine their relationship to society, to the business community and to the higher education landscape. It will mean thinking, organizing, and acting in ways that have thus far been unusual or underdeveloped. It will mean incorporating new models and strategies and devoting renewed attention to economic, environmental, and personal well-being for all populations around the world. Such a transformation will not be easy … but the ecosystem is supportive.”

The University of Cincinnati is taking a bold, refreshed approach to higher education, focusing on creating opportunities that better prepare students for careers in a constantly evolving world. The Lindner College of Business is defining and fulfilling its role in that strategic direction, Next Lives Here.

Not just a diploma

A successful college experience is inextricably linked to what happens after the diploma is earned. UC’s Bearcat Promise bridges human and technological resources to proactively assist students in creating a personalized path to achieving success.

At Lindner, that journey is part of the curriculum. In their first year, students create an initial plan about what they want to concentrate on in their studies, then another plan midcareer for post-college.

“Many students come to college knowing about general business, like accounting, finance or marketing, but not always the nuanced paths they could take, such as industrial management, real estate or entrepreneurship,” said Susan Mantel, PhD, associate dean of Lindner undergraduate programs and professor of marketing. “They have a chance to explore all of these options in their first two years, then leverage design thinking to help them set their path.”

Emphasis on context

Content has little real-world application without context, and sometimes, the most fertile ground for it is at the intersection of discipline and industry.

“Artificial intelligence, drone usage and other innovations are spreading throughout the economy and disrupting insurance and finance industries,” said Nicolas Williams, associate dean of Lindner graduate and online programs. “We are exploring programmatic collaborations with the 1819 Innovation Hub, the College of Engineering and the School of IT to solve for these business problems so students experience applied learning as they generate value for industry partners.”

Another is example is the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program in UC’s College of Applied Health Sciences, which features courses taught by Lindner College of Business professors.

“The business of healthcare is something we can best teach MHA students thanks to collaboration with the Lindner College of Business,” said Joan Murdock, PhD, associate professor-educator and MHA program director. “The curriculum gets very specific across health care finance and economics, strategic decision making, leadership development and more, all of which will help our MHA students be better health care leaders.”

A nimbler approach to co-op

Co-op doesn’t have to be rigid — it’s diverse professional experiences that help set students apart as they seek full-time employment.

Kevin J. Hardy Director, Lindner Career Services

Studies show that, by the year 2027, the American workforce will experience 6.5 million job moves caused by disruption and displacement. The university has adopted a nimbler approach to co-op, referred to as “Co-Op 2.0,” that acknowledges the dramatically different skills and layered credentials needed in today’s economy.

“Co-op doesn’t have to be rigid — it’s diverse professional experiences that help set students apart as they seek fulltime employment,” said Kevin J. Hardy, director of Lindner Career Services. “Our career coaches are very engaged and uniquely positioned to help students consider and evaluate different co-op possibilities, such as working in the gig economy as an independent contractor for a startup, being on a virtual team or even co-op abroad.”