Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Sandefer’

Is There an MBA Application Drought?

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month that: “Full-time MBA applications have sunk at at least a dozen of the top 30 B-schools.” What factors are contributing to this drought?

Read the article here.

Related: our in-depth interview with Acton School of Business founder Jeff Sandefer.

Interview with Jeff Sandefer

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Jeff Sandefer is a founder of the Acton School of Business, an innovative MBA program in Austin, Texas focusing on entrepreneurship. Sandefer received his MBA degree from Harvard University before launching five successful companies in several industries, most notably in energy. He translated that business experience into becoming an award-winning professor at the University of Texas, where he was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top entrepreneurship professors in the United States.

Kaizen: In 1996, you were teaching at the University of Texas and honored by BusinessWeek, yet soon you would be leaving to start a new business school with a very different approach. Why was BusinessWeek impressed with your teaching?

Sandefer: The BusinessWeek award was based on a survey of students, which I think is the best measure of a teacher, especially if there is a strong learning contract in place. After all, who other than students knows if a class has delivered on its promises? I believe that this is the same reason Acton wins so many honors from Princeton Review because unlike most business school polls it asks students: “Did you get what you were promised?” Of course, the BusinessWeek and Princeton Review awards really belong to all the Acton teachers, each a successful CEO who is committed to his or her students and the Socratic Method.

Our secret is that we set high expectations and hold students accountable to their promises. It helps that teachers are rewarded based on student satisfaction, after the students have been evaluated based on a forced grading curve. In other words, we have an incentive system that rewards performance, just like in the real world. No grade inflation, with rewards tied to results. It’s a system I wish more people in academia would adopt.

(more…)

Jeff Sandefer: Universities Should Give the Customers What They Want

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Kaizen interviewee Jeff Sandefer writes a controversial piece for The New York Times on why universities should view students as customers. Mr. Sandefer concludes: “Big changes are coming to higher education, sooner than most people think, and it will include intense competition on both quality and price. Those with business and educational models that don’t listen to their customers are unlikely to survive the tempest — and frankly, they shouldn’t.”

Read the article here.

Read our interview with Jeff Sandefer here [PDF].

September 2012 Issue of Kaizen

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In our latest issue of Kaizen we feature an interview with Jeff Sandefer, a founder of the Acton School of Business, an innovative MBA program in Austin, Texas focusing on entrepreneurship.

Also featured in Kaizen are: student essay contest winners Megan Hopwood and Carly Stokstad; and guest speaker Dr. Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, and author of “Money Can Buy Happiness.”

A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post separately the full interview with Mr. Sandefer.

If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at] Rockford.edu.