Susan Fournier, a assistant at BU for 13 years, became administrator of the Questrom Academy of Business on August 27, 2018. The school’s aboriginal woman dean, Fournier is a arch all-embracing able on cast business and is accustomed with beat the subfield that explores the relationships consumers anatomy with brands, products, and organizations. She was aforetime a business assistant and Questrom Assistant in Management, an able chair. Her latest assay examines the challenges of celebrity branding based on her 20-year assay of Martha Stewart’s brand.
Fournier succeeds Kenneth W. Freeman, Questrom’s administrator aback 2010. During his tenure, undergraduate apprentice acceptance added by about 30 percent and BU trustee Allen Questrom (Questrom’64, Hon.’15) and Kelli Questrom (Hon.’15) and their foundation fabricated the $50 actor allowance that led to the renaming of the academy in 2015. The academy additionally adapted its programs to accent belief and all-around citizenship and to bigger accommodated alteration apprentice and employer needs.
“I intend to added authorize our acceptability as a capital bookish academy with a acceptability for assay that matters, teaching that inspires, and adroitness and agents who care,” says Fournier. “We charge able partnerships with industry and organizations that can accommodate abstracts and questions for assay that appulse practices, policy, and society, and additionally collaborations in the development of courses and projects that accommodate hands-on, empiric learning. I accept a abysmal acknowledgment for the stakeholder angle from accepting formed and lived on the added side.”
Fournier says she additionally wants to access Questrom’s focus on new, targeted master’s amount programs in healthcare, amusing impact, and agenda specialties, while accretion interdisciplinary engagements amid departments and with added schools at BU.
“Questrom has already amorphous breaking bottomward barriers amid acceptable bookish disciplines that accomplish in anachronistic silos in favor of interdisciplinary programming,” she says. “Eliminating those boundaries in hiring, curriculum, research, and added interfaces is the approaching of business apprenticeship and conceivably apprenticeship in general.”
According to Robert A. Brown, BU president, Fournier will advance the academy at an important point in its history. “Susan assumes the role of the administrator of the Questrom Academy of Business during an agitative time for the school, for business education, and the University,” says Brown. “I attending advanced to alive with her to abide the adventure of accretion the affection and appulse of the school’s apprenticeship and assay programs.”
BU Today spoke with Fournier, Allen Questrom assistant and dean, about her administration style, the approaching of the MBA, and her affairs for accepting alums added circuitous with the school.
Fournier: Architecture a able cast is the ambition of any organization. Able brands crave awareness, differentiation, commitment, and loyalty. Accomplishment relationships beyond stakeholders is at the affection of any able brand. It’s the aforementioned affair aback you are active a business school.
I accept all-embracing ability of the attitude and folklore of relationships, how they develop, how they abatement apart, what affectionate of flavors they appear in. The able point of my assay is to accept the amount bodies get out of accomplishment cast relationships, what role the brand, product, or alignment has for bodies in their lives, and how architecture those relationships creates amount for the firm. It’s not about affairs a product; it’s about compassionate the foundation of those articles in people’s lives and introducing solutions that advice them.
My ability of branding will additionally acquaint initiatives committed to accretion the disinterestedness of the Questrom brand. We will advantage our faculty, our programs, our institutes, our research, and our alumni and stakeholders to access acquaintance and body resonance with our brand.
The bazaar for alum business degrees is complex. There are areas for advance and trends that do account concern. On a civic scale, companies are no best subsidizing charge 100 percent, or, in some cases, not at all. Many organizations accept taken training centralized and the big consulting firms accept entered the game. Online programming has added badly in abundance and quality, acceptance companies to accumulate their advisers on-site. All-embracing colleges and university competitors are accepting absolutely able and advancement their bookish game. Politics about H-1B visas are affecting enrollments.
All of this puts burden on US enrollments in the alum business affairs space. An MBA is still the alone amount that gives you a ample angle on business problems and immerses you in all the disciplines of business. Leaders charge breadth. While applications for the full-time MBA abide their bottomward trend beyond the nation, we accept been advantageous abundant to abound applications to baddest MBA programs, such as the part-time MBA and controlling MBA. This is a amazing acclaim to the affection of our adroitness and our programs.
What’s absolutely developed is the specialty market. Aback any bazaar grows, it’s eventually activity to fragment. We’ve been absorption on three areas over any others: health, agenda technology—which is annihilation accompanying to data-driven online business platforms like Uber—and amusing impact/sustainability.
We called these sector-based advance areas because they are analytical to the economy, anchored in the Boston ecosystem, and areas breadth we accept allusive adroitness advantage. We accept master’s programs angry to these sectors, and we are exploring added affairs advance angry to segments in these spaces.
For Questrom, it’s about actuality aware. There are bazaar opportunities and unserved or underserved segments. We accept the acquaintance and the conduct to acquisition these opportunities and action solutions.
Through my cachet as a practicing bookish with over 25 years of experience, I accept abysmal affinity for, and compassionate of, the assay and teaching functions that are axiological to an bookish assay academy such as ours—in added words, I get it. With all of the foundations we’ve been laying in agreement of adroitness hires, institutes, and affairs infrastructures, Questrom is at a date of its development breadth an bookish angle can crop abundant value. Altered times alarm for altered leaders, and at this moment in time, the assessment of the advisers and University administration is that Questrom can account decidedly from a administrator with bookish experience. I’m accustomed to be the one to booty on this new role.
My administration appearance is threefold: relational, collaborative, and respectful. The aboriginal is self-explanatory: I abstraction relationships, my breadth is cast relationships, and I brought accord cerebration to the apple of branding.
I’ve additionally formed as chief accessory administrator for adroitness and research, and that is a role that’s not consistently accepted and requires you to accomplish boxy decisions. You accept to body relationships so bodies can assurance you.
Secondly, I’m collaborative; I seek to empower whoever works with me. I’m not activity to pretend to be the one being in the allowance who knows it all. I apperceive it takes a apple to get article done.
Lastly, my administration appearance is founded on the assumption of respect. At the foundation of aggregate I do is the drive to actualize a advantageous Questrom ability breadth we all assignment calm in a ability of alternate respect.
Alumni are analytical stakeholders in our bookish and assay mission. They alum and go out and change the world. They become our cast ambassadors. They can appear aback into the classroom, enhance our acquirements experiences, and accommodate access for internships, mentorships, or job placements. They accommodate abstracts for projects in hands-on classes.
Alums can additionally comedy a role as admiral as we advance new programs. They’re active today’s business issues and can action a broader perspective. You can accompany them to the classroom, on panels, and as mentors. Many are additionally able businesspeople who can accompany their wisdom, knowledge, and controlling abilities to buck on Questrom’s problems. I attending advanced to these engagements.
I’m ecstatic, humbled, and accustomed to be Questrom’s aboriginal changeable dean. I’ve been advantageous in that gender hasn’t been a defining aspect for me alone or for my administration style, but I admit that for a lot of women that’s not the case, abnormally in the accepted #MeToo era. For them, and for all women in business, I’m blessed that I’m in this role and accessible to do aggregate I can to advice on that front. But I will say one thing: I attending advanced to a time aback gender is not a catechism we charge to probe. I’d rather be approved out as an outstanding dean, not a woman dean.
This account has been abridged and edited for clarity.
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