FALL 2021

A Message
from the Dean

Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean

As a business school, our mission at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration is to produce knowledge through research on issues relevant to business and society. We prepare our students to create business value through leadership and practice; and promote global dialogue on economic and entrepreneurial activities that improve society.

As you will read in the pages of this issue of Pitt Business, our school has collaborated over the past 18 months with leadership, staff, and faculty along with our students and alumni to streamline decisions and processes, to use technology and data in new ways, and to accelerate the scope and scale of innovation.

As a result, we’ve earned our best rankings ever and sky-high student satisfaction. We’ve redesigned current programs like our Signature MBA and our undergraduate curriculum. We’ve relaunched the Executive MBA and Executive MBA in Healthcare programs alongside the Center for Executive Education. We’ve also taken bold steps to add new programs—like our Executive Doctor of Business Administration degree.

Using a market focus, we enhanced our different degree options to maximize the value they provide to our students, given their varying time and interests. We have also taken pride in reaching such milestones as the 60th anniversary of the MBA program and the 25th anniversary of the reinstated undergraduate program. 

This issue celebrates those successes and features examples of the many alumni and faculty members who have used their business acumen for the greater good. Some faculty focused their research on well-being throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, while others fought for racial and social justice. Our alumni network spans the globe—and those featured in this issue are combating climate change, developing sustainable supply chains, and providing opportunities for those with disabilities.

Our mission has been put to the test throughout the public health crisis and the outcry for social justice. We have taken the time to reflect as a school and have committed to taking action. We’ve created steering committees for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives, increased the representation of guest speakers in the classroom, created new courses like Race and Business Ethics, took all faculty and staff through an EDI certificate program, and partnered with minority-owned businesses and community non-profits.

As a professional school, we owe it to our students and their future employers to shift the narrative to embrace equity and inclusion. The initiatives we have launched are just a start and the quest for inclusion is not over. We have a long road ahead of us. We must do our part to overcome deep-seated prejudices and resolve to move toward both healing and justice. We know that we will change ourselves even as we educate our students and equip them with the competencies demanded by the increasingly diverse and inclusive world of business.

In short, Pitt Business is dedicated to developing leaders that use business as a force for social good. Our world-class faculty and dedicated alumni help our students to take business beyond the classroom to be catalysts for change.