Dean of Harvard Business School (HBS) Kim B. Clark announced during a recent visit to China that the school will expand recruitment in that country as part of the school’s ongoing effort at globalization.
Clark’s visit to China was part of the Global Research Forum held in Shanghai last week, which brought together HBS alums, faculty and several top Harvard administrators to discuss current business-related issues in China. HBS conducts similar forums in various international locations every couple of years.
Heinz Professor of Environmental Management Richard H. K. Vietor, who is the director of the five-year-old HBS research center in Hong Kong, said the forum went extraordinarily well.
“It was a spectacular success. We had about 1,000 people that came from all over the world, including about 20 faculty members, Dean Kirby, Dean Bloom and Dean Clark,” Vietor said, referring to Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences William C. Kirby and Dean of the School of Public Health Barry R. Bloom.
George Yeo, the minister of trade and industry in Singapore, capped off the two-day event with his keynote speech.
“He is smart as a whip and he gave a spectacular speech,” Vietor said.
Although the focus of the event was education, Vietor said that it also served as a social gathering for the many HBS alums who attended.
“It is a way for our alumni to get together in different parts of the world,” Vietor said. “[There was] celebrating and partying at night and then academic sessions during the day.”
While the event was actually delayed a year due to the SARS outbreak in China, Vietor said the event was still a great success and set the stage for many future research projects in China.
“It helps build our own business school network in the region,” Vietor said. “We had many meetings with business school deans and local leaders of large Chinese companies, and we set up a bunch of research projects for our faculty.”
While Vietor said that these types of research initiatives are a good starting point, he still contends that the school needs more faculty members whose primary speciality is China.
“We are really short given that the Chinese economy is some 2.5 to 3 trillion dollars. There are so many things going on there and we have to teach about them and understand them,” Vietor said. “I think Kim [Clark] would like to find two or three real experts on China.”
Clark could not be reached for comment.
Vietor noted the difficulty in finding such faculty members given language barriers and the unfamiliarity of Chinese scholars with the case method of teaching used by HBS.
In addition to recruiting more professors who specialize in China, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Brit K. Dewey cited similar goals for recruiting more Chinese students to HBS.