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HBS Campaign Reaches $925 Million of $1 Billion Goal

By Julia E. DeBenedictis, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Business School has raised $925 million for its capital campaign, nearing its final goal of $1 billion, according to Dean Nitin Nohria.

The school raised more than $600 million in gifts and pledges during the “quiet phase” of its campaign, which publicly launched in April 2014, and has since raised the remaining $325 million. The Business School's fundraising effort is part of a University-wide $6.5 billion campaign.

In his annual update, Nohria cited innovation in the MBA program as a priority for funding, along with raising money for endowed associate professor chairs and furthering the development of HBX—the business school’s digital learning platform.

The MBA program centers around the case method, a model for which HBS is well known, Nohria said.

“As part of our centennial in 2008 we had a big opportunity to say what the future of the MBA program should look like,” he said. “I was involved in the task force that came out of that, and we came up with this very simple framework that leadership development is about knowing, doing, and being.”

Nohria concluded that in its first 100 years, the Business School had done well fulfilling the “knowing” priority. Through the case method, he said, the school touched upon the “doing” element, since students are forced to think from the perspective of the protagonist in the case study. The real-time feedback that students receive, he added, allows them to sample the “being” aspect of the tripartite philosophy.

Moving forward, Nohria said the school hopes to focus on the second and third portions of the framework.

Over the last five years, the Business School has experimented with FIELD—Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development— a required course for first-years designed to complement the case method.

“Now we’re beginning to add a portfolio of second-year courses,” Nohria said. “My hope is that, in steady state, about 20 percent of the curriculum will be FIELD.”

Nohria said that the FIELD method is significantly more expensive than the case method, as it sends all 900 MBA students to a foreign country. “We cannot possibly charge them the full cost of that,” he said.

The Business School also hopes to invest further in HBX, which was launched three years ago to redesign the online classroom experience, Nohria said.

—Staff Writer Julia E. DeBenedictis can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Julia_DeBene.

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