March 2018 Quarterly Update

Greetings from Dean Maxfield

Sylvia Maxfield

Dear Friends,

We strive to be innovative at the Providence College School of Business. We owe it to our students to constantly probe for new and better ways of meeting their needs while accomplishing our strategic goals. All of our constituent groups – including alumni, corporate partners, and accrediting agencies – look to us to be creative, nimble, and in step with the times.

There are a few reasons we have had success when it comes to innovating: the initiative and creativity of our faculty, the support of the College’s senior leadership, the inspiration that comes from our students, and even the design features of our new building.

Additionally and importantly, we benefit from being part of an exceptional liberal arts college. Our business students learn how to adapt and to accept challenges because of what they experience in all their courses. Critical thinking is a skill that is nurtured and valued throughout our community – we expect it of our students, and we expect it from each other as faculty and staff members.

And we believe that it is a skill we can help business leaders to develop. That is why, as an example of our drive to be original, we have begun a Critical Thinking Development Program for managers. Associate Dean Dan Horne is the program coordinator, and he has engaged PC faculty colleagues to create a unique program. Dan and Prof. Colin King, from our philosophy faculty, recently visited an S&P 500 company in Washington to start the process of helping that company’s senior executives hone their abilities to assess real and ‘fake’ information, and to deliberately develop ways to make better decisions through sharpened critical thinking skills. We believe that companies will find real value in the Critical Thinking Development Program, and that Providence College is uniquely positioned to deliver it. This initiative has tremendous potential, and it is another example of what we mean by Educating for a Future Based on WE. These executives work as teams to develop their critical thinking, as we deliver this program in much the same way as we provide undergraduate and graduate education here on campus. I look forward to sharing more about this initiative in future updates.

All of us at PCSB, especially our students, are working hard as we begin the home stretch leading to Commencement. It is difficult to believe that we are nearly through our first full academic year in the wonderful Ryan Center for Business Studies. I am looking forward to watching our 2018 graduates begin their post-PC lives, and to turning our attention to welcoming those who will join us next fall. Based on what we know so far, that group – the Class of 2022 – appears to be a cohort that will bring further distinction to PCSB and to the College.

I also would like to draw your attention to another national ranking that indicates progress toward our goal of a higher national profile. We took a very substantial jump, up 48 spots to #118, in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of part-time MBA programs. Congratulations to our faculty, students, and our administrators and staff members who work so hard to make the MBA program a success.

I hope you will be able to join us on Thursday, April 26, for the PCSB Dean’s Symposium featuring the Fiondella Lecture. Former presidential candidate and Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will be this year’s speaker, discussing the business-world value of the kind of education we provide at PC. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Peterson Recreation Center, and you can register online. The event also will include presentation of the annual Fiondella Student Academic Achievement Award.

I offer my best wishes for a warm and enjoyable springtime, and I thank you for your continuing interest in the Providence College School of Business.

Sylvia Maxfield signature

Sylvia Maxfield, Ph.D.