Business Dean Charts Goals for School’s Success

STEM-Certified MBA Program, Undergraduate Honors Program Among Offerings Slated for Development

Business dean Nilanjan Sen joined the University at Albany in the fall of 2018. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 12, 2019) – A heightened focus on collaborating with the local business community and a suite of programmatic renovations are in the works at the School of Business, according to its dean, Nilanjan Sen.

Sen joined the University last August from Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Now with six months under his belt, he said his goals for the School will include bolstering industrial-academic collaboration, increasing international program offerings and introducing a broader range of interdisciplinary curricula.

“A constant dialogue with the business community is crucial in order to ensure that our efforts both cater to its needs as well as best prepare our students to enter the workforce – and be able to immediately make a meaningful impact,” said Sen, a professor of finance. “We hope to continue to enrich these relationships by investing in talent management workshops and other executive education opportunities.”

Responding to the growing demand for specialized skills in an evolving marketplace, the School plans to develop a STEM-certified MBA program with a focus on digital transformation, according to Sen.

He said the interdisciplinary program, planned for implementation by 2020, will have courses developed and taught by several schools and colleges at the University.

“Even in our initial planning stages, we will be rigorously seeking buy-in from local industry leaders, career services professionals and the School’s alumni network across various industries,” Sen said.

The one-year program best fits professionals with five to six years of experience, according to Suraj Commuri, a senior associate dean of the School. He said the decision was in response to a national trend towards and appetite for a more expedited graduate experience in business.

“In order to keep at the forefront of higher education in business, we must constantly assess how our programs bridge the skills gap,” Commuri said. “The new MBA program, as well as a new undergraduate Honors Program, will have a strong focus on digital transformation, with themes including design thinking, digital tech and innovation management.”

The STEM-certified MBA will expand the School’s current graduate offerings, which include a weekend and an evening MBA program, and one and two-year MS accounting programs.

The priority on digital transformation is part of a larger initiative to interweave these skills into all existing undergraduate and graduate programs, with a correlating emphasis on incorporating SMACT (Social Media, Mobile Technology, Advanced Analytics, Cloud and Internet of Things) technology education into the School’s administrative backbone, according to Commuri.

The School is also pursuing dual degree programs with the Hanoi School of Business in Vietnam, as well as the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in India.

Sen said undergraduate international students from NMIMS could begin transferring to UAlbany as soon as the fall of 2019.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.