- Protect the integrity of the core curriculum while opening it up to new ideas
- Allow greater specialization within faculty resources
- Enhance an organization’s value proposition
One of the largest impediments to change in an organization that prizes shared governance is how all of this might impact existing faculty. It is the faculty who “own” the curriculum and any proposed changes that affects their primacy in the organization, their workload or disrupts the current balance of power is treated with a great deal of skepticism and resistance.
Tenure track faculty are the product of years of study in a particular field and when combined with their post-graduation research efforts are placed in the position of being thought leaders as well as the dominant figures both inside and outside the classroom. Asking them to have a command of the literature in the field along with an intimate knowledge of current business practices (particularly when they are rewarded for the former and not necessarily the later), may be too much. Hence any practice-based curriculum may be looked upon as an unnecessary burden that carries with it an increased workload.
By structuring the Business in Practice program as a curricular enhancement that works in conjunction and not in competition with the core curriculum, it becomes easier to gain the support of the tenure-track faculty. It leaves the core curriculum largely untouched and does not require that the faculty change their teaching in any way. Nor does it confer any additional responsibilities. The program does however create new administrative responsibilities, but these can be handled out of the normal functioning of the core curriculum.
As a quasi-independent program that runs in tandem with the core curriculum, a practice-based program allows the faculty to stay current in their field for the purpose of their research but creates an alternate avenue for exposing students to those skills, technologies and experiences that will ensure their professional success. By enhancing the instructional division of labor, tenure track faculty can remain focused on what they do best and can contribute most to the organization, while a whole new category of instructor can be brought on board who are able to place those business principles into practice and hence assist in the development of desirable career ready graduates.
In this way, a business school can enhance its value proposition by developing a superior graduate. A graduate who can offer more than a well-developed grasp of the core curriculum that shares many of the qualities found in other AACSB accredited business schools. Given the high cost of higher education, it is one strategy for offering a higher return for that expensive investment undertaken by parents and their children.