Dear MBA Program Students

Dear MBA Program Students,

As this academic year enters its final weeks, I want to inform you of
a change in the number and size of first-year sections planned for
next year. As some of you might already know, after much careful
study and deliberation, the faculty has decided to divide the MBA
Class of 2004 and subsequent classes into 10 sections (A-J). Because
of year-to-year variations in admissions yield, one cannot predict
with precision the size of the entering class. However, as a
consequence of this change, we anticipate that the average section
size will increase by about 5 to 7 students per section.

The primary reason for the reduction in the number of total sections
is to enable us to staff optimally-sized faculty teaching groups for
required curriculum courses. Experience has taught us that groups of
5 to 7 faculty members tend to work best as teaching teams. This
size provides enough breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to
ensure a healthy exchange of ideas while avoiding coordination
problems that might hamper innovation. It is also the best size for
accommodating the mentoring and development of junior faculty by
senior faculty. Supporting and enhancing the quality of instruction
is of the utmost importance to the success of our MBA Program, and
promoting the health of our teaching groups is vital to achieving
this aim.

Alternatives were considered. Because the entire entering MBA class
now matriculates in the Fall, some consideration was given to
returning to our former pre-1995 pattern of admitting nine sections
of approximately 90 to 95 students per section. However, it was
concluded that this would represent too great an increase in average
section size, and too steep a reduction in total class size at a time
when we are seeing an abundance of outstanding candidates for our
program and the global need for developing high-potential leaders is
greater than ever. We view our current plan as one that enables us
to fulfill our larger social mission while also fulfilling our
responsibility to all students to offer the best possible teaching
and learning experience in our required curriculum.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Best wishes to all of you in the final weeks of the semester.

Carl Kester