Two years ago, Goodman School of Business Dean Andrew Gaudes was given a mandate as the newly appointed President of the International Partnership of Business Schools (IPBS) that included eventually creating more virtual learning opportunities for students around the world.
As his first term concludes and he looks forward to the next, Gaudes is checking that box along with a few others.
Last week, he was appointed to another two-year term as IPBS President to carry on that work, which has seen Goodman students, and thousands of others across the IPBS network, exposed to more global learning opportunities than ever before.
It’s an accomplishment that comes by way of being president during a pandemic, challenged with advancing international education at a time when students and faculty have been forced to learn at home while sheltering in place.
“It’s pushed us into places we’d been musing about going but we had to move into these new modalities to sustain our objectives at this time,” Gaudes said. “It’s been rewarding because of what we’ve been able to do and accomplish in this most disruptive time in our lives which, hopefully, we will never see again.”
Gaudes was reappointed president during the fall general meeting of the IPBS, hosted by Goodman.
IPBS is a consortium of 13 globally oriented leading business schools in Europe and North and South America. This network of business schools grants double degrees, which require study in two countries, promoting language and cultural fluency along with business aptitude.
Being part of the IPBS provides Goodman students and faculty access to opportunities in Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.
But the advent of the pandemic meant moving entire business curricula online throughout the network in a short time, particularly to satisfy the requirements of double degree programs that saw students’ opportunities to travel to schools abroad come to a full stop.
Still, the pandemic fast-tracked plans for online exchange programs that gave all Goodman students, including those outside the double degree program, the chance to experience international education by enrolling in credit courses offered at other IPBS universities.
“That became a reality,” Gaudes said. “We all knew our courses were online. What does it look like to offer the virtual means to take courses at partner universities at home?”
In addition, the IPBS under Gaudes’s leadership created a certification for double degree students that verifies they studied and worked in two countries, satisfying the requirements of the prestigious program.
Funding for faculty research was also established last spring. That program will see IPBS and a faculty member’s university share in financing work up to 3,500 euros each.
Better Together, an online networking platform, was piloted last March to connect faculty with common research interests and nurture collaboration throughout the IPBS network. Better Together will be available across six schools starting in November and move network-wide in January.
There are plans to establish a similar platform next spring for students to engage and collaborate academically.
“I think it’s incredible and, in many ways, inspirational to see the alignment of goals, and coming together in strong agreement, and going forward in creating these right-from-scratch initiatives,” Gaudes said about the accomplishments, all done without face-to-face meetings. “These are things that went from concept to action in the span of 24 months.”
Next on the to-do list for Gaudes and IPBS is revisiting the group’s strategic plan to ensure goals and objectives continue to align.
Another box he wants to check? Meeting in person again — perhaps in Brazil in Spring 2022 when the organization hosts its next general meeting.
“It’s aspirational for sure, but hope springs eternal next spring in Brazil,” Gaudes said.