Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) announced that it is establishing a School of Business led by Mark P. Rice, PhD, its first Dean. Rice, an internationally recognized scholar of technological entrepreneurship, was previously head of innovative business programs at Babson College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Dean Rice will lead the elevation of WPI's current Department of Management to a comprehensive School of Business. Popular with students and employers—particularly talent-hungry technology companies—WPI's management programs stand out in the world of business education. Its MBA program was recently recognized by BusinessWeek as the best part-time program in the nation, and Entrepreneur.com ranked it among the top 10 that emphasize entrepreneurship. The Princeton Review placed WPI's MBA program among the top eight in the nation for providing opportunities for women studying in business and management. Business 2.0 magazine has rated the program ninth in the nation for "best career prospects."
"The WPI School of Business is a place to learn how to start, run, and grow a business. Our focus is not on abstract management theory. It is developing leaders prepared to create new ventures, jobs, and value for society, and who will put people to work to help solve important problems," said WPI President Dennis Berkey.
Dean Rice echoes these sentiments, "The WPI School of Business will develop the next generation of technologically sophisticated business leaders. The School of Business, building on WPI's historic strengths in engineering, science, and technology, will develop the entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative problem-solving skills our students want and need."
WPI's distinctive academic program blends theoretical learning with application to practice. In both undergraduate and graduate business programs, students work in small teams to solve a problem facing an existing business. According to Rice, "Combining problem-solving projects with rigorous business and entrepreneurial education in the classroom produces a high-impact learning experience for our students that classroom learning alone cannot replicate."
Dean Rice comes to WPI from Babson College, where he served for six years as the Murata Dean of the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business, and for three years as the Frederic C. Hamilton Professor for Free Enterprise. During the same period, he held a joint appointment as Professor of Technology Entrepreneurship at the Olin College of Engineering. Prior to joining Babson, Rice was part of the leadership team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management and Technology, where he served as director of the Incubator Program and of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. Rice is co-author of Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts; and of Growing New Ventures, Creating New Jobs: Principles and Practices of Successful Business Incubation. In his most recent project, he served as co-author and co-editor of University-Based Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Global Practices. His research on corporate innovation and entrepreneurship has been published widely in academic and practitioner journals, including Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, R&D Management, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, IEEE Engineering Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, and California Management Review.