In a letter last week, Ralf Boscheck, the Program Director of the IMD MBA Program, announced that the school has “decided to realign the MBA Office with our new MBA program starting in January 2015.” He goes on to bid farewell to five long-time officials of the program, Claire Lecoq, Lisa Piguet, Janet Shaner, Marine Frey, and Simone Kuhn.
Their resignations follow a controversial move by IMD to begin reporting career stats every three years, rather than annually. After the new approach was announced, there was an uproar among alumni and applicants, especially when it became clear that this change covered up deteriorating salary and placement results for MBA graduates. The school explains, as noted in a September Poets & Quants article, that the declining salary stats are due to other changes made by the program, in particular a smaller class size, and currency fluctuations.
In a second Poets & Quants article chronicling the IMD saga, Boscheck says, “I would like to sidestep the commoditization of this industry and have a program that prepares 90 selected students not having to worry about being compared to other MBA programs that are less differentiated. These are not typical MBAs. They are junior executives and you can learn with them. It’s a senior, more experienced group. This school is an executive development network. We have 8,000 executives every year on campus and the trick is to bring the MBA program back into the core of the school and leverage what we have best which is our executive development.”
I was interviewed for the most recent Poets & Quants article on the IMD shake-up. My take on the turmoil:
“I don’t know who was behind that decision, but I do know there is a new program director and he probably wants ‘his people’ in positions that affect recruiting both of new students and potential employers. Either the old staff wasn’t comfortable with his approach and resigned, or they saw handwriting on the wall about their futures and resigned.
“I think IMD is going to struggle until the changes the new program director wants to make are implemented and prove popular with recruiters and students. If the changes are successful and the results are realized quickly, IMD will bounce back stronger than ever.
“If the changes prove unpopular or the results take a long time to be seen, IMD will decline until the new program director is replaced. In the latter case, its reputation and brand will be weakened.”
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.