Walt Whitman wrote, “To have great poets, there must be great audiences.” These words came to mind as I received news yesterday that Princeton Review ranked Darden professors #2 in its universe of 282 MBA programs. The various publications weight the factors of excellent performance in different ways. Princeton Review’s approach especially recognizes great teaching. We are gratified by this, because the faculty and staff work very hard to produce sizzle in the classroom. Our colleague, Professor Robert Spekman, likes to quote the Blues Brothers that we’re “on a mission from God” to teach well. But the motivation of faculty and staff is only part of the story.

We attract to Darden very discerning audiences, people who have strong appetites and high expectations for the classroom experience, people who like the stimulation of active learning, and audiences who are eager to interact, practical, intelligent, and have strong work ethic. Part of our secret sauce at Darden is that we listen to these people; we are student-centered. This is consistent with a good deal of business research that firms grow strong by responding to demanding stakeholders.

Tonight Darden’s heart is full of gratitude to its great audiences: current students, alumni, corporate partners, recruiters, and consumers of our research and teaching materials. You lift our school, and through us, the wider community of management education. As Whitman might say, to have great schools, there must be great audiences.


Bob Bruner
Dean, Darden School of Business

Posted by Robert Bruner at 10/06/2006 12:56:38 AM