Northeastern B-School dean leaves to become Illinois Tech president
Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business loses its dean.
One month away from his four-year position at Northeastern, “Raj” Echambadi joins Illinois Tech as 10th president, succeeding past president Alan W. Cramb on August 16.
The new job will bring him back to Illinois where he was a professor and innovator at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. As Senior Associate Dean of Strategic Innovation at Gies, Echambadi led the development and launch of the highly successful and disruptive iMBA, a $ 22,000 online MBA program.
“DAD, WE ARE ULTIMATE CHILDREN OF THE MIDWESTERN”
His return to Illinois was good news for his two teenage daughters. After receiving the offer to become president of Illinois Tech, “They said to me,” Daddy, we’re kids in the Midwest after all. “
Echambadi was chosen after what the university called “extensive nationwide research”. The immediate appeal of the job, he says, harkens back to the original vision for the school described in an 1890 sermon by Chicago minister Frank Wakely Gunsaulus. At the time, higher education was mostly reserved for the elite of society. From the pulpit at his South Side church, near the current site of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Gunsaulus said that with $ 1 million he could build a school where students from all walks of life could prepare for significant roles in a changing industrial society. It quickly became known as the “Million Dollar Sermon”.
The minister finally found a donor with a million and the rest made history. When the Armor Institute opened in 1893, it offered professional courses in engineering, chemistry, architecture, and library science. Illinois Tech was established in 1940 by the merger of the Armor Institute and the Lewis Institute, launched in 1895 and offering liberal arts courses as well as science and engineering courses.
“THE SCHOOL’S MISSION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER”
“I felt that the school’s mission is more important than ever,” says Echambadi. “We need to make education more accessible to students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Add to that what happened last year and it was important for us to do this to build a fair world. “
In an interview with Poets and Quants, Echambadi highlighted the institute’s “solid strengths in architecture, engineering and design to name a few. Given my experience in promoting entrepreneurial thinking, these are strengths we can tap into. So that’s the first thing. You have a great faculty and staff who are deeply aligned with the goal, who are really there because they want to prove an education that is accessible to all. And Illinois Tech has a good reputation as evidenced by talent from around the world who come to study there. A significant portion of the students come from outside the United States. When you have incredible social and cultural capital coupled with passionate college friends, I think it’s ripe for mission relevance again.
“Illinois technology is already doing a lot of interesting things. They have already started to imagine the next generation of computational thinking. My job is to build interdisciplinary collaborations that are not only student-based, but also research-based. One of the opportunities that fascinated me about Illinois Tech is that it’s Bronzeville, Chicago, and there are some amazing opportunities to work with the community so that we can develop a strong university. It was an attractive part.
“THERE ARE INTERESTING MODELS WITH WHICH WE MUST BEGIN TO EXPERIMENT”
Chicago was also a draw. “Chicago is one of the great great cities, with a diverse population. It is a magnet for talents and full of technological promise. Chicago has the numbers, the capital, and the opportunities to be a market leader, and Illinois Tech is Chicago’s only tech institution. “
Prior to joining Northeastern, Echambadi was Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Strategic Innovation at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As the driving force behind the school’s online MBA, Echambadi has helped provide increased access to innovative education for students around the world. The iMBA program has been hailed as a breakthrough in higher education and one of the best disruptive innovations of the past decade.
“Illinois Tech already has online programming at this point,” notes Echambadi. “It’s pretty well established. But what I bring, I think, is my experience with the iMBA which provided a quality program that was affordable with wide access. There are some interesting models that we need to start experimenting with. There is a solid foundation for e-learning at Illinois Tech, but there are also some interesting models that we need to start experimenting with. How do we co-create and co-design with our partner companies to offer technology training to attract new talent in technology fields? “
“THE FUTURE OF ILLINOIS TECH IS IN VERY CAPABLE HANDS”
At Northeastern, Echambadi’s big idea was to reimagine the MBA as an experience that would provide students with the basics of business, but also tap into the skills and talents of other parts of the university at large (see D ‘ Amore-McKim Dean Raj Echambadi on the latest Torsion MBA: MBAx). He created a new degree program called MBAx that puts interdisciplinary learning at the forefront. D’Amore-McKim collaborates on the program with other professional colleges in Northeastern, such as Khoury College of Computer Sciences, College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD), and College of Science. In computer science, for example, a business school student can now delve into subjects such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data science or software development.
A leading academic research expert in strategic organizational innovation, Echambadi has developed new forward-looking academic programs designed to foster student success in a dynamic market. The majority of his academic research has focused on strategic innovation within organizations and how companies should balance current and future opportunities. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Anna University in India and a PhD in Marketing from the University of Houston. His research on salaried entrepreneurship won the prestigious Journal of the Academy of Management Best article award.
In a statement, Michael P. Galvin, chairman of the Illinois Tech board, praised the choice. “Raj’s experience in attracting strong researchers, business and philanthropic partners and, most importantly, diverse students and faculty is undeniable,” said Galvin. “Throughout his career, he has delivered extraordinary innovation with wide impact and demonstrated a deep commitment to higher education as a mechanism to create access and economic mobility. Raj’s genuine connection to Illinois Tech’s founding mission to empower students from all walks of life and all perspectives to create a more just and sustainable world through technology has made him the ideal candidate for the next president of the world. ‘Illinois Tech.
“As Illinois Tech continues to strengthen its reputation as a critical driver of innovation and economic impact in Chicago and beyond, I know Raj’s ability to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset in all of our students. will help further elevate Illinois Tech as Chicago’s premier technology hub. university, ”added Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb, who is retiring. “While I am proud of the progress we have made in achieving our mission of creating a more vibrant and inclusive tech ecosystem, I know that under Raj’s leadership, the future of Illinois Tech is in the middle. good hands. “
DON’T MISS: RAJ ECHAMBADI ON THE LATEST TWIST MBA: MBAx