Irvine, Calif., November 20, 1997
UC Irvine's Graduate School of Management (GSM), which has been ranked among the top 50 business schools in the nation, has been honored by Microsoft Corp. for its innovative use of technology to train tomorrow's business leaders.
The "Microsoft Exchange Visionary Award" was presented by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's executive vice president of sales and support, to UCI's business school and six other winners Monday night during a special event held in Las Vegas as part of the Comdex technology industry trade show. Among the other winners were General Electric, Nissan Motors and Boeing.
Kai Ichikawa, product manager in Microsoft's personal and business systems division, said UCI's business school was recognized for its innovation in real-time collaboration, which makes it possible for MBA students who live in other parts of the country and around the world to work with faculty in real time over the Internet in between class sessions at UCI.
"UCI's Graduate School of Management has been successfully experimenting with new technologies that will be encountered more and more in the workplace," said Ichikawa, who helped select the award winners. "The information technology skills UCI's MBA students are acquiring will give them a significant advantage in the job market."
"We are extremely proud that Microsoft Corp. has acknowledged GSM's commitment to innovation and experimentation, which enables our students to gain the best education possible," GSM Dean David H. Blake said. "This award shows our MBA students that UCI's management school, its faculty and staff are willing to take risks and able to make them pay off in ways that greatly enhance the learning process. The ingenuity our faculty and staff demonstrate in their use of technology sets an example that will be valuable to our students in their management careers."
GSM Director of Computing John Clarke, who accepted the Microsoft award in Las Vegas on behalf of the UCI business school, said the ability to link students with professors in cyberspace has become increasingly important as specialized MBA programs that draw students from a wide geographic area have been established.
UCI's groundbreaking Health Care Executive MBA program, for example, has attracted doctors and other health care professionals from such distant parts of the nation as Alaska and Massachusetts. One student, a dentist, even commutes from Taiwan.
Students in this program spend one weekend a month at UCI, a schedule that enables them to continue their careers as they earn their MBAs. To help them keep up with their studies in between class sessions, GSM has adapted such Microsoft tools as Exchange, NetMeeting and NetShow in ways that make it possible for students to interact with their professors as if they were in the same room.
This technology also gives students from all over the country the opportunity to collaborate on projects via the Internet, editing and discussing each other's work in real time.
MBA students at UCI not only use technology as a learning tool, they also have the opportunity to earn an MBA specializing in using information and technology to analyze and solve a broad range of business issues. This comprehensive focus on information
technology helped propel the school to its first appearance in the top 50 in U.S. News and World Report's 1997 graduate school rankings. (UCI was ranked 46th.) The school's MBA program was ranked 19th in the nation this year on ComputerWorld's Top Techno-MBA list, and Business Week recently placed GSM's Executive MBA program among the top 20 in the country.