Educating Leaders

Dean's Reflections

With all that is going on in Washington, I appreciate cause for celebration and reason for optimism. Pope Francis brings us both. For an institution facing its challenges, the Catholic Church’s selection of a Jesuit leader certainly leaves me with a sense of hope. Pope Francis’s very selection of his name to reflect his interest and care for the poor speaks to the Jesuit education we provide for our students. We wish Pope Francis well in his work to unite those from the Catholic faith tradition and build bridges to people from all faiths.

Well, at least there is hope at the Vatican. To say that Washington is mired in political bickering and inaction these days in an understatement. Optimism surrounding President Obama’s second inauguration has all but vanished in the capital as the parties seem to be digging in along ideological lines on how to address the federal deficit, spending, tax reform, and the other big fiscal issues facing the country. Yet, despite the attention and political noise assigned to sequestration, its potential significance is not fully understood. 

The debate over the ultimate impact of the sequester on the economy and financial markets is open to considerable interpretation. In this month’s feature, Sellinger School faculty members offer opposing perspectives on the government’s self-imposed budget cuts, sharing their thoughts on the possible consequences. The financial perspective, given by Associate Professor of Finance Frank D’Souza, Ph.D., is one of lesser concern based on recent market performance. The sequester has done little to slow down markets from doing very well in Q1 of 2013. Frank points out, however, that the greater threat to financial markets would be if Congress fails to fund the government later this spring. The economist’s viewpoint, given by Associate Professor of Economics Jeremy Schwartz, Ph.D., is that these cuts could end up having an adverse impact on growth and denies the government financial tools to make smart investments in the economy. Both sides do see, however, that unless Congress seriously addresses the long-term programs that are empowering government spending, it will be very difficult to achieve sustainable growth.

This discussion is an example of the diverse viewpoints Sellinger School students hear from our faculty. To prepare leaders to take charge in these challenging times, both in politics and in business, business schools must introduce students to the broadest range of experiences and perspectives. At Loyola we challenge our students to think critically about all sides of an issue, knowing that understanding these differences is essential for effective leadership, especially at a time when our elected leaders are struggling to lead.

With leadership in mind this month, I’m pleased to share a few pieces of news. Once again, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Loyola as a top institution for our study abroad programs. This recognition complements our No. 1 ranking from the Institute of International Education of master’s institutions with the most students who study abroad in one-semester programs. U.S. News has also released their latest rankings of graduate schools, and Sellinger has been named among the nation’s very best in finance and accounting, earning honors for our part-time MBA programs. It is a testament to the strength of our programs that we continue to receive such accolades.

And speaking of top performance and international appeal, we are thrilled to announce that Alan Wilson, CEO of McCormick, will be our 2013 Business Leader of the Year. Alan has been instrumental in helping McCormick grow as a global company, respected internationally for product quality. Mark your calendars now for Nov. 21 when we will honor Alan and welcome back our previous Business Leader award recipients.

If you have any thoughts on this topic or would like to discuss leadership at Loyola, please contact me at