University of Southern California

Dean Ellis: Envisioning Our Future
July 16, 2010 • by James G. Ellis

Dear Friends of Marshall:

As an elite, world-class business school, USC Marshall takes pride in both educating tomorrow’s global leaders and cultivating world-renown thought leadership. Yet, like all business schools, we face unprecedented change in the landscape of business and business education. These changes require that we step back and think creatively and critically about our future.

To articulate our vision, I will lead a strategy process for USC Marshall. I will be assisted by a team of colleagues (Dr. Debbie MacInnis, Vice Dean for Strategy and Research; Dr. Arvind Bhambri, Professor of Management and Organization; and Dr. Amir Mahini, a 30 year veteran in management consulting and former McKinsey consultant). We will have a plan in place by the end of December, 2010.

The centerpiece of this effort is to engage you in this process. As valued members of the Marshall community, as consumers of Marshall's services, business leaders and distinguished alumni you can uniquely articulate ideas on how USC Marshall can be responsive to your changing needs and be relevant to our collective future.

Now and throughout the next few months, I invite you to contemplate these questions:

• As business leaders and alumni, what are your perceptions of USC Marshall today? What are its strengths? In which areas would you like to see us develop?
• What challenges does USC Marshall face over the next decade? How can USC Marshall leverage its considerable assets (intellectual capital, faculty, alumni, brand/reputation, USC) to address these challenges?
• How might USC Marshall distinguish itself? With which markets, programs, and audiences?
• What is your ideal vision of USC Marshall in 2020?

We will explore these questions in individual interviews, workshops, and written comments. We invite you now or at any time during our strategic planning process to share your thoughts. Written comments can be posted at our website ( or sent via email to

Your help in this journey can ensure that we, at USC Marshall, think big and act intelligently to remain one of the great business schools in the world.

Fight On!

James G. Ellis, Dean
USC Marshall School of Business