The beginning of a new year always seems to bring with it a sense of excitement and optimism. After all, it’s the time people vow to read more, lose weight, get more exercise, or drop some bad habits. At Mays Business School, we also have reason to be excited.

For one thing, the leadership of the university is at last starting to come into focus. After a search that lasted about a year, Dr. Elsa Murano has assumed the position of president of Texas A&M University. I have had the pleasure and good fortune to work with Dr. Murano on numerous occasions when she was dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am confident that Dr. Murano will be an outstanding president. Moreover, with this appointment now resolved, other leadership issues for both the university and Mays Business School can be settled as well.

During this period of transition we have continued to move forward. In the fall semester, for example, we went through a rigorous accreditation review by the AACSB (more about that next time!), we took major steps toward resolving some space issues in our building, we solidified the rankings of our major programs, and we developed meaningful strategies for further enhancing the quality of our programs at all levels.

Going forward, we will be addressing a number of other areas as well. For one thing, we are looking carefully at the possibility of offering our MBA degree at an overseas location. For another, we are developing plans that will help us reduce the class sizes of most of our undergraduate course offerings. We are also working diligently to build our scholarship program so that more deserving students can benefit.

When I talk to deans at other business schools, they often express concerns that their students don’t work as hard as they used to, that their faculty are selfish, that their budgets are shrinking, or that their buildings are in disrepair. When I hear complaints such as these, I try to not grin too much. Instead, I do my best to nod politely and offer words of encouragement. And I try to not gloat over how great things are at Mays Business School. But inside, I’m thankful that our students, faculty, and staff are second-to-none, our budgets are healthy, and our facilities are a campus highlight.

As we enter 2008, I wish each and every one of you a happy new year.

Ricky W. Griffin
Interim Dean, Mays Business School