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May 10, 2006

Dean Hubbard Discusses Business, Growth and the Role of MBAs in University Lecture

Declaring that business schools should be “growth’s lobbyist,” Dean Glenn Hubbard discussed how the MBA has contributed to the success of American business and to entrepreneurial capitalism worldwide.


Declaring that business schools should be “growth’s lobbyist,” Dean Glenn Hubbard discussed how the MBA has contributed to the success of American business and to entrepreneurial capitalism worldwide.

In a University Lecture delivered on May 9 in Low Library, the dean, who is also the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, described how graduate business schools have helped drive economic growth through practice-oriented research. University Lectures are hosted once a semester by President Lee C. Bollinger and Provost Alan Brinkley, who select speakers to highlight leading Columbia faculty and their recent achievements.

“The abilities to think strategically and to value opportunity are teachable, and business schools’ connection between research and industry offers the right classroom,” the dean said in his lecture, titled “Business, Knowledge and Global Growth.”

Hubbard also discussed how business and leading business schools like Columbia Business School should work to improve the economic outlook in the United States and abroad.

“I believe there is no task more urgent than for business to apply knowledge to transform financial markets, to convince other countries of the benefits of transparency and openness and to remind our own opinion leaders here in the United States of the value of basic business principles,” the dean said.

“In fact, business schools are already up to this task,” he added. “The extended one percentage point addition to U.S. GDP growth is happening not because the economy is supplying more labor or capital. This growth is happening because it reflects an improvement in productivity.”

Productivity growth has accelerated in the United States, even as it slowed in many other major economies, the dean said.

“The power of growth yields fertile conversations about the role of business in the economy and society,” Hubbard concluded. “The experience of the past quarter century — with business institutions taking a central role in the economy and business schools taking a central role in the university’s contribution to that activity — suggests we have much to think about.”