Previous Gazetteer item | Next Gazetteer item | Mar/Apr Contents | Gazette home


If You’re Going to San Francisco,
Be Sure to Wear a Cell Phone
in Your Hair


Starting this fall, business students interested in earning an MBA from the Wharton School will be able to attend a lecture, grab lunch at the Fog City Diner and cruise down to the Silicon Valley for an afternoon meeting with a start-up. Wharton West, as it’s called, will offer the school’s executive MBA program, individual MBA courses (for students based in Philadelphia), internships, expanded executive-education courses and faculty-research projects—all in the City by the Bay.
    Dr. Patrick Harker, dean of the school, said that Wharton West is a “direct response to market forces” and will “bring the Wharton brand of management education and the best of Wharton’s resources to emerging markets and developing industries in the West.”
    “If you look at the history of this school over the last 20 years, it is very much a story of relentless innovation,” added Dr. David Schmittlein, the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Marketing who serves as Wharton’s deputy dean. “This is a reflection of that.” The program, which is costing the school in the realm of $10 million, also “fits very nicely with Wharton’s desire to be the global leader in management education.”
    Schmittlein quickly makes it clear that it’s “not just a tech-based, dot-com kind of phenomenon,” adding: “We have a fabulous and very active alumni base, about 7,000 people on the West Coast, that would like us to be more active there. That’s an attraction for us, besides our ongoing interest in New Economy companies and technology-based businesses. We’ve also got a set of faculty that are interested in entertainment and sports businesses or businesses that tend to work off of those kinds of business models. There is a concentration of [economic] activity on the West Coast, which is a draw for us, because it is easier to interact with [those businesses] with a greater presence on the West Coast than we currently have.”
    The executive MBA program is set at 100 students, with “two cohorts of roughly 50-60 students per cohort,” Schmittlein noted, which is the size of the executive MBA program in Philadelphia.
    Wharton West also provides the school with a “significant expansion in our global reach for global clients” of its non-degree executive programs, both in West Coast-based companies and “companies that have significant operations in Asia that find it much more feasible to send people for a week to San Francisco” than to Philadelphia.
    In addition, Wharton has been investigating the possibility of forming partnerships with certain business schools outside the U.S., and having a presence in Philadelphia and San Francisco “makes us much more appealing” to potential partners.

Previous Gazetteer item | Next Gazetteer item | Mar/Apr Contents | Gazette home

Copyright 2001 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 3/6/01