In response to rapid global change, bold and innovative approaches to leadership development are key to success for collegiate business schools. Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) College of Business (COB) was recognized among 30 global institutions who are defining what it means to lead in the face of uncertainty and cultivate a winning skillset in the next generation of business leaders.
The recognition came from AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – in its third annual “Innovations That Inspire” challenge. With a specific focus on innovation in leadership development, programs from institutions worldwide were evaluated for serving as champions of change in the business education landscape.
“The biggest risk to business schools is not the rapid pace of change. It is in failing to prepare the next generation of business leaders to cope with that change,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “Through its best-in-class leadership development program, Purdue University Northwest is ensuring that the business leaders of tomorrow will be ready for whatever lies ahead.”

Partnership with Junior Achievement
PNW was recognized for its program, COB Experience & Junior Achievement (JA) Partnership. The main thrust of the program is a service learning project in collaboration with JA of Chicago-Northwest Indiana.
Students are paired with an industry professional in their field to teach a JA skills workshop to an area high school class. The project requires students to develop their public presentation skills, and fosters relationship building between students and potential mentors in the business community.
“The program has already made a substantial impact and shows great promise for the future,” said Jane Mutchler, Ph.D., dean of PNW’s College of Business.
“The COB Experience has become a vehicle for greater industry and community engagement with Purdue Northwest, with recruiters from 15 different companies coming to speak,” said Matthew Wells, director of career management in PNW’s College of Business, who also conceived the program. “It also provides a platform for a faculty research project studying the development of global perspectives in emerging business professionals.”
The AACSB recognition is the latest honor for the COB program. The program won first place in the Mid-American Business Deans Association’s “Innovation in Business Education” challenge and has received special recognition by JA of Chicago.