UW News

April 26, 2000

UW Business School launches e-business management program

Hastening to meet industry demand for Internet-savvy managers, the University of Washington Business School this fall will launch its first program in e-business, Dean Yash Gupta announced today.

The MBA Certificate Program in E-Business will offer students an array of new classes and internships plus the use of a state-of-the-art computer lab being built with a $1.25 million gift to the e-business program from U S WEST.

To earn the certificate, students will even have to start their own e-businesses.

Also unique, Gupta said, is an advisory board of 30 prominent industry representatives to steer students through the rapidly changing business environment.

“With guidance from industry leaders and innovators,” Gupta said, “this program will prepare MBAs to hit the ground running in the information economy.”

The new “e-lab” will serve as the program’s hub, where the next generation of high-tech innovators can use 20 workstations and powerful database and Web servers with high-speed Internet access and Web site hosting.

Jim Smith, president and CEO of U S WEST Dex and chairman of the new advisory board, said a technologically literate managerial corps is crucial to the region’s vitality.

“The significant number of unfilled high-tech jobs in America – including many right here in the Puget Sound area,” Smith said, “tells us that we must do a better job of preparing tomorrow’s leaders of the new digital economy.”

The Certificate Program in E-Business will be available to second-year MBAs who must complete four core courses, plus electives and an internship, as well as launch their own e-business venture.

It is part of the Business School’s Technology Initiative instituted by Gupta and already well under way as he completes his first year as dean. The Business School is retooling nearly every class to prepare students for managing in a technology-rich environment. Also being added are a Technology Management MBA program on the Eastside, a master’s degree in information technology, a technology entrepreneurship certificate and numerous faculty research grants and visiting professorships.

“Companies are quickly learning that the technology itself is only a small part of the equation,” Gupta said. “Managing technology to achieve clear business objectives is far more complex – re-engineering processes to support the technology, managing the information that technology provides and dealing with the human issues surrounding technology implementation.”

Industry participants in the new advisory board are excited about sharing their knowledge with up-and-coming leaders, said Timothy Mickelson, president and CEO of ATL Ultrasound.

“Real-world experience will be key in the e-business world,” Mickelson said. Steve Elfman, chief information officer of TeraBeam, said the program will help students function in the hyper-speed digital environment.

“The program in e-business is imperative to develop ‘new thinkers’ who enter the workforce to think and expect results in Internet time, and using Internet economics,” he said. “I think this program can have a profound effect on the region’s and the country’s economy if we develop new ideas for exploiting the technology to reach new markets faster and cheaper.”

For more information contact Gupta at (206) 221-5749; Michael Dunne of U S WEST at (206) 461-8054; Mickelson at (425) 487-7772; or Elfman at (425) 580-7800. The Business School’s Web address is http://depts.washington.edu/%7Ebschool/.