UW Today

This is an archived article.

June 18, 2002

Executive education program bucks national trend in dropping revenues

The University of Washington Business School’s executive education program appears to be dodging the revenue decline that has hurt similar programs at many of the country’s business schools.

While other top institutions are reportedly seeing 15 percent to 25 percent drops in executive education revenues, the UW program continues to see an increase with a 12 percent boost during the 2001-2002 school year, said Jean Choy, director of the Business School’s executive programs.

The June 3 issue of Business Week reported that institutions are suffering from declining corporate training budgets. The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania is reportedly experiencing a 15 percent drop in revenue, and the University of Michigan Business School is projecting a 22.5 percent decrease. The revenue reductions are causing many program officials either to cancel executive education classes, or to jump tuition up by as much as 12 percent, Business Week reported.

“Our ability to stave off this epidemic of decreasing revenues now plaguing other institutions speaks to the strength of our executive education programs,” said Yash Gupta, UW Business School dean. “Our executive classes are designed to accommodate the customer not vice versa.”

While the UW program offers open classes on training and development, Choy said the program’s high number of custom-designed courses for private companies is helping it prosper during the Northwest’s economic downturn.

“While many companies are tightening their education budgets, they are, however, making sure they provide more targeted opportunities to develop their current employees through custom tailored programs,” Choy said.

Another factor, said Choy, is her staff’s strong relationship with international customers, many of which are from the Far East.

“During the latest Asian economic crisis we continued to nurture our partnerships with our customers,” Choy said. “Despite the state of our economy they are committed to developing stronger relationships with us.”

The UW Business School’s executive education program, now in its 50th year, offers courses to as many as 1,000 students per year and has clients from China, France, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

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For more information, contact Choy at (206) 616-6425 or jchoy@u.washington.edu; Gupta at (206) 221-5749 or ygupta@u.washington.edu. See, www.uwexp.org