University of Texas at Austin
McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

Texas McCombs Strategic Plan 2018 - 2023

Texas McCombs has a longstanding reputation for producing cutting-edge knowledge and sharing that with undergraduate students, graduate students, executives, and the world through our highly-ranked teaching, research, and educational programs. It is this legacy that we will build upon as we align around our primary goal for the next five years, and beyond:

To be widely recognized as a top source for the thought and talent to lead and shape businesses and society. Our research will have significant impact, and we will produce entrepreneurial, innovative, analytical, and ethical leaders. We will establish our place among the top 10 business schools in the country, based on the impact of our research and the quality of our students, in the minds of our peers and competitors, faculty, staff, students, alumni, recruiters, and business and social leaders.

To achieve this goal, we will focus on the four strategic initiatives: 

  • Focus on the Future: We will direct our research and teaching efforts on creating transformational knowledge and leadership skills that have a positive impact on business and society;
  • Strengthen our Academic Community: We will make a meaningful investment in attracting and retaining top-tier students, faculty, and staff members who are diverse, forward-thinking, and collaborative;
  • Be Excellent at Every Touch Point: We will ensure that every step in the McCombs journey for all constituents represents the best possible experience
  • Speak on a Global Stage: We will export our knowledge, capabilities, and success through storytelling and engagement across influential channels and geographic centers.

These initiatives build on our strong brand position—Human Centered, Future Focused – and will leverage the distinct, competitive advantages of our location, our size, and the strength of our connections to The University of Texas at Austin. They will also support key University goals, including Upward Mobility, Faculty Investment, and Healthcare Transformation. Our efforts will enable us to attract and grow students, faculty, and staff talent and connect in more meaningful ways with our alumni, friends, and influencers, ultimately elevating our national prominence and reputation.

BRAND POSITION

HUMAN CENTERED
When asked about what stands out from their experiences at Texas McCombs, students and alumni resoundingly respond, “it’s the people.” Classmates are talented and ambitious, yet they recognize that the successes of others can enhance their own. Approachable and accessible faculty share their knowledge of theory and practice, and a committed staff provides counsel and guidance that changes lives. Alumni bleed burnt orange and give back in a multitude of ways, all with a goal of advancing the school to even higher levels.

FUTURE FOCUSED
At the University of Texas, “What Starts Here, Changes the World” is more than a slogan—it’s a mindset that permeates our culture as we seek to redefine how business is done, while also having a positive impact on society. Texas McCombs is home to leading research faculty who influence both the theory and practice of management. They do so through a wide range of centers and experiential learning opportunities across a broad spectrum of disciplines and functional areas. Our graduates leave prepared for principled leadership in an uncertain future, because stretching beyond what we know is how we tap into what comes next. 

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

Austin is an innovative talent hub in the heart of Texas, which is an important and growing center of business in the United States. As the flagship university in our region, we can attract top students and enhance the future of our state and business by unlocking their potential. Our programs produce well-trained business graduates who are in high demand, and we are in a unique position to leverage our and the University’s strong connections to key employers and industry leaders.

The large size of the business school and the University increases our total impact—whether through our faculty, staff, students, or alumni. It also enables us to be broader than many of our competitors, both within and across fields, implying that we do not need to focus on only one or two disciplines. The size of our accomplished alumni base in Texas, across the nation, and around the world, means that we have a substantial presence in key domestic and global markets.

The University of Texas at Austin provides a means of leveraging our efforts. As a top research institution, the University has a very strong brand and national reputation and is a place that engenders passion among our graduates. The University is also broad in its excellence, with notable strengths in several key technical disciplines.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

Armed with a strong market position and these distinct advantages, we will chart a course that inspires current and future members of our community and provides a roadmap for how we invest and prioritize for the future. Our goals are in our sight, but to achieve them, we each must play an important role in bringing them to fruition. To be successful, we must work together and focus on four strategic initiatives:

  1. Focus on the Future: We will direct our research and teaching efforts on creating transformational knowledge and leadership skills that have a positive impact on business and society.
    • Why: The future is dynamic and uncertain; therefore, our students need global acumen, the skills to operate and collaborate effectively, and a mindset that transcends geographic and cultural boundaries. Success for our students—from BBAs to senior executives—means equipping them with the most relevant research and knowledge, engaging them through innovative, multi-disciplinary teaching and experiences, and integrating leadership and innovation with critical functional skills.
    • How:
      • Evolve learning experience, instructional delivery, and curricula under the direction of our Associate Dean for Instructional Innovation, and increase future-focused management education programming for all students; 
      • Expand offerings to reflect new career specialization opportunities, as well as degrees that cross disciplines and colleges (e.g., BHP + CS/Plan II, MBA + MD, MS programs);
      • Build student competencies and mindsets in the cross-functional disciplines of analytics, leadership & ethics, entrepreneurship & innovation, and social impact;
      • Maximize efforts in industries where we have advantage and distinction, with the unique ability to win: energy, healthcare, and real estate;
      • Implement new Executive Education programs that take advantage of our size, location, and alumni base, and offering an expanded set of offerings via diverse industry partners;
      • Develop the Center for Research & Analytics, connecting our researchers, students and industry partners, and the Center for Enterprise & Policy Analytics, bringing modern data science to economic policy questions;
      • Increase our research reputation through improvements in training, resources and faculty connections within our Ph.D. programs.
  2. Strengthen our Academic Community: We will make a meaningful investment in attracting and retaining top-tier students, faculty, and staff members who are diverse, forward-thinking, and collaborative. 
    • Why: To both equip our students with skills and acumen to succeed in increasingly global and diverse markets and workplaces, and also respond to evidence tying performance to different perspectives, our approach must incorporate people with multiple views and ideas, along with a culture of collaboration.
    • How:
      • Improve our scholarship resources to ensure that top undergraduate and graduate student talent comes to McCombs, in the face of competition and lack of access;
      • Attract the next generation of star faculty with University Distinguished Chairs in each area, retain our best, and offer increased incentives and endowment support for faculty earlier in their careers;
      • Under the direction of our Chief Diversity Officer, establish a network of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and corporate partners to improve the diversity of our overall McCombs population, strengthen our inclusive culture, and establish the school as a leading source of diverse talent;
      • Establish, recognize, and reward behaviors across our school that break down silos and introduce new ideas to students, faculty, and staff;
      • Increase professional opportunities for career development and enhance communications between staff, school leadership, and the Dean’s office;
      • Leverage our reputation and alumni base outside of Texas—focused on the largest cities—to attract the highest quality graduate and undergraduate students across the country.
  3. Be Excellent at Every Touch Point: We will ensure that every step in the McCombs journey for all constituents represents the best possible experience.
    • Why: Our experience is our brand, and to be human centered, we must understand the full lifecycle of each constituent, and deliver information and engagement opportunities that meet their needs, both online and in-person.
    • How:
      • Maximize the impact of Rowling Hall – its modern classrooms, study spaces, and collaboration areas – to deliver unparalleled learning, programs and engagement for McCombs students, UT collaborators and the Austin business community;
      • Proceed with the design of Mulva Hall, taking lessons from Rowling to improve the experience of BBA, MPA, MS, and Ph.D. students and faculty;
      • Create a technology infrastructure that supports a comprehensive view of each McCombs stakeholder and his/her relationship with the school, along with a cohesive, consistent digital experience across our McCombs properties;
      • Maximize the impact of our alumni boards and councils, broaden our base of support, and create more opportunities to connect our alumni with key stakeholders including students, faculty, and staff.
  4. Speak on a Global Stage: We will export our knowledge, capabilities, and success through storytelling and engagement across influential channels and geographic centers.
    • Why: We have an unmatched scale, deep expertise, and the most impressive students and faculty, mirroring the prestige of UT at large. The McCombs school should be bolder and louder in sharing our strengths externally.
    • How:
      • Use our facilities and centers to convene and connect researchers, students, alumni, and the business community to discuss and debate issues of societal import;
      • Showcase our contributions through participation in prominent research, policy, and industry-specific (GMAC, MBA Roundtable, etc.) conferences;
      • Under the direction of our Chief Marketing Officer, build a marketing and communications organization to strengthen the Texas McCombs brand, messaging, and reach through multiple channels;
      • Develop deeper relationships and engagement in large cities in Texas and beyond, increasing the impact of NY and Bay Area for McCombs initiatives and connections in other critical markets, to help us place our graduates in these cities.

The future ours to shape. Our legacy and reputation for producing stellar research, innovative programs, and the best and brightest graduates provide a strong foundation upon which we will build our next chapter. With your diligence and commitment to our strategies, leveraging our advantages, and building a strong Texas McCombs brand, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.