Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Dr. Das Interview Part 1

Dr. Das Interview Part 2

We visited today with Dr. Jitendra K. Das who is the Director of the Fore School of Management in Delhi. His position as Director is equivalent to mine as Dean.

Dr. Das (pronounced "Dahss") is a tall, courtly gentleman. He appears to be in his fifties, with a distinguished speckling of gray starting to peek out. Although scholarly, having earned his PhD in Toronto, Canada, he has the animated speech and gestures of an entrepreneur.

As he talked about his first year at Fore, just completed, his excitement was contagious.

Founded in the 1980s, Fore is among a new breed of schools in India. A private institution, Fore lives by its revenues almost exclusively. Therefore its programs must sell. It must meet a need or it will no longer exist, and Dr. Das knows that.

So he is working on lots of new ideas, just like we are at Lipscomb. To go with his full-time MBA program (with 200 students) and his part-time evening and weekend programs (with 500 students), he is now planning to add a satellite campus in the fast-growing suburb of

He is adding degrees in health care and operations management. He has developed faculty and student exchange programs with universities in the U.S. and France. He is building a new classroom building at his primary campus in Delhi. He is considering adding executive education certificate programs online.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Not only are his ideas almost exactly like our ideas, but his market is just like ours. Lots of competition. The students pay for their own degrees while working full-time jobs and, for
many, being a mom or a dad too.

To make payment easier, he brings the bank to his campus on registration day. The bankers set up a kiosk and make student loans right there on the spot.

We talked about our differences and about our similarities. The latter conversation took a lot longer than the former.

Hopefully we can partner with Fore on various projects. When we return with students in March, 2012, Dr. Das has agreed to host us and to provide a faculty member to lecture on business in India.

We talked about student exchanges and even faculty exchanges. (I probably should keep that bit of news to myself until I can get home and reassure our faculty this would be a reward, not exile.)

We even talked about offering joint degrees online, with each faculty teaching a portion of the classes.

President Lowry is right...tomorrow's university will be a DIY university. It will be custom-tailored for market response to needs, for speed to market, and for creative solutions. Hello world!

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