An anniversary, particularly one as significant as a 50th, is an occasion to look back and an opportunity to look forward. Looking back, I see decades of hard work and steady growth nurtured by a uniquely strong value system.
Looking forward, I see the college continuing to grow and improve. Both the quality and number of our students rises with each semester. The research our faculty produces increasingly has an impact on business thought and practice. We’ve broken ground on a new 100,000-square foot building, and our program rankings have steadily improved.
We’re no longer chasing trends, but leading them. We saw the business world’s increasing reliance on data and created a business analytics program—one of the first of its kind in the country. We’re pioneering research in radio frequency identification (RFID) and developing strong relationships with business through our Center for Supply Chain Innovation. And we are fostering a new generation of student-led startups via our entrepreneurship program.
We must always be forward-thinking, envisioning where business trends will lead, and determining how we can best develop the graduates who will work in those environments. With each success we raise the college’s visibility and credibility. I can see the Harbert College of Business becoming widely recognized as a school where top talent thrives.
The values expressed in the Auburn Creed and instilled in Auburn students set us apart from other institutions. Employers tell us Harbert graduates are prepared for the practical world of business; that they have learned how to learn, collaborate well, and aren’t afraid of hard work. Those attributes are a credit not only to our students, but to the faculty and staff who have labored to create a spectacular learning atmosphere.
As this issue of the magazine notes, a sound business education is a moving target, a complex balance. We in the Harbert College family are firmly rooted by our timeless Auburn University values. Properly nurtured, we have the potential to grow to great heights.
Bill C. Hardgrave, PhD
Dean and Wells Fargo Professor
Harbert College of Business