What a great time to be joining Auburn University and the Harbert College of Business. Thanks to all of you who have warmly welcomed me into the Auburn family since I arrived on campus in August.
The Harbert College of Business is on a very positive trajectory. I am indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to lead the college into the next stage of its future. My background and research is in strategic management and I have served in leadership roles in colleges of business that range from over 100 years old to less than 25 years old. We are entering our 52nd year in the Harbert College and we are entering it with a solid strategy, a solid resource base, a brand-new facility, and exceptional faculty, staff, students, alumni, and university administration.
Our college has a lot going for it, with a strong foundation upon which to achieve our vision of being among the elite public business schools in the country. We are a knowledge-intensive operation built with human capital. We’re in the people business—students, prospective students, faculty, staff, employers, alumni, potential research partners. This great engine of learning and thought leadership starts and grows with people, and we’re committed to making Harbert the most desired destination for the most talented people.
We aren’t a startup, but we’re still a young organization transitioning to a mature college of business as we deliver on our mission of producing highly desired graduates and generating knowledge that drives thought and practice. We have a base of alumni and corporate partners who give generously of their resources, time, and counsel and they support our graduates through career and internship opportunities. We have wonderful ambassadors for our college.
As we continue to nurture our current students, I want prospective students to see Harbert as a place that welcomes them to work hard, develop skills, benefit from corporate engagement, and prepare themselves for careers with long-term impact. Business leaders will see the hard-working, job-ready graduates we produce and a top-notch faculty pushing the boundaries of knowledge and research.
I’ve spent much of my first two months at Harbert listening and learning. It’s been important to get a grasp of what our college has done and what it is poised to do. Strategic management is an ongoing, dynamic process, so we’ll be reviewing and refreshing our strategic plan as we look to build on the foundation that has been established. I can promise you my full commitment to achieving the goals set out for the Harbert College and to pushing ahead with objectives that help us grow, not only in enrollment and programs, but also in the national stature that our scholarship and thought leadership will build. And as Auburn moves forward in exciting and inspiring ways, more opportunities are created to expand our national reputation and to work with other colleges across campus.
I’m sure you share my excitement about our college and what lies ahead. It’s a great time to be at the Harbert College of Business. War Eagle!
Dr. Annette L. Ranft
Dean and Wells Fargo Professor
Harbert College of Business