Prestigious Business School To Open In Gables
By Suzy Valentine
High-powered executives are likely to become students when the Kellogg School of Management opens a branch of its prestigious MBA program in Coral Gables.
It will be the first time the school has offered its executive MBA degree in the US outside of its Northwestern University campus in Evanston, IL, where the typical student is 36-37 years old with high-level management experience.
Plans for a South Florida campus, to open in January, were approved this month by the state’s Commission for Independent Education.
"The thought process has been the better part of three years," said Julie Cisek Jones, assistant dean and the program’s director, "but the plan has come together in the last year."
The Florida Department of Education cannot solicit schools. The Kellogg School specifically applied to the state for a Coral Gables site. Ms. Cisek Jones said other sites for a school had been considered but wouldn’t identify the contenders.
"We chose Miami because it is the international footprint of the Kellogg school for Latin America," she said. "It allows us to serve the US and Latin American bases."
The school expects to enroll 40 students for its first session. The Hyatt Regency Coral Gables is to provide accommodations for attendees.
Ms. Cisek Jones said officials from Kellogg were in the final stages of negotiating a lease on a "nearby property" for the local branch of the school.
"Our staff is working with the school to find a home," Coral Gables City Manager David Brown said Tuesday. "I believe it’s an ongoing process."
News of the proposal reached city officials only last month.
"The city commission heard about the plan a month ago," said Mr. Brown. "Two weeks ago, the city commission agreed to assist the school."
The initiative continues the city’s position as a business hub.
"The Kellogg School of Management has quite a reputation around the country and worldwide," said Peter Roulhac, vice president and director of community development for Wachovia National Bank. "It’s win-win for the city.
"I speak to a number of young people at the high school and college levels, and most of them aspire to gaining an MBA," said Mr. Roulhac. "It is a good degree to have that shows time and effort."
The Kellogg School works with institutions in Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Israel to provide joint executive MBAs. Planning for the Kellogg-Miami executive MBA program began in 2002, according to school officials.
The school was founded in 1908. Its MBA degree has been ranked the world’s best for three straight years by London’s Economist Intelligence Unit.
"The Greater Miami area is blessed with top MBA options, and the Kellogg program is a rich addition," said Barry Johnson, executive vice president of marketing and communications for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. "It ensures not that only students in South Florida but members of the workforce that want to continue their education will have another choice."Vanessa Krause and Suzanne Schmidt contributed to this report.