The Power of Miami

By Peter E. Howard

The Power of Miami

By Peter E. Howard
The University of Miami’s business school has changed its name to be more in tune with the city it represents and the aspirations of its students.

When John Quelch arrived in Miami he knew of its driving force as a diamond for diversity, and its unique positioning as a global hot spot and gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean.

And he knew the school he would lead at the University of Miami was ready to ascend to the next level as an incubator for developing entrepreneurs and innovators – savvy students who will eventually add value to the Miami community, and to the global economy.

But he believed one simple change needed to be made to revitalize the school’s image: the name.

Just months after his arrival, Quelch consulted with faculty, staff and alumni and then petitioned the University of Miami’s Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees to change the name of the School of Business Administration to a more succinct nomenclature: the University of Miami Business School, or Miami Business School for short.

“In the age of social media, we can’t afford to waste words telling people who we are,” said Quelch, who is dean of the Miami Business School. "We needed to shorten and simplify the name. Very few schools any longer use ‘business administration’ in their title. These days, people don’t aspire to a career in administration. They aspire to a career in leadership or management.”

Quelch, who came to UM from Harvard University, said the Miami Business School is playing catch up. Harvard Business School, he pointed out, changed the name of its business school 15 years ago from the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University. What he’s trying to emphasize with this change is the name “Miami,” both as a destination and an opportunity. The city, he said, is geographically well positioned, a destination for capital and talent and an increasingly important cultural mecca.

“It’s a global magnet city,” said Quelch, a Londoner who enjoys playing tennis regularly and became a U.S. citizen in 1991.

Quelch sees the school’s talented faculty raising the profile of the Miami Business School undergraduate and graduate programs, both locally through community awareness and collaboration with business, as well as on the international stage.

This year, the school is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its flagship MBA program. In addition to the full-time MBA program, the school offers a suite of executive MBA programs tailored to experienced professionals. Highlighting its hemispheric and global focus, the Miami Business School is one of only a few higher education institutions in the United States that offers an Executive MBA program taught in Spanish.

Quelch came to UM in July 2017 with an appointment as dean and vice provost for executive education, overseeing customized training and development programs for executives and managers.

Quelch summed up the School’s positioning: “We are developing principled leaders with global breadth at the crossroads of the Americas.”