The Inaugural International Faculty Fellows Conference Held

On November 12, the inaugural International Faculty Fellows (IFF) Conference was held at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM). The Conference was initiated by MIT Sloan School of Management, and IFF is the generic term given by Sloan Global Programs to the exchange faculty from its four partner schools, i.e. Tsinghua SEM, Fudan University School of Management, Sun Yat-Sen University Lingnan College, and Yunnan University School of Business and Tourism Management.


Mansfield Freeman Chair Professor BAI Chong-En, Dean of Tsinghua SEM delivered an opening remark to those in attendance. He extended warm welcome and sincere thanks to all the IFFs and those supported IFF Program, and celebrated the fruitful cooperation between MIT Sloan and Tsinghua SEM for more than twenty years. Ms. Cherie Nursalim, Vice Chairman of GITI Group, Chairman of Tsinghua University Southeast Asia Center, and IFF Program Donor, remarked that it was gratifying to witness the impact of the IFF Program on faculty and on management education in overall, and sent her best wishes for future development. David Capodilupo, Assistant Dean of MIT Sloan, gave the talk entitled “IFF Overview and Impact for the Future of Management Education”, highlighting the key success of the IFF program and how it will continue to evolve to help faculty and students meet tomorrow’s business and management demands.


At the subsequent Deans’ Panel, deans from the five schools were engaged in a conversation hosted by Stuart Krusell, Senior Director of MIT Sloan, focusing first on how MBA education benefits from the IFF project, then the influence of technology on today’s management education. EMC Chair Professor CHEN Guoqing, Department of Management Science and Engineering of Tsinghua SEM, spoke highly of MIT’s integrating big data analytics skills into teaching to help students better cope with new challenges. Jacob Cohen, Associate Dean of MIT Sloan, elaborated on how MIT integrates big data and AI into MBA programs. Professor LU Xiongwen, Dean of Fudan University School of Management, stated that business schools should strive to develop courses that integrate engineering and entrepreneurship education, and welcome the interdisciplinary education with open minds. The deans also discussed the relationship between business ethics and how business education should consider and integrate ethic issues.


Another notable session of the conference is the keynote speech titled “Solving Global Challenges Using Finance Science – Past and Future” from Robert Merton, the 1997 Nobel Laureate (Economic Sciences), Distinguished Professor of Finance from MIT Sloan. Merton pointed out that finance is a science, and financial innovation is an important factor in promoting sustainable economic development. He then analyzed the global capital markets, especially Chinese capital markets, providing the example of SeLFIES (Standard-of-Living indexed, Forward-starting, Income-only Securities) that can solve the huge impact of inflation on pension funds.


The conference also included a TED Talk session themed “Experiences Sharing and Forward-looking”, in which Iris HUNG, Professor from Fudan University, WU Jintao, Associate Professor from Sun Yat-sen University, ZENG Ping, Associate Professor from Yunnan University, and SUN Jing, Associate Professor from Tsinghua SEM shared what they brought back from the IFF Program experience and how they used that in teaching.


In the afternoon panel discussion, two parallel sessions were held. IFF speakers from the four Chinese universities discussed in-depth topics ranging from Globalization & Road and Belt Initiative, Big Data/Analytics/AI/Intelligent Manufacturing, to Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Business and Society. The conference was concluded by a networking reception where the MIT team gave a brief concluding speech.


The faculty exchange program (IFF Program) dates back as early as in 1996, and has laid the foundation and greatly facilitated the development of management education in China ever since. After more than 20 years of partnership, it was decided that Tsinghua SEM and MIT Sloan were to host the first IFF conference this year, to share and learn from the past cooperation fruits and to shed light on the future of Chinese management education.



Group photo