The 2012 Tsinghua SEM Advisory Board Meeting Held, CHEN Jining Appointed as Vice Chairman


On October 24, 2012, the 2012 Advisory Board Meeting of School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University was held at the main building of Tsinghua University, with 32 members present. This was the thirteenth annual meeting since the Board was established. Professor CHEN Jining, President of Tsinghua University and the newly appointed Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board, attended the meeting, which was presided over by John Thornton, Chairman of Tsinghua SEM Advisory Board, President of the Council of the Brookings Institution in Washington and Co-Chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation.

At the 2012 Tsinghua SEM Advisory Board Meeting

Mr. Thornton introduced five new members to the board, including CHEN Jining, President of Tsinghua University, Alan Mulally, CEO of General Atlantic, William E. Ford, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Risto K. Siilasmaa, President of Nokia Corporation and Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.

SEM Advisory Board Chairman John L. Thornton hosts the meeting

Professor QIAN Yingyi, Dean of Tsinghua SEM, reported the work progress of the School to the Board. In the past year, the undergraduate education reform by SEM has achieved new advancement in general education, individual development and internationalization, which was also fully appreciated by the University administration and highly recognized by relevant authorities of the state. The Tsinghua EMBA program has accomplished remarkable achievements and innovative results in the past decade. Tsinghua-INSEAD dual degree EMBA Program was ranked fourth out of 100 global EMBA programs by the Financial Times, topping the Chinese mainland business schools, which was also the best result ever achieved by all Chinese mainland business schools in FT. Regarding technology-enabled teaching, Tsinghua EMBA provides students with the innovative ‘iEMBA’, an iPad tool exclusive to Tsinghua EMBA, through which paperless teaching and the online interaction of community-based teaching between teachers and students are both realized, and is a truly operational teaching method based on the mobile network. As for faculty development, SEM has implemented the tenure system since January 1, 2012, which is endorsed by the University administration. SEM therefore becomes the forerunner in the reform of faculty development system across the University, actively promoted by President CHEN Jining.

Dean QIAN Yingyi updates SEM Advisory Board members on the school progress

The progress report was applauded by the Board. Dean QIAN then put forward two issues for discussion: integration of the School with the University and management of alumni affairs. As the business school in Tsinghua, integration with the University has become a critical strategy of the School and achieved some initial results. SEM has initiated the ‘MBA+X’ dual degree program, developed a new curriculum ’Tsinghua Exploration’, held a series of interschool forums such as ‘Immersion into Business School’ and ‘Management beyond Business School’, as well as inaugurated the interschool platform ’Tsinghua Entrepreneurial Platform’. These measures take full advantage of resources and talents in a comprehensive university and has enhanced the interschool and interdisciplinary studies. Dean QIAN also introduced the current status of SEM alumni and the management framework of alumni, pointing out the challenges in constantly constructing alumni network and encouraging alumni to give back to the school.

At the 2012 Tsinghua SEM Advisory Board Meeting

In the following proceedings, members engaged in heated discussions around the two topics. Many members were deeply impressed by the execution of constructive proposals raised by Board members in the previous meeting and the progress achieved in the past year. Speaking on behalf of all Board members, Mr. Thornton wrote to Dean QIAN, “I must first emphasize how impressed everyone was with both the extra-ordinary progress to date, particularly under your leadership, and also more generally with the ability of you and your team to execute on advice each year. All the members of the Board have extensive comparative experience serving on boards of other educational institutions, and none of us has seen such a responsive leadership team nor the ability you demonstrate to get important initiatives done.” The single most important comments from the Advisory Board members focused on the topic of the integration of SEM with the University. Everyone felt that the idea is compelling in its power as a distinctive competitive characteristic and its relevance for this century and its biggest issues and problems. After the one-hour closed-door executive session, the meeting came to a successful conclusion.

Tsinghua SEM Advisory Board was established in October, 2000 under the active promotion of founding Dean ZHU Rongji. The Board members include chairpersons, presidents or CEOs of world-renowned enterprises, deans of world class business schools and senior government officials. The first Dean of SEM ZHU Rongji is the Honorary Chairman of the Board. The first Chairman (2000-2003) was Henry M. Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Lord Browne of Madingley, former CEO of Britain Petroleum Public Limited Company was his successor (2003-2008). The third Chairman (2008-2010) was H. Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. John L. Thornton, President of the Council of the Brookings Institution and former Co-President of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is the current Chairman.