One might be forgiven for assuming that business school professors are more
business-like than businessmen. That is, until they meet Scott Koerwer.
The associate dean of the Robert H Smith School of Business at the University
of Maryland has a vivacious character. He is constantly laughing and talking,
and is a self-proclaimed tech-junkie, always buying the latest and greatest in
"But I often get frustrated when I break my gears," he said.
Koerwer is on a mission to China to promote his school among potential MBA
students. And his tech-savvy lifestyle makes him a perfect representative of
Robert H Smith, which is known for its technology-driven curriculum.
After education, having access to technology is the most important
precondition for innovation and competition within a marketplace, said Koerwer.
These two are essential ingredients in the construction of an "innovative
society," he said.
However, between the two, Koerwer rates education above technology.
He said education inspires people think about what a society, an organization
or a nation needs, thereby promoting both competition and innovation.
The professor's view of the role of higher learning might strike some as
unconventional. He said education is the second biggest industry in the United
States, and that business schools should function as a "multi-national
He said business schools will never be truly global if they restrict
themselves to only recruiting international students. Instead, they should
strive to exert their influence across the globe.
To this end, Koerwer has been driving Robert H Smith's global expansion ever
since he joined the school in 2001. He took his current post after leaving the
University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, where he was a senior director
responsible for Executive MBA education. Under his direction, Robert H Smith now
offers degrees in conjunction with partners in China, Europe, the Republic of
Korea, Japan, Thailand, Israel, the Netherlands and France.
"China is critical to our school. There are more people who are eligible for
MBA studies than the whole American population," he told China Daily. "The world
has 300 million Americans, but 350 million Chinese who have the potential to
become MBA students."
(China Daily 05/09/2007 page5)