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November 14, 2003

Krannert School offers executive MBA with advanced manufacturing option

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Krannert School of Management will offer an advanced manufacturing option in its executive MBA program that kicks off in July.

"This is the first time we've offered an area of specialization in our executive MBA programs," said Herbert Moskowitz, the Krannert School professor who is directing the initiative.

"We're responding to a need we've seen expressed at the two advanced manufacturing summits we've held at Purdue and the current proposal to locate an advanced manufacturing institute here," said Moskowitz, the Lewis B. Cullman Distinguished Professor of Manufacturing Management and director of Krannert's Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises. "With our schools of engineering, technology and business, we can arguably bring more resources to manufacturing than any university in the country."

To complete the MBA with the advanced manufacturing option, students will take classes in global supply-chain management, design for manufacturing and assembly, and Six Sigma quality. Six Sigma is the data-driven business strategy pioneered by General Electric Co. that has been adopted by many manufacturing industry leaders.

A capstone course, Projects in Manufacturing, allows students and their sponsoring companies to design and solve a real manufacturing enterprise problem. While the project class officially takes place in the student's final semester, the aim, said Moskowitz, is to define the project in the first semester and use it as a touchstone for coursework throughout the program.

"It is reasonable to expect, based on our experience, that sponsoring companies can expect to receive $250,000 in bottom-line improvement from the project," Moskowitz said. "So not only do companies benefit by improving the skill sets of their fast-track employees, but also the real dollar benefit of the project gives new meaning to educational return on investment."

The Krannert approach to executive MBA education – which students complete while keeping their full-time jobs – combines in-class and online education using a case study approach. Students spend six two-week sessions over the two-year program attending classes in the Krannert Center on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. After each two-week session, the students return to their jobs and continue their program online, with lectures and group projects.

Erika C. Steuterman, director of the Krannert School's executive master's degree programs, says both experience and research show that the on-campus sessions optimize the learning experience.

"We've found over two decades that there's no online substitute for students spending time with professors and other students," she said. "Then, when the students return to their homes and jobs, the relationships they've formed make online communication an efficient and effective means to learn with minimal career and family disruption."

She said she has high hopes for the advanced manufacturing option in the executive MBA program.

"Manufacturing technology is a Purdue strength, both at the Krannert School and elsewhere on campus, and we've recruited professors who not only have the academic background but also industry experience to make the program an excellent value," she said. "We also view adding the option as contributing to the university's efforts to grow the jobs and companies of the future for the state of Indiana."

The Northeast-Midwest Institute reports that in 2000 output from manufacturing in Indiana totaled $58.91 billion, or 30.6 percent of the state's total output. This percentage is significantly higher than the national average of 15.8 percent.

In terms of employment, manufacturing accounted for 642,000 of Indiana's 2.94 million non-farm jobs in 2001, according to the Northeast-Midwest Institute. In percentage terms, manufacturing accounted for 21.9 percent of jobs in Indiana, compared to the national average of 13.4 percent.

Application deadline for the program is June 1. The cost is $48,000, and most students are subsidized by their companies. Students spend a total of 12 weeks on campus over the 22 months of the program.

In September, "The Wall Street Journal" ranked Krannert's full-time MBA program 11th overall and third nationally among public schools. Last month, "The Financial Times" and Business Week ranked Krannert's international executive program 14th and 16th in the world, respectively.

For information about the Krannert School's executive MBA degree programs, contact Steuterman at (765) 494-7700.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Herbert Moskowitz, (765) 494-4421,

Erika Steuterman, (765) 494-7700,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Related Web site:
Krannert Executive Education

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