The Jiambalvo Effect

Dean Jim Jiambalvo’s leadership over the past 14 years has inspired the UW Foster School of Business to…


Jiambalvo’s deanship has spanned two historic capital campaigns at the UW. During “Creating Futures” (2000-2008), Foster raised $181 million from 13,000 donors. Among those was the transformational $50 million from The Foster Foundation, which led to the school’s renaming. In the current “Be Boundless” campaign (2012-2020), more than 12,000 donors have contributed over $230 million to Foster—so far. These gifts have fueled Foster’s rise.


The Foster School campus has been transformed. Privately funded PACCAR Hall became the school’s bustling hub in 2010, with 135,000 square feet of classrooms, auditoriums, faculty offices, team rooms and community spaces. Dempsey Hall followed in 2012, with 65,000 square feet of classrooms, team rooms and administrative offices. And coming soon is Founders Hall, projected for 2021 completion, funded by a panoply of leadership philanthropy.


The quality of Foster students is at an all-time high, and rising. The Freshman Direct undergraduate program admitted nearly 350 students this year, with an average GPA of 3.91 and 1410 SAT. Incoming MBAs brought an average GMAT of 696 (a 30-point jump from the mid-2000s).


A new generation of Foster faculty—more than 60 hired since 2007 against a constantly rising bar—has elevated the level of teaching and research. Average classroom ratings are at an all-time high. Nearly half of research faculty serve on editorial boards of top journals. And Foster is ranked #7 in the world (and #1 among public b-schools) by Financial Times for its research productivity in the top 50 journals.


Market-driven program launches have doubled master’s program enrollment since 2007. New offerings include the MS in Information Systems (reboot 2012), Master of Supply Chain Management (2016), MS in Entrepreneurship (2017), MS in Taxation (renamed 2017), Hybrid MBA (2017), and MS in Business Analytics (2019). And more are in the works.


Foster has established the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (2008), the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy (2014) and the University of Science and Technology of China-UW Institute for Global Business and Finance Innovation (2017).


Foster has introduced the Young Executives of Color high school pipeline program (2006), Business Bridge (2010) and Women’s Leadership Summit (2016), overseen by its robust Undergraduate Diversity Services. A new director of MBA Diversity & Inclusion (2017) helps the school better serve underrepresented minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ communities. As a result, Foster was invited to join the prestigious Forté Foundation (2017) and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (2018). In 2018, Princeton Review named Foster #1 in resources for women and the #5 most diverse MBA.


The always enterprising Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship has launched the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program (2007), Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (2009), Jones + Foster Accelerator (2012), Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (2016), and renamed its marquee event the Dempsey Startup Competition (2019).


The Global Business Center has introduced new programs such as the Global Health Case Competition (2016) and the Hovind Global Leadership Program (2019). Its expanded international study opportunities enable more than 400 Foster students to study abroad each year—a population percentage that leads the UW.


The Consulting and Business Development Center has added Tribal Enterprise partnerships (2007), the Minority Business Executive Program (2011), a national conference (2013) and, most recently, the Ascend nationwide initiative (2016). The center has helped minority business enterprises generate more than $210 million in new revenue and create or retain over 200,000 jobs across the state of Washington.


Since 2005, the Foster School has risen 18 places, on average, across the three leading MBA rankings (U.S. News, Businessweek and Financial Times), considered key indicators of overall school quality. The school’s ascent from #38 (#15 public) to #20 (#6 public) is unprecedented. In terms of upward momentum—even into the rarified air of the top 25—no other American b-school even comes close.


Best-in-class MBA Career Management has led to Foster’s #1 placement rate among the nation’s elite in five of the past six years. Grads in the MBA class of 2018 reported an average starting salary + bonus of $157,050. Foster’s ROI also rates at or among the top, and the school has been named the “tech industry’s favorite.” Meanwhile the EY Center for Career Advancement (created in 2013) serves Foster undergrads and specialty masters with a placement rate of 90% and an internship rate of 89%.

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