Innovations in the Post-Pandemic Era

This annual MABDA competition recognizes creative and unique strategies and programs that advance the quality of higher education and the management of resources in business schools of the Mid-American Business Deans Association (a division of AACSB). This year, it is especially relevant and important that we share lessons learned during the pandemic and on best practices that we can carry forward.

This year’s MABDA conference theme is “New Normal” Opportunities for Business Schools: What’s New? What’s Next?”  The Innovation in Business Education Award is devoted to what we as business educators have learned in the midst of a major disruption in the financial, public health, and social environments.

How did your College cope with the pandemic and all its consequences? What changes did you have to make that can be carried forward as best practices in higher education? How can business schools serve as a model to other units in leading change?

We are asking our MABDA colleagues to submit proposals documenting best practices. These may include (not a complete list): redesign of curricula, creation of new programs, strategies to communicate to internal and external stakeholders, collaboration with partners to expand services to current or new markets, or technological innovations or adaptations that were implemented. Specifically, we are creating three tracks in which to submit innovative ideas:

  1. Pedagogical or curricular innovations;
  2. New ways to achieve student engagement; or
  3. Strategic redirection/reorganization of business school activities.

The top submission in each category will be presented with a cash prize. and recipient(s) of the first place awards in each category (with the school’s Dean) will be asked to make a brief, formal presentation of their innovative program during the 2021 Annual MABDA Meeting on October 3-5, 2021.  Honorable Mentions in each category will be announced as well.


Submission Procedures

  • Submissions will be accepted from MABDA member schools only.
  • Submissions will be accepted from faculty, staff and/or administrators from these schools.
  • Submissions must be accompanied by a letter from the Dean in support of the project/best practice.

Submissions should include a) an Executive Summary (max. 2 pages) and b) a PowerPoint presentation and include the following components:

  1. A limit of 10 slides
  2. A title slide with contact information (name(s), address, email, phone, and school affiliation)
  3. A description of the innovative strategy, program or project
  4. Objectives of the innovation
  5. Timeline for the execution of the project
  6. Benefits sought
  7. Metrics to evaluate success
  8. Preliminary Outcomes
  9. Potential for Transferability (to other universities)

Submission deadline is extended to Monday, September 13, 2021. Please direct any questions and submit applications to Dr. Anne L. Balazs, Dean, John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation at the University of Toledo, Anne.Balazs@utoledo.edu and to Dr. Melissa Gruys, Dean, Doermer School of Business at Purdue University Fort Wayne, gruysm@pfw.edu.

All submissions will undergo a peer-review process. Submissions will be evaluated by the MABDA Innovation Award Committee consisting of representatives from MABDA business schools. The criteria for judging the quality of submissions are creativity, content and the potential for transferability. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications by September 17, 2021.


DEADLINE EXTENDED to Monday, September 13, 2021