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Dean's Message

Dean Deryck J van Rensburg

ASPIRE 2025 Strategic Vision

What attracted me most to Pepperdine University and the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS) in November 2016 was an authentic values-centered orientation and a commitment to academic excellence. What I found on arrival was a devoted faculty and staff who took seriously their responsibility to educate and equip future business professionals and leaders for the challenges and opportunities of a dynamic world. With business being one of the most influential social institutions of our age, what could be more important than preparing future pioneers and leaders of industry with 21st century skills firmly nested within an ethical framework? This is not only important, but truly noble work.

While the fundamentals were all there, we needed to refresh our vision and strategy in order to reach for new horizons as well as unleash our organic potential. This document lays out that new vision and will be followed in several months’ time with a resource plan. ASPIRE 2025 has two phases. The first phase takes us through 2018–2020, straddling our 50th anniversary. Phase one focuses on transformational learning and enriches our applied teaching DNA by incorporating/introducing an enhanced focus on applied research. The second phase of the plan takes us to 2025 and signals the important work yet to be executed to more fully prepare future leaders for the fourth industrial revolution of cyber-physical systems.

One of the first things we did in approaching ASPIRE 2025 was to engage deeply and broadly within our community and across multiple constituencies in an evidence-based manner. My heartfelt thanks is extended to everyone for their enthusiastic and tireless efforts to build this vision. I am so proud of their work.

Now that we have a refreshed sense of direction and defined goals to support it, we will remain innovative and agile to ensure that Pepperdine Graziadio Business School continues to thrive and ascend in a relentlessly competitive and dynamic environment. As we prioritize implementation, we will always bear in mind our commitment to developing entrepreneurially minded “best for the world” leaders that will innovate in our global society.

I look forward to partnering with all of you to achieve ASPIRE 2025!

Appreciatively yours,

Deryck J. van Rensburg
Dean