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Executive Summary

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ASPIRE 2025 Strategic Vision

Business education has existed at Pepperdine University since 1969, developing values-centered leaders and advancing responsible business practice through education that is entrepreneurial in spirit, ethical in focus, and global in orientation. While this ambition remains as steady today as during the school’s inception, there have been significant changes in the business environment and the education landscape that require our adaptation, as Graziadio approaches its 50th anniversary.

This strategic vision known, as “ASPIRE 2025,” maps out the goals, ambitions, and changes for Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS) to adapt to continue our positive trajectory as a renowned business school ranked among the top 100 best business schools nationally by U.S. News and World Report. With learning outcomes at the center of our plan, our ability to impact business now and into the future through our applied research, learning experiences, and innovative curriculum delivery has been central to the plan conversation and is reflected in our priorities and the initiatives that flow from them.

ASPIRE 2025 honors the PGBS heritage and sets out a strong path to follow into the next seven years and beyond.

Before making the recommendations set out in ASPIRE 2025, external research was conducted and the ASPIRE 2025 leadership team engaged with hundreds of stakeholders, staff, students, and faculty to consider the evolving needs for the short, medium, and long term.

Three key themes have emerged as pivotal to our success in executing ASPIRE 2025 and are woven throughout:

 Teaching responsible business remains core to our success, but we are eager to have a greater impact globally and must optimize for the future.

ASPIRE 2025 reignites a commitment to the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School foundational core, including a values-centered philosophy, pioneering teaching methodologies, and a commitment to caring for the whole student to deliver a transformative educational experience.

 Business education is changing and so are the demands on our graduates and employers.

ASPIRE 2025 explored the changing nature of who we see at work and school; how we work, go to school, and interact; and why we work and go to school.

 In a world where complexity is a reality, as machines and people co-exist, strong institutions will be equipped for success and will equip their students for success.

Mindful of the competitive environment in which Pepperdine Graziadio Business School operates and the unique era in which we live — the “Smart Machine Age” — ASPIRE 2025 acknowledges that technology is an essential part of business.

Technology advancements are driving necessary change in:

  • pedagogical methods
  • business tools used
  • thought leadership
  • organizational effectiveness

The priorities and initiatives laid out in the plan will provide the structure for an aligned understanding of how the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School will excel against its goals based on four pillars: students, faculty, people and organizations, and the ecosystem.

On the cover page of ASPIRE 2025, you will have read the words “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” which is an excerpt from the Bible verse Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We chose this phrase to be our motto for ASPIRE 2025. We believe it aptly captures the bold thinking required to support the renewal and transformation that are central to our educational and research ambitions, while reflecting our Christian roots.