As Professor Ravi Dharwadkar transitions to his new position as the Department Chair for the Management Department, we asked him a few questions about his position, his vision and his personal research aspirations.
Q: In your new position as the department chair, what kind of changes are you planning within the program or curriculum?
A: I have two short-term and two long-term goals for the department. In the short-term, first, I will focus on introducing the second integrated core for the undergraduate program in Spring 2017, which would include three inter-related classes, focusing on management, corporate strategy, and international business. Second, I will work on rebuilding the management advisory board this year. This is a core group of alumni who would help guide students with different areas of professional development and ultimately help them get hired. In the long term, I will reinvigorate the doctoral program, hiring new students in the next academic year. We have had a lot of success with previous students and we hope to build on this. Finally, we will work on developing the management major with an emphasis on human resources, thereby enabling placement of students into functional jobs.
Q: What are your own key interests within your field? Are you working on any research? If so, what is it?
A: As a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, I am currently implementing Project Asia as part of my teaching efforts. I am working on including more information on China and India, the two largest Asian economies, in both the curricular and programmatic facets of the student experience. In terms of research, I am exploring how corporate governance and executive compensation influence the firm’s market (e.g., research and development) and non-market (e.g., corporate social responsibility) strategies.
Q: What are the key skills that you want management graduates to leave Whitman with?
A: In addition to functional knowledge, students will need two skills to succeed in their professional endeavors. First, they will need to develop their analytical skills in order understand both the macro context as well as use data to understand complex issues. Second, the job market will continue to emphasize the importance of communication skills–being able to effectively communicate the findings of your analysis is as important doing the analysis effectively. Both verbal and written communication skills will be very critical for our students going forward.