Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy, Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business, will serve as board chair for The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of leading business schools dedicated to enhancing diversity in business education and corporate leadership by providing postgraduate opportunities for underrepresented minorities.
WSB has a long history of close collaboration with The Consortium. In 1966, WSB became one of three founding members of The Consortium and was on the forefront of its mission. The Consortium provides merit-based fellowships that cover tuition and fees for underrepresented MBA candidates and those dedicated to the mission of diversity and inclusion.
“I am deeply committed to the mission of The Consortium, so it is an honor to serve as chair of the board,” says Sambamurthy. “The Consortium plays an important role in expanding access to higher education for underrepresented communities. It is also a valuable partner for academic institutions and corporations, helping us become better organizations by bringing in diverse students and talent.”
WSB has enrolled more than 700 Consortium students since 1966. Each Consortium student goes through a competitive, rigorous application and interview process to earn a fellowship. Beyond financial assistance, Consortium students are connected to a vast and committed alumni network and more than 80 corporate partners representing some of the top companies in the U.S.
In 2016, The Consortium celebrated its 50th anniversary, an important milestone that WSB honored through stories and events, as well as recognition of the many ‘firsts’ that took place at Wisconsin—including the first Consortium alumnus, the first female graduate, the first Native American graduate, and the first Hispanic American students.
“It’s a rare privilege to build on such a deep and impactful history,” says Sambamurthy. “Although together we have accomplished many milestones, there is still significant work to do in establishing equity and creating opportunity for all business students. Corporations are at their strongest and most innovative when they employ a diverse workforce, and I look forward to partnering with The Consortium to help grow that talent pipeline.”
Sambamurthy’s term as board chair will run from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022. Blair Nelson Sanford, assistant dean of the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program, will concurrently serve as vice chair.
“I look forward to working with Dean Samba,” says Peter Aranda, executive director and CEO of The Consortium. “He brings a wealth of experience, insight, and specific expertise that will greatly inform and impact positively the pursuit of our mission and strategic initiatives.”
Sambamurthy’s leadership position with The Consortium reinforces WSB’s strategic priority of cultivating a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive environment. WSB maintains an on-site Office for Diversity and Inclusion that provides a framework for a diversity strategy and guides its implementation to increase representation of diverse students, faculty, and staff. WSB’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion also builds cultural competence and inclusive leadership skills for students via co-curricular programming and appropriate role modeling by faculty and staff who also participate in ongoing diversity and inclusion development trainings.