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Update | Fall/Winter 2021

School News

Student attending virtual class in the Multicultural Center.
WSB’s new multicultural center offers diversity, equity, and inclusion programming for the Business Badger community.

WSB Opens Multicultural Center

As part of WSB’s commitment to embedding values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into its DNA, the School opened a multicultural center in Grainger Hall.

The Multicultural Center, which will have its official launch during the Spring 2022 semester, will function as a hub for conversation and cocurricular programming around DEI, offering support to students from historically underrepresented backgrounds by centering their voices to promote cultural change.

Arturo “Tito” Diaz (BS ‘15), a talented and experienced DEI professional, is director of the center. In this role, he builds and delivers content that focuses on the academic, professional, social, and emotional well-being of WSB’s underrepresented students and supports the development of an inclusive leadership mindset in all business students.

“I am excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead with our new multicultural center,” says Diaz. “As one of the few business schools to have a dedicated multicultural center, we are well positioned to foster business students who value diversity and will enter the workforce as inclusive, trusted leaders.”

High Rankings for WSB Programs


WSB ranked #9 among public universities this fall in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of undergraduate business programs. The program ranked 19th overall.

U.S. News & World Report also gave high rankings to several WSB academic programs:

Real Estate
Risk and Insurance
Operations Management
International Business
Business Analytics

Professional MBA Program Has Successful Fall Launch

WSB’s newest MBA program, the Wisconsin Professional MBA, welcomed its first class of students this fall, with 57 professionals from around Wisconsin and the Midwest joining the hybrid online/on-campus program.

The program begins with a year of core business courses where students work together in virtual and in-person settings to grow skills in leadership, accounting, economics, marketing, and finance. After the first year, students will customize the rest of their curriculum by choosing badges in specific business areas and go at their own pace until they’ve completed four badges.

Students in the inaugural class join the School from employers like Google, Target, CUNA Mutual, Zendesk, TDS Telecom, Wayfair, Rockwell Automation, John Deere, Kohler, and UW Hospital.

Starting with the next round of admissions, the Wisconsin Professional MBA Program is offering accelerated degree options to qualified recent UW–Madison and Wisconsin School of Business graduates.

New MBA Tracks Equip Students for Tech Sector

WSB is evolving its full-time MBA program to better equip students for a future in the technology industry. Beginning in Fall 2022, two innovative new tracks will be available: a technology product marketing track within the marketing specialization, and a technology strategy and product management specialization.

New faculty members, new courses, and expanded advisory boards will support these shifts.

“The Wisconsin Full-Time MBA program has always prepared students to make an impact in their careers from day one with its specialization model,” says Dean Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy.

“With these new specializations and career paths, we can further prepare graduates to address and anticipate emerging issues in business with a growth, innovation, and transformation mindset.”

Real Estate Alum Receives Distinguished Business Alumni Award

James J. Curtis III

James J. Curtis III (MS ’76), an esteemed real estate alum who passed away in 2019, has been posthumously awarded WSB’s Distinguished Business Alumni Award. The prestigious award recognizes an exceptional professional career, but is especially meant to honor those alumni who have made important impacts in their community, industry, and at UW–Madison.

Curtis was a legend in the real estate industry and a cornerstone of the Wisconsin real estate program. He earned his undergraduate degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree in real estate and urban land economics from WSB. Curtis moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s and became a rising star with Bank of America’s real estate investment group. In 1980, Curtis co-founded the Bristol Group, building one of the preeminent real estate investment and development firms in the country. Curtis was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Real Estate and Alumni Association in 2020.

Throughout his career, Curtis chaired the Urban Land Foundation, served as a trustee and foundation governor of the Urban Land Institute, and was a lifetime member of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate’s advisory board. After Graaskamp’s death, Curtis led an informal group of alumni who were instrumental in guiding, advising, and financially supporting the Wisconsin real estate program. Curtis is credited among the reasons the Wisconsin real estate program is one of the best in the country.