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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A long legacy of innovation

Kenan-Flagler Business School launched its Undergraduate Business Program in 1919. This year the program celebrates a century of leading the state toward economic growth and innovation. Student demand for the program has only grown over the decades, from 125 enrolled students in 1919 to nearly 900 today. The
program has remained relevant for a century by continuously adapting to the ever-changing business world.

In this column, Dean Douglas Shackelford, also a Carolina business school alumnus, shares his vision for
Kenan-Flagler Business School.


What is the mission of the Kenan-Flagler Business School?


Douglas Shackelford

Kenan-Flagler Business School began a part of the College of Arts & Sciences over
a century ago. Today we have one of the leading business schools in the world. I think one of the key things is that we are rooted in liberal arts. We’ve taken the science of business and we’ve combined it with the broad educational arts, and that’s one of our competitive advantages. To compete with the problems of the 21st century, you need the broad skills that a liberal arts education gives you and key skills that
you get in business education.    

What is the vision for the Kenan-Flagler Business School?

As we look forward, I think the key is that our graduates be able to grapple with the problems of the 21st century, which can be extremely complex, and that they do that with wisdom and courage guided by the research that our faculty are able to produce. We give them insights. We are stewards of an institution that has already changed the lives of thousands of people, directly and indirectly, over these many years. Now, we want to deepen and broaden our impact on people’s lives and our society. We’ve never been better, but our goal is to be the best business school in the 21st century.

What is your goal for faculty?

We require our faculty to excel in both research and teaching to be relevant to business and to focus on problems that matter both in the classroom and in the boardroom.

What is your goal for students?

We expect our students to become alumni who can successfully work with anyone to solve any problem anywhere. Our graduates are known for principled leadership and management skills as well as the technical skills to excel in business.