While we continue to be challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UCLA Anderson community has responded with adaptability and great resilience. The school has brought the community closer together and pivoted to embrace new learning. The pandemic has underscored how interconnected the world is, highlighting the central role of the Center for Global Management (CGM) and reinforcing the alignment of our mission and programming.
The 2019-20 academic year, both pre and post COVID-19, was extremely active for the CGM. The center was already delivering remote instruction for global Immersion courses and was able to seamlessly transition to a remote learning environment and increase the quantity and quality of programming. The virtual environment provided a platform to reach a wider, global audience and connect on timely and relevant topics that matter to our community and the world. The pandemic also has enhanced interdisciplinary and cross-center collaborations and brought the CGM closer to cross-campus units through expanding existing collaborations and creating new partnerships with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and UC Global Health Institute.
New courses were introduced to address implications of COVID-19 for the global economy and supply chains. Without the physical constraints of a classroom, these courses saw an extraordinary uptake. During the year, over 1,200 students enrolled in 15 different on-campus, hybrid and virtual global management electives; international exchange offerings at nine partner schools; and seven global immersion courses. From exploring entrepreneurship and innovation in Nordic countries to studying the new dynamics of international trade in Southeast Asia to understanding the business environments of Peru and India, our global immersion courses provided many transformative learning experiences, embodied “One Anderson” and offered significant networking opportunities. While travel in March was cancelled, we quickly reconfigured our courses to connect students through live virtual interactive sessions with technology leaders in China, leading entrepreneurs in Israel and prominent alumni and academics in Brazil.
Advancing the global research efforts of UCLA Anderson faculty and students is at the core of the CGM’s mission. The CGM also continued to support research projects that focus on global social enterprise and community impact to broaden students’ awareness of entrepreneurial development within emerging markets. Projects focused on health care, bridging the digital divide, conservation and preservation, sustainable tourism, social entrepreneurship and alleviating global poverty. Oversight of the full-time MBA program’s global requirement transitioned to the CGM, and a record number of students graduated with a specialization in global management. Anderson also received STEM certification for its MBA programs, which will increase its competitiveness in attracting international students.
During the year, we engaged in about 50 events on campus, virtually and around the globe. In the spring, we introduced a special COVID-19 edition of our World Today Discussion Series. Around 3,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the extended UCLA community and general public engaged virtually in multidisciplinary dialogue with distinguished professors and experts about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and political economy, emerging markets, global supply chains, clean energy adoption and Wall Street. Prior to the pandemic, policy forums brought together business and law students for discussions on Brexit and wealth taxes. Discussions were held on topics ranging from the protests in Hong Kong and around the world to Mexico’s economic outlook to Africa’s commercial success to the value of authenticity in global business. While our annual Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference was postponed, we look forward to the 2021 conference, which will look at technology transformations that are helping to address societal issues. The CGM is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion by bringing a global and multicultural perspective to the UCLA community and providing timely and relevant information about global issues. We also are working closely to identify additional ways to enhance online learning, build community while physically apart and add value to our programming.
We continue to be energized by the support and active engagement of students, faculty and alumni around the globe and are deeply grateful for the generous support, vision and engagement of our board members, who play a crucial role in guiding and shaping the next generation of global leaders. We thank Craig Ehrlich for his enormous contributions to the school as CGM board chair. Under his leadership, the CGM has elevated the school and created a real distinction for Anderson. While these are trying times, our community is strong, determined and resilient. We look forward embracing new ways of learning, positively adapting to changes that are on the horizon and positioning the school to emerge from the crisis in a position of excellence.
Lucy E. Allard Nelson ('06)
Executive Director, Center for Global Management