For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-888-0811 (office)

AAC&U Presents 2013 Frederic W. Ness Book Award to Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession by Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, William M. Sullivan, and Jonathan R. Dolle

Jan 24, 2013

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the winner of its Frederic W. Ness Book Award, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession, published in 2011 by Jossey-Bass/Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Ness award is given to a book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education, and will be formally presented to the authors, Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, William M. Sullivan, and Jonathan R. Dolle, at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting, on January 24, 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's national study of undergraduate business education found that most undergraduate programs are too narrow, failing to challenge students to question assumptions, think creatively, or understand the place of business in larger institutional contexts. Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education examines these limitations and describes the efforts of a diverse set of institutions to address them by integrating the best elements of liberal arts learning with business curriculum to help students develop wise, ethically grounded professional judgment.

“Too often undergraduate business programs fail to prepare graduates to understand deeply what their lives could be about in any full sense or what their places should be in the world around them,” the authors note. “As a result, they are not adequately prepared to be leaders in business or to gain full satisfaction in their personal and civic lives.” The authors found that even in high-quality programs students often say they were taught that ‘everything is business’—overlooking the different values represented by their families and communities. Too often these programs seem to be viewed by faculty and administrators as a ‘simplified MBA’ rather than integral parts of undergraduate education.”

This year’s Ness award winner was selected by a committee of higher education leaders including Dr. Ken Ruscio (chair), President of Washington and Lee University; Dr. Sean Decatur, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Oberlin College; Dr. Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College; and Dr. Elsa Núñez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University.

The Ness book award was established by AAC&U in 1979 to honor AAC&U's president emeritus, Frederic W. Ness. Recent award winners include Why Choose the Liberal Arts? by Mark W. Roche; Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education by Peter Sacks; Our Underachieving Colleges by Derek Bok; Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money by James Engell and Anthony Dangerfield; Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi; Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past by Sam Wineburg; and Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education by Martha Nussbaum.

About the Authors of Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education:

Dr. Anne Colby is a Consulting Professor at Stanford University. She is co-author of The Measurement of Moral Judgment; Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment; Educating Citizens: Preparing America’s Undergraduates for Lives of Moral and Civic Responsibility; Educating Lawyers; Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement; and Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field.

Thomas Ehrlich is a Visiting Professor at the Stanford University School of Education. He is author, co-author, or editor of 13 books, including Reconnecting Education and Foundations: Turning Good Intentions into Educational Capital (2007); and Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Lives of Responsible Political Engagement (2007).

Dr. William Sullivan is Senior Scholar at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College. His books include Educating Lawyers, Work and Integrity, A New Agenda for Higher Education, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, and The Good Society.

Dr. Jonathan R. Dolle is Research Associate, Developmental Evaluation and Director of the Carnegie Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  From 2005 to 2010, Dolle worked as a research assistant on Carnegie’s business education and liberal learning project. He holds degrees in engineering, philosophy, and education policy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the fall of 2009, he was a Mirzayan policy fellow at the National Academy of Sciences.