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34: Sanjay Gupta on Strategically Leveraging Alumni and Philanthropic Relations

A peer-to-peer discussion with the Dean Emeritus of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

Deans Counsel Podcast

🎙Dr. Sanjay Gupta served as the 11th Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University from 2015 to 2022 and joins the Deans Counsel for Episode 34.

Recognized for strategically leveraging his advisory boards, Dr. Gupta offers a wealth of ideas and advice on building a best-in-class advisory board model for your institution.

Go deeper into the challenging conversations Dr. Gupta faced changing the board's direction and membership while elevating their experience and aligning their work with the school's strategic priorities. And don't miss the critical changes that delivered the greatest impact.

“I think the other bigger part that they played was in helping us recognize…how we can build a better and a stronger brand.” Said Gupta

Then go between the lines as Dr. Gupta describes the pressures faced serving as dean during the capital campaign and his strategies used for managing alumni and stakeholder engagements that elevated the impact and results.

“We were in a capital campaign when I was in the Dean's role. And, you know, all pressures were all on to meet and beat expectations.” Said Gupta

Ready to take your advisory board into a new direction focused on impact and alignment with your strategic priorities? Listen to Episode 34 for guidance and advice designed for deans.

Listen to Episode 34 here -

About Dr. Sanjay Gupta:

Sanjay Gupta is a Professor of Accounting and Information Systems. Most recently, he served as the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean, the 11th Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University from 2015 to 2022.

During his tenure as dean, Professor Gupta led the Broad College to redefine itself through two comprehensive strategic plans, aligning with the university’s core values and guiding the college’s work to become a top-of-mind business school.

Under Professor Gupta’s leadership, the college instituted multiple curricular and programmatic innovations, launched new academic programs, and initiated collaborative opportunities around research. Among the major accomplishments of his deanship are reimagining the core undergraduate curriculum around digital transformation, global mindset and ethical leadership; launching new graduate degree programs in healthcare management, data science and analytics, financial planning and wealth management, and customer experience management; enhancing the Broad student experience in all programs; and instituting major changes in organizational structure and leadership to elevate the faculty-staff role and impact on research, diversity-equity-inclusion, outreach and engagement, and career management. He was instrumental in creating and funding the Institute for Business Research to augment faculty participation and success in collaborative external grant funding, and the Center for Ethical and Socially Responsible Leadership to facilitate embedding ethics education in the curriculum, experiential learning and faculty research on business ethics. He also spearheaded the launch of university-wide minors in business and entrepreneurship and innovation which provide access to Broad’s business credentials to all undergraduate students in the university. During Professor Gupta’s leadership, the Broad College soared in global and national rankings – where undergraduate and graduate programs rank among the top 20 U.S. public programs in several major rankings.

Professor Gupta played a pivotal role in MSU’s Empower Extraordinary capital campaign, raising $196 million over six years for the Broad College. The fundraising contributed to supporting key initiatives, including the design and completion of the $62 million state-of-the-art Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion that is the first academic building on campus to be fully funded by private support, generating endowment support for 18 named faculty, and adding $1.5 million in new scholarships for students.

Learn more about Sanjay Gupta:

Photos courtesy of IMSU

Show Transcript

Dave 0:13

Welcome to Dean's Council, a podcast aimed at supporting university leaders holding one of the more critical jobs on a university campus. Your panelists can Kring gemellus and Dave Ikenberry engage in conversation with highly accomplished Dean's and other academic leaders regarding the ever complex array of challenges that Dean's face and one of the loneliest and most unique jobs in the academy. effectively managing our Alumni Advisory Board is a crucial part of a business school's overall external relations strategy. But doing it effectively can be challenging, and at times for some Dean's can feel like a burden. In this episode, we hear some great advice from Sanjay Gupta, who recently completed a term as dean of the ELI Brode School of Business at Michigan State University. Sanjay is an accountant by training who earned his PhD at Michigan State and started his career at Arizona State University in 1990. He returned to his alma mater in 2007 as chair of the accounting group. Eight years later, he was appointed the 11th, Dean of the Brode school 2015 and held that position until 2022. During that time, Sanjay had a remarkably successful run in all aspects of external relations, including driving and very successful capital campaign. Along the way, he picked up a remarkable toolkit of best practices as to how to successfully and strategically utilize advisory boards to the benefit of the business school. In this episode of Dean's Council, Sanjay opens up for us his treasure chest of great ideas on how to truly leverage advisory boards. Our guest today is Sanjay Gupta from the ELI Brode School of Business at Michigan State University. Sanjay, you had a great run from 2015 to 2022. And I also noted on your CV, you had the fortunate opportunity to lead your alma mater, you graduated from Michigan State in the accounting group in the year maybe I shouldn't quote the year but but you're in that unique circumstance of actually leaving an institution that provided you your career. Thank you for taking the time to be with us. And welcome to Dean's Council.

Sanjay Gupta 2:33

Thank you for having me. And Dave, that's exactly right. I mean, that was the biggest draw for me to come back here to Michigan State. I had a couple of other options at that time, this is back in five 2006. And when the Michigan State offer came up, that to me, you know, was a great validation of where my career had gone. But to be able to come back to one's alma mater that's so special, it is special. And just a quick tidbit there. You know, there were nine people on the faculty at the time, I came to the accounting department as the department chair that had been on the faculty when I was a PhD student. Right. And so it has, you know, created some challenges there in terms of how I would settle in how they would perceive me receive me, you know, interact with me and all of that. But it worked out really quite smoothly. And I was so pleased. But yeah, that was phenomenal.

Dave 3:31

It's funny, you mentioned that because I had the exact same experience after leaving Illinois and then coming back to Illinois. Yeah, one of my first difficult tasks was, was working with a faculty member who I took my first Ph. D class. Talk about turning the tables. Yeah. Well, thanks for coming today. Sanjay, I let's talk about when we think about the complexity of the job of the business school dean. You know, one, one segment of that complexity is our external stakeholders, and share with us your experience in dealing with external stakeholders, any takeaways, any advice you have for us? Let's let's kind of open that can of worms and jump in for a bit

Sanjay Gupta 4:17

tour. First, let me begin from, you know, taking on this role, and then trying to try to kind of map your priors with the actuality of things right with the reality that you face. And that, to me, was the first kind of real wake up call. And I thought I'd come in, you know, maybe about a third of my time with external stakeholders, a third of my time, internally a third of my time, around the university issues and so on. But very quickly, I realized that was completely off the charts and you know, where we were at least, and maybe that is true and reflective of business schools in general, but maybe not in certain universities aware, external stakeholders may have been cultivated enough where they felt good about it. But you know, I came into a situation where there was a real thirst for having a face of the business school, in the outside community and specially with the alumni. And I found myself ending up spending more than 50% of my time with developing and cultivating those relationships and getting them the story that they wanted to hear as to what we were trying to do and what, where we were headed, that just this time commitment that was needed for doing the kind of job that was needed to be done in the space, that was completely inconsistent with my priors. And so that was a big wake up call. For me, I don't know if that is true around all business schools. And, you know, Jim, and you have done this a lot, I would suspect that your experiences might mirror what I found, or might be a little bit different. In terms of the proportionality of the time spent, although you're thinking to the UFC and all of the stakeholders there. And Jim, I can only imagine that, that it wouldn't be less, perhaps even more. And so then, you know, it becomes a challenge of saying, okay, but you have all these other responsibilities, too, that you can't ignore, or you can just delegate away. So how do you cope with the full job and keep your sanity? You know, so that's the first observation that I would make about it, the external stakeholders. And then, you know, I don't think it ever comes to a point where there is a sweet spot. We were in a capital campaign when I was in the Dean's role. And, you know, all pressures were all on to meet and beat expectations. And I feel fortunate that we did beat expectations. I mean, we had a goal of about $130 million for the business school, we ended the capital campaign at almost on the dark $200 million. So that I felt good about and I realized that all that time and effort that went into it was really worthwhile. It paid off, I'm not sure if it would have paid off, were it not to have been the time committed that I did commit, in retrospect.

Jim 7:26

So one of the things and that's really, really a good, a good kickoff into this thought process. Because there are many Dean's that look at fundraising, particularly in a capital campaign, that we need to go after the big, the big donors. And you were spending time with not just big donors, you were spending time with alums that maybe hadn't even been donors at all, trying to cultivate and, and typically what happens in that situation, you're cultivating donors that your, your successor is going to be able to raise money from and, and you kind of look at it, you go, well, maybe I shouldn't spend time with him. But on the other hand, absolutely, you have to spend time with him. Because you have to build that pipeline. And in many cases, you're building a pipeline from from the scratch start, where nothing's been done. So yes, it takes a lot of time. And my question is, you know, because it does take a lot of time, how were you able to put together some events and some, some opportunities where you can talk to a group of them at the same time, and because you were, they're investing in you, they're investing in your vision. And for you to take that vision and expand on it with them. That really is why he raised that much money and where that's successful. So talk about little, some of the events that worked for you, and, and maybe even some that didn't work for you, because I know there's there's always those a little bit of flops.

Sanjay Gupta 8:53

Yeah. In the end, you know, one thing that I learned Jim was when we did the travels to the other cities and so on, is that you cannot have just one single event or one single format to meet and interact with the alumni. So after a couple of misses around that, you know, I started to insist on saying that, well, we can do an alumni event in general, but then I want to have a small dinner or a lunch, whatever would fit with a smaller group of people where it could be much more intimate. And then these were visits out of town. And so I will also set up individual meetings with some of them, even if they were invited to the small meeting, or they were all invited always to the big, big event that we would have. And I thought that this three tiered process, you know of the one on one meetings for the small group meetings and then this large alumni event that went a long way towards my getting to know them, and they getting a little more face time and little more personal time to be able to ask the kinds of questions that they might not feel comfortable asking in the alumni events or the big bigger groups. I've thought though, having all three of them, you know, scheduled at during any of those visits was a real benefit, because it allowed people at different stages in their engagement with the business school as well as the university to find comfort. In that engagement, I think it was also a nice way for different people to be able to showcase, you know, what their commitment was, and for them to be able to talk to each other, not just with me, or with our development people. So, so that three pronged approach, you know, I think for those events worked out really well, I had to hone my presentation skills, I must say that, and I had to hone the message that was also presented, you know, I mean, as you might expect, and so where it was laughs, I will say the first couple of times, you know, wait too long over a deck or something like that, but I just talked for too much. And then I, I learned, you know how to be able to reduce what I said and give more time to q&a, for instance, and then you know, cover a whole bunch of other things at that stage. I think that's so very important in this whole notion of how much time you spend talking and how much time you spend listening. This is an hour in, I don't think anybody can tell you what the magic formula is, or something like that. You just have to become really good at being able to understand the individuals you're with or the group that you're with, and to be able to change the amount of what you do, or one versus the other. But but that was a lesson that I had to learn. And I think it is it is one that I've always continued learning. I'm not sure that you ever get it just right.

Dave 12:01

So Sanjay, when we when we think about external stakeholders, one of one of the other big constituencies that which comes to mind, are the advisory boards at various levels throughout the organization. Did you have a special Knack or approach to or, you know, what was your approach? I guess I should say, to getting the most out of these boards. And were there aspects of this board engagement that were helpful or less than helpful to you? Well,

Sanjay Gupta 12:30

that's a great question. And I'll say that that was also a big learning curve for me on on thinking about boards, how to manage them. And I must say that I feel really good about where we ended up with that from where we had begun that journey. That was difficult, but it was really a very successful one. And I'll say the success was manifested in the following way, do we, what I inherited was a big board. I think there were 4550 people on the board. And so many of them had never, ever given money to the Broad College, let alone I had never given any money to MSU, let alone the Broad College. Yeah, no, I mean, so we were in these people had some position or something like that. And they were on the board. Right? Right. One of the first things I decided for myself, and this was not something that, you know, I was being told to do or not, but I just felt very strongly that, you know, if I want to have people on the board that are going to be providing advice, or counsel or, you know, just their opinions, even, they've got to have a stake in what it is that they are telling me to do. And so I felt strongly that, you know, for people who have reached that stage of their lives, without putting any money where their mouth is does not make any sense. It might doesn't have to be that everybody's a seven or eight figure dollar donor, but at least you know, they have to have demonstrated some commitment to make an investment in the enterprise. So I started very quickly to say, you know, what, these people were on the board, I'd analyze the data and all of that. And I started to say that, first of all, I would like to have a board that really consists of people who are who have reached the highest echelons within their organizations. So if it is the corporate types, they are to be in the C suite. If it was in professional services firms, the RTB a partner or things like that are entrepreneurs and they're running their own businesses. So it was narrowing down people who didn't fit that mold that I was thinking about, was the first screen that I did. The second screen I started do was to say, you know, there might be people we still want even though they have not given money, provided we can at least have a conversation with them as to what is it that is preventing them from Giving us and are they willing to step up if they're comfortable with what they hear, as to the direction of the college and the university. So that took about two years for me to be able to do those screens and surround ourselves with really the high powered, highly accomplished individuals. But that brought, you know, 50 people board down to, like 12 or 15. Very quickly, wow. Oh, you know, that that's where we were, and demonstrated to me in a hurry that, you know, there were a whole bunch of other people out there that we have not cultivated. And so that began that second phase of saying, Who are these people who are abroad alums, who, you know, we have not been able to connect with, and why have we not been able to connect with them that began the journey to go and visit them individually. And so on it, I learned a great things about our Spartan alarms. Dave, what I will tell you is that so the CEO of Home Depot, the CEO, Wendy's, the CEO of Disney, I mean, it was just many of your well known enterprises. And then we had a whole bunch of entrepreneurs who had been wildly successful, you know, over $100 million worth, but they had not participated. And so I started to individually connect with them. And also decided we don't need 50 people, but you know, somewhere around 2025, people who are really invested in us, that would be a great number. So that's when we ended up we were between 25, and 3032. But these were all individuals. And my goal was, I want to have each one of them committed to at least a quarter million dollars, if not more, you know, during the time that they were with us. And I felt very, very good when I left, that everybody was at the quarter million dollar. And in fact, most of them had given a million dollars or more. Right. And so, you know, that journey with the advisory board was very interesting what now I've only talked about the financial commitment that they gave, but I think the other bigger part that they played was in helping us recognize, you know, who we are, and how we can build a better and a stronger brand. Because I mean, I think that was the other thing I realized is that while the Michigan State brand might have been strong, the Broad College brand was not where it should be, right. And these individuals, were able to help me with that by talking about what they were doing within their enterprises, but also by telling their own story as to why they made the investment in the broad coverage, right, so they will talk to others and so on. And the word started to spread very quickly. There was a point in time now in the last couple of years, where people were calling me to be on the board. And these are people who I tried to call and get them on the board. And it said, Now, you know, I'm too busy this or that. But I knew really that they didn't think this board was worth their time. But But that changed. And that was a big win. I think, you know, where we ended up was a really top award, that I think most anybody would be envious or

Dave 18:27

build out a little bit more for Sanjay, how you leverage them. Obviously, it sounds like you know, there was a philanthropic component, but But what were some of the other avenues with which they had an impact on you or an impact on the college. So

Sanjay Gupta 18:44

I would spend every board meeting with making sure that there was a topic of the times to be able to get what these people were doing in their own enterprises. COVID Of course, provided a great example, right? Where we could ask them, Hey, what are you doing, but also, if you think about so many other things develop this whole movement around diversity, equity inclusion, I mean, this is something that was quite different. And it didn't have the kind of emphasis that it started to take on, wanted to get their understanding, well, what are you doing? And how do you see this? And what do you suggest we are to do within the university around these kinds of topics? We talked a lot about globalization, and saying, you know, we talk about globalization from an academic standpoint, but I'm not exactly sure what we should be doing about it, and how should we going or going about it, got their feedback on that. Just tremendous input. And you know, what I would do is for each of the board meetings, it's not as if have all 2530 people speak, but you know, I will reach out and say if there are three or four people who want to lead off, and you know, take a little more time and then we can open, open it up for discussion. And that worked out really, really well. So, you know, maybe about 15 minutes or so, these three individuals would share what they're doing in their own organization. And then we would open it up. And we would have a good 45 minutes to an hour roundtable discussion on what was going on in the other enterprises. There were solid takeaways from that. And for those sessions, I would invite some of my colleagues to join in. So, you know, some of the department heads and the associate assistant, Dean's, and so on, I said, even if you can't come in, and you know, maybe just chime in, you know, log in, and we'll have it up on Zoom, or something like that, so that you can listen in to what these people are saying. And it's not just my voice, then. But you're hearing from people in industry, about this important issue that we've been talking about in the college and the university. That was a tremendous value add from these advisory boards. And I can say this, this as well, they, I think what the Board found, and they told me this is that they felt valued. They felt like they were contributing something to us, other than simply writing a check, they understood that writing a check was an important part of their engagement, right. But they felt really, really good about contributing something from the organization, from their experiences and from their decision making as leaders within their organizations about important issues. That was phenomenal.

Jim 21:30

Thank the lesson, the lesson that you just talked about, which is really critical, is that so many people have a board. And all they want to do is report out what they're doing at the school. And we're here we're ranked here, we're doing a new program here, we've got like when you ask them for their opinions on topics that were important to you, and you crafted your direction based on some of those thoughts. And and I think that's such a great lesson for people that are putting a board together because bourbon advisors is there to advise not to just listen and write a check, like you say, and I commend you, for the going to the 250 1000 level, that's really phenomenal, in a lot to be able to say, Well, okay, well, I'm gonna ask you to pay 5000 bucks to be a member of this board. And then when you go and ask the guy for money, and he says, Well, I just gave you $5,000, when you sent your floor so low, that you can't, you can't raise it up any. But in actuality, what you did was just the opposite. And I commend you for it, because you had for starters, you get down to 12. That gets a little scary, but then you like you said, let me go out and find the guys that can add to this group. Yeah. And really just well done. That's really great. How did you go about? Yeah, I mean, you set up a board which and as I listened to you as aspirational, and this is a board that every senior management person is a graduate of the broad school really would love to be on? How did you go about sort of weeding out those people that you really wanted on there versus the ones that wanted to be on there? And we're willing to give you the money? Would you go know that you're not the kind of guy that I need? giving me advice? Yeah,

Sanjay Gupta 23:20

yeah. So so I don't know if it was luck, or what, Jim, I think I had very few of the latter part, that a group, at least, you know, but I did the following. He says he sees seem to be that these people were there on the board forever. So I immediately instituted a term limit. And as I said, You know what, we are just going to have a one four year term. And that's it. We are not going to peep keep people on multiple terms other than people who are the President and Treasurer, and so on. So if you're an office holder in which are only three people, I said, you know, they might, we might extend them by a year or something like that, so that they can stay on but instituting that four year term limit allowed me to get, hey, people were already there for six years. So I said, Okay, you know, next year is your last year, and we are wanting to bring new people in. And I try to do that as you know, in as nice a way as I could, I suppose. There's a lot of learning to be done there. But basically, what I was trying to say is that look, we need more people like you to be affiliated with an invested in the college and the university. And if we don't open up these opportunities for others, and new people, you know, how are we going to grow that constituency. So, that was the general argument that I took with them, you know, not saying that you have not been reactive or things like that. I also said, you know, in this four year term, the expectation is that you will attend at least six meetings that you know, if you fall down on that, you know, they And again, that becomes a ground for being able to ask somebody to say, you know, maybe you're you don't have the time for this, which I understand when you're busy.

Jim 25:09

I mean, did you do, how many meetings Did you do

Sanjay Gupta 25:13

a yoga and gym, this was the other thing, which was not the very first year I was dealing with, you know, in two or three years, we started doing this, the fall meeting, we would always have on campus along with homecoming. And so, you know, that was always a good draw, and everybody came for that the spring meeting, I would travel, and the spring meeting, we would try to have in different parts of the country, where we would have a large number of alumni present. So in Atlanta, or in LA, or DC, or Chicago, or this or that, you know, we would go to Dallas, we did one in Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, that worked out really, really good, because it allowed the alums from that area to own that meeting. And it allowed us to bring alumni, you know, in that area, to come for an event where they could interact with board members. So all in all, it felt really good to be able to expand this out and also reach them where they were, rather than just thinking of them to come to campus, for all was always good, because most people were attracted with football and all that. So so fine, you know that we made sure that there was enough activity around that that made it interesting and attractive for them spring, it was difficult. You know, basketball games don't necessarily get scheduled in a convenient way and things like that. So I said, How about we just go somewhere? And typically, of course, we stayed right, you know, in the warm area. So California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida and so on. But that worked out fabulous, too. I mean, I think, you know, in retrospect, I think of that and go, Wow, that was really good. That was a good idea. And we've continued to do that. So I think that was another thing which played out well for us. But yeah, back to your question. One was the term limit. That allowed me to draw the line and say, Okay, we are done, you know, we want to roll people off, and use the argument that we need to bring new people in into the board. Yeah,

Dave 27:18

Sanjay, many of these new people you were bringing on had incredible resumes. And we've heard we've already talked about that. But it also makes me wonder, did you have any clash between what you were trying to do with the same people being of interest to the campus? In other words, like, was there a competition? Or? Because sometimes, you know, at some universities, you know, they kind of parse out, you know, you can talk to these folks, but you can't talk to those folks. How did you manage that? Or was that conflict, a part of your calculus?

Sanjay Gupta 27:53

Yeah. And Dave, that might have been some hard lines as to who I should talk to who I shouldn't, and so on.

Jim 28:01

I thought,

Sanjay Gupta 28:03

maybe I didn't know any better. As you know, I'm just going to go and meet with these people. They'll tell me no, if I'm not supposed to, I think they were only a couple of them that they really wanted to make sure that there was coordination with Central. So Eli Broad, is an alum of ours, and he was out in LA, Jim, I'm sure you cross paths with them at some point in time, but you know, he was a university level donor or whatever. And so far, yeah, I definitely connected with him. But I went ahead and I met him one on one, you know, but not necessarily always with the President, although the President went with me a couple of times. But after one of those meetings with Eli, the other guy was Edward Minskoff. He was out in New York is a real estate developer for him, too. I was told, you know, what, we need to make sure that we coordinate with the University Advancement. And so, and we did that, always. So we coordinated, you know, my development team would always make sure that we inform those folks, we also coordinated with athletics really well. And by the way, I became one of their good guys, the athletics people would, whenever they would have their events, they were taking Tommy's about or Dantonio and thinks that they would actually invite us, they would invite the business school because they said, You guys add to the whole atmosphere and the interactions and the people that come to those events. So, you know, we made good friends with them. And we were always respectful of saying it and not saying something like, no, no, no, don't Why are you giving to athletics? You know, why aren't you giving here? And we we always said they were look, those are different enterprises. They're also different activities. If you want to support athletics, that's fine. totally do that. We would also like to know, you know, what might interest you on the academic side. So, you know, for people who were who had been giving just to athletics, for example. So it worked out fine. I mean, I didn't run into any conflicts that way. And fortunately, I think, you know, all of the The relationships that we developed even with the the real movers and shakers, you know, they were okay with my going in front of them. So it worked out well.

Jim 30:11

So let's go. Final question back to back to another group. And that is, how did you get the young alumni involved? And did you do anything? I mean, here's here are these kids that now are 2829 30, they've been out 5678 years, they don't have the capacity. And yet, you want to start cultivating them, which you did a great job of cultivating What did you do for young alums? Along those same lines?

Sanjay Gupta 30:39

Yeah. And I think, Jimmy, if there is one area where I felt we didn't close the deal, it was with the young alumni, I didn't get it to the point where I would have felt happy. There was one thing though, that we did, which was have two young alumni on the big college board. These were people who had been out at least five years, and people that I would get recommendations from, you know, the maybe they were president of the MBA association or things like that. So they already had expressed some leadership desires and willingness to invest in the institution. And we got other names of people, you know, who had stayed in touch or come back for recruiting and things like that. So we added two people with instead of four year terms, they would have just two year terms, and I staggered them so that there was always one young alarm who had been there for a year when the new one came on board, so they would kind of help each other. So that was one thing that did work well. And it send a positive message to the young alumni. But of course, there was not enough, they needed to do a lot more. And that's where I thought that the alumni events that we did when we went and traveled, that was a good way to be able to invite a whole bunch of them. And, you know, I'm not exactly sure how well we did you know, the hit and miss ratio, I don't really have a good feel for that. But there was one other group though, in this is not necessarily tied to the young alarms. But there was one group that I cultivated as well on an advisory board format, and that was the international alumni. You know, we never, ever do anything to connect with those guys. And I created an international Alumni Advisory Board. And these were people. Yeah, I don't know why we had 16 People in the first go around from 13 different countries. Interesting. That was fun. I mean, I just really love that. But once again, that Alumni Outreach and Engagement now with them, you know, there was no expectation of money. It was more along the lines of saying, Hey, can you help open some doors for our students who might be interested in going overseas for an internship or for a job for things like that great advice to help us recruit students who might want to come and pursue here. That was a great group of people in a lot of really fabulous initiatives that came out of there. But also the manner in which they were proactive. Many of them would sign on to this board meeting, Jim, you can imagine with time differences that you experience a lot more. He says, I mean, you know, we would have a meeting here Eastern Time, and they were people coming on from Hong Kong and Singapore. Oh, my God, thank you so much for joining the call. But it was I keep forgetting Dave, Dave, you too are very close to you know, the three hour time difference.

Jim 33:44

Well, you know what, we really, truly appreciate you meeting with us and spending time your enthusiasm is infectious. I, I think if I were Tom Izzo, I might have been worried that you would have recruited that basketball player to come into business school and be an academic as opposed to go play basketball. Somehow he made that gratulations on the board. i Your advice is just spectacular. And we really, really appreciate the time you spent with us. It's been great to reconnect with you and and thank you for the time, Sanjay, this has been wonderful.

Sanjay Gupta 34:18

So very good to see you, Jim. And Dave, you too. Thank you for thank you for doing this. I mean, I think this is a great idea. I'm so glad that you're doing this podcast. Thank you for having me. And when Kenny told me about this initially, I said, Wow, this is great.

Jim 34:35

It's been fun. It's been fun. We've enjoyed it a lot. We really have. Thank you so much, Sanjay. We've gotten a lot of good advice, a lot of good advice, even though we're not in the roles anywhere, but if it makes up We only hope it goes to that next generation. Yeah,

Sanjay Gupta 34:49

hopefully some people can benefit from this and yeah, they will. Thank

Jim 34:53

you, Sanjay. Bye bye. Thank you. It

Dave 35:04

was an interesting conversation. Jim, what do you think? Well,

Jim 35:06

he's so enthusiastic. And, and that's number one. But secondly, he was very strategic in the way he approached those external stakeholders and the one on ones, the small groups, and then the large groups every time he went into a city. And you know, the one thing that we didn't really get to is the fact that all of his contests, constituencies, I'm going to guess, or a gigantic percent of them were out of town. So he really had to travel to them. In so many cases, being a school based in Lansing and having to go somewhere else. That took a lot of time in itself just to travel. But he really approached it very positively. And I loved the way he put his board of advisors together. I thought it was just excellent. Yeah, excellent.

Dave 35:54

Yeah, I really enjoyed what he did. And, and you touched on it in the interview, but moving away from the show and tell events and moving toward the getting some real advice. Was was a was a great move. And I really like how he he made that happen, because I know a lot of Dean's struggle with this, you know, every every six months, we need to do a dog and pony show and we need to prove what we're doing are worthy of their donations. And I think I really like Kelly, turn that around. And that and that at the end. This having a dedicated national board. What a phenomenal idea. That

Jim 36:32

was great that yeah,

Dave 36:34

great thoughts. So really appreciate his advice and his candor today. Yes,

Jim 36:40

totally agree.

Dave 36:41

Thank you for listening to this episode of Dean's Council. This show is supported in part by Korn Ferry leaders in executive search. Dean's Council was produced in Boulder, Colorado by Joel Davis of analog digital arts. For a catalogue of previous shows, please visit our website at Dean's If you have any feedback for us, please let us know by sending an email to feedback at Dean's And finally, please hit follow or subscribe on your favorite podcast player so you can automatically receive our latest show


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