Ten years ago Athabasca University launched the worldʹs first online Executive Master in Business Administration which has grown to deliver one in four of the Executive MBAs awarded in Canada today and is widely respected in the Canadian business and academic communities. Using an asynchronous online delivery format, the MBA program is collaboratively focused. The 1100 students in the program today work together from across Canada and from 26 countries around the world. Research comparing the online environment with the traditional classroom has shown that an intense interaction exists within the courses and this is widely viewed as one of the Athabasca MBAʹs key strengths. A maximum professor to student ratio of one to twenty five is strictly maintained. With 80 faculty located across Canada and in the US and Europe, the MBA has more faculty involved in it than any other school in Canada. The school is now focused on expanding the reach of its successful MBA program to new opportunities in online learning. Research is seen as a critical component in the schoolʹs work and plans are underway to add for a doctoral program (Doctorate in Business Administration). An online environment is being created that will integrate the teaching and research activity of the school. Online research institutes allow academics and students to collaborate on international research projects and to work more closely with the business community than has ever been possible before. Athabasca believes that a high quality university business school requires the integration of teaching, research and relationships with the business community. This paper describes the work of Athabascaʹs Centre for Innovative Management today. It then discusses the schools planʹs for the creation of the University business school of the future
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