Welcome from the Dean

An extraordinary school and community -in extraordinary times.

Thank you for visiting our website. Of the thousands of business schools in the world, and even among the handful of elite schools, Oxford Saïd is an extraordinary School and community embedded in the world’s best university. This was true before Covid-19 struck and is even more so today in these extraordinary times. This coming academic year will see truly monumental changes in business, government and society. With our clear sense of purpose, we have joined the rest of Oxford in doing our best to make sense of, and help others take on the challenges we face as a world.

Three elements combine to define Oxford Saïd: people, approach and mission. 
 

Peter Tufano

People

MBA students

You’d expect to find extraordinary people at Oxford and you’d be right: from our award-winning faculty whose research is transforming how businesses and governments do their work, to our world-wide, cosmopolitan student body, to our alumni who are changing the world, to our outstanding staff. What makes them extraordinary is their curiosity, intelligence, challenging nature and tenacity. In a world sounding a retreat to national borders, we proudly celebrate that we are truly global. Rather than retreat when Covid-19 hit, we accelerated our efforts to reach around the world and worked more closely together than ever before.  

One of our strengths is the diversity of our community, which was recently celebrated publicly. Yet, this diversity does not mean that we can be complacent in a world where issues of racial justice continue to manifest themselves painfully. Also, while our community is ambitious and competitive – we work hard and play hard - , yet we are still respectful, gracious, and collaborative. For example, in the wake of Covid-19, a team of students and staff came together to form the Oxford Saïd Service Corps, pairing MBAs with worthy organizations, complementing other rapid-response initiatives, such the Creative Destruction Lab: Recovery, the School’s Liber scheme and Covid-19 Rapid Solution Programmes at the Oxford Foundry.  

Embedded approach

Other elite business schools may claim they know everything. We don’t. The events of the past year surely provide ample evidence of just how much we don’t know. We have long acknowledged that the problems and opportunities facing business and the world are complex, multi-faceted, interdependent, and long-term. horizon. The combination of a pandemic, a public health crisis, an economic crisis, racial injustice, severe inequality, low levels of trust in institutions, and political instability attest to the nature of these problems.

Our best hope of understanding and grappling with the issue lies in cooperating with our colleagues across Oxford, and beyond, in our research, teaching, and engagement.

Our programmes are intertwined with other parts of our historic institution, whether our Undergraduate Economics and Management Programme, our Masters in Financial Economics or Law and Finance, our Oxford 1+1 MBA programme, or our GOTO course and Engaging with the Humanities programmes in the MBA programme. If you are studying in one of our degree programmes, you will also be a member of one of Oxford’s Colleges, enjoying long dinners and conversations with colleagues from across all departments. At the Oxford Foundry, the University’s home for student entrepreneurs, you can find partners from medical sciences, engineering, social sciences, natural science, humanities and more for your ventures. This year, our students will get access to a new programme running across the Social Sciences Division: Oxford Minds. This new co-curricular project will bring together postgraduate students from the Blatvatnik School of Government and Oxford Saïd, along with students from economics, law, sociology, education, geography, environmental studies, social policy and more.

Quite simply, we are stronger together. And in today’s difficult environment we need to be. There’s a wonderful African proverb that our students taught me, 'If we want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, go together.'

Peter Tufano, Kathy Harvey, and student

Mission

Like other business schools, we seek to improve the performance of the individuals, teams and organisations we serve, whether in our degree programmes, Open Enrolment programmes, online courses, or Custom Executive Education programmes where we work with some of the leading business, governmental and civil society organizations in the world. But with the unfair advantage of being part of one of the world’s most renowned, powerful educational institutions, we gladly bear the additional attendant responsibility of using our talents to make the world a better place.

In the past year, we have surveyed all of our key stakeholders. While of course, we need to produce excellent research and teaching—which we do, each part of our community acknowledged that we needed to do much more. Indeed, the vast majority felt that we needed to go beyond vague platitudes of 'making a difference' to actively apply our collective skills and capabilities to use business to address the largest problems of the world, close to home and further afield. Locally, we supported Covid-fighting entrepreneurs and we opened the doors of our Executive Education facilities to house the homeless. Globally, we quickly mobilized to support entrepreneurs and to bring our expertise to the world through our Leadership in Extraordinary Times event series, bringing the best thinking of our academics and world leaders to interrogate the challenge to emerge from the current crises into a stronger, more just world. Since our values underpin the various trade-offs we all make, individually and organizationally, we organized the Oxford-Aspen Leadership Seminars to create a space for intimate, sometimes painful, discussions.

We believe that business can play an integral part to address the systemic issues that will alter the future for generations to come: planetary threats; public health challenges; structural racism; rising inequality; the mismatch of education, skills and employment opportunities; and growing nationalism and challenges to the institutions of democracy. As a community, we must commit to trying to use our wealth, power, and influence to make progress against these challenges, working across sectors, and mindful of the needs of others. We can do this in any sector or industry.

This coming year is a special one for me, my tenth and final year as Dean of this amazing School. I look forward to working with each one of you, not only to help you advance in your personal journey, but also to be part of something bigger. To join together, and with our colleagues around the University, to use our skills and talents to try—in our own way—to tackle the world’s pressing problems. As Oxford’s amazing scientists work to tame the Covid virus, then surely we can do our part in helping business be a greater force for justice.  

In service,

Peter

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Peter Tufano

Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Finance

Saïd Business School

EMBA graduation