In a bold move to prepare students for a changing business environment, University of Redlands officials announced the launch of the University of Redlands School of Business & Society.

The first of its kind, the School of Business & Society integrates and enhances the university’s business programs to empower students to positively impact their community and the world.

University President Krista Newkirk made the announcement during Homecoming and Family Weekend to an audience of students, families, faculty and friends of the university.

“The U of R’s new School of Business & Society is a strategic evolution that will help future business leaders learn how to use their organizations to make the world a better place,” she said.

Thomas Horan, the Senecal endowed dean of the School of Business & Society, added, “The issues that businesses are facing now always involve broader societal considerations. Therefore, it is incumbent upon business schools like ours to prepare students to be those new business leaders.”

This new school will build upon the strengths of the former School of Business in seven pillars: purposeful leadership, social and ethical responsibility, diversity and inclusive excellence, and geographic information systems (GIS) and society.

“Integrating these pillars will help our students develop critical insight and the skills necessary to strengthen their career opportunities in today’s ever-changing business climate,” Horan said. “In short, this is the next big step in fulfilling our mission.”

The School of Business & Society also creates new pathways for undergraduate majors through 4+1 programs to the MBA and M.S. in business analytics. Additional collaborations are under way with faculty and programs that include business and society elements.

Longtime supporter of the university, Esri President Jack Dangermond, applauded the effort as, “a natural evolution that will speak to the changing nature of corporate leaders that have to be created.”

Along these lines, Esri’s recent $250,000 award to the school will be used to support research and curriculum developments in applying GIS to enhance corporate social responsibility, as well as a new Esri - U of R scholarship for historically underrepresented students to pursue such ambitions.

College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Steve Wuhs observed, “The umbrella of business and society provides students with new opportunities and pathways to strengthen their career opportunities.”

Business for a Better World

The School of Business & Society will celebrate its launch at an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, featuring:

• Judy Samuelson, vice president of the Aspen Institute.

• Elsa Luna, U of R class of 2004, chief operations officer and chief financial officer of KPCC radio.

• Cindy Elliott, director of global business and corporate sustainability at Esri.

Business for a Better World will take place at the Orton Center on the University of Redlands main campus in person and virtually. Admission is free, but registration is required through