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10 of Our Top Stories From 2020

A look back at content that defined business education this tumultuous year—and that offers glimpses into what could lie ahead.

Photo: iStock/marchmeena29

The past year has been more disruptive than any other in recent memory. As we look back at 10 articles and interviews that were among our most popular content of 2020, it’s no surprise that half of them pertain to the wide-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among them is one professor’s promise to help his students make the transition to online learning, as well as an analysis of how the pandemic is changing where—and whether—students choose to study abroad. Other articles tackle topics of special interest in 2020, including diversity, student mental health, the ethical implications of data visualization, and the need to reimagine business education to better serve organizations and society.

As challenging as 2020 has been for business schools, the stories below are a record of how far the industry has come since the world was turned on its head in March. They also offer a glimpse into the ways business schools will continue to innovate and reinvent themselves in the months that lie ahead.

1. International Student Mobility and the Impact of the Pandemic
Simon Mercado of ESCP Business School London examines the current and future impact the crisis is having on the numbers of students choosing to study abroad.

2. A Letter to My Students During the Pandemic
As the pandemic forced schools to move education online, Scott Dust of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, found teachable moments where he could help his students apply a growth mindset during the crisis—even outside of the classroom.

3. Business Education's Post-Pandemic Possibilities
In this AACSB Explores video, David Timis, EU Civics Outreach Fellow at Google and a 2019 AACSB Influential Leader, talks with Tim Mescon, chief officer of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa office, about the impact of COVID-19 on business education and the opportunities it presents.

4. The Business School, Recast
Arun Pereira of Saint Louis University in Missouri outlines ways business schools can make changes necessitated by COVID-19, without sacrificing student revenue and curricular relevance.

5. Re-Envisioning Undergraduate Business Education
In a time of great future ambiguity, Houston Peschl and Leighton Wilks of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, call on the AACSB community to brainstorm new directions for business education.

6. Business Schools at the Center of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Joyce Russell of Villanova University in Pennsylvania talks with AACSB Explores about the various ways business schools can, and should, contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their schools as well as in the broader community. (For more on this topic, read Russell’s article about helping all students feel a sense of belonging on campus.)

7. Business Schools Addressing Mental Health in Learners
Anxiety and depression in higher education learners have been on the rise in recent years. AACSB looks at how business students are affected and what their schools are doing to help. (AACSB Explores offers another perspective on student mental health in a video conversation with Ida Kesner of Indiana University in Bloomington.)

8. What Does Digital Transformation Mean for Business Schools?
In this video, Sandeep Krishnamurthy, dean of Bothell School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle, discusses what digital transformation does—and doesn’t—mean and how business schools can embrace it. (Read more from Krishnamurthy in his article discussing what it was like to lead his business school during the early days of the pandemic.)

9. The Ethics of Data Visualization
Well-designed charts can be powerful tools of persuasion—but poorly designed charts can confuse, manipulate, and mislead. That’s why, says Alberto Cairo of the University of Miami in Florida, it’s important to teach students to be responsible purveyors of data. 

10. The Future of Education: Everything Is Liquid
In a world where disruptions can occur at any time, academic institutions must be ready to adapt, argue Nick van Dam of IE University, Spain, and Noémie Le Pertel of Columbia Business School in New York, IE University, and the United Nations.

In a year of industrywide transition, AACSB has also made a recent change: As of January 1, BizEd magazine will have officially become AACSB Insights, an online content platform that we hope will be your primary source for the latest news, trends, and thought leadership related to global business education. We invite those of you who followed BizEd on Twitter now to follow our content at @AACSB.

As this historic year winds down, we hope you have found opportunities for restoration and reflection. We look forward to sharing stories and perspectives from across the industry with you throughout 2021!

Tricia Bisoux, Editor, AACSBTricia Bisoux is an editor with AACSB International.