For nearly a century, Drexel has demonstrated through its co-op program the effectiveness of learning by leaving the classroom for the workplace to gain real-world experience and insight. Today, we are enhancing our corporate relationships by putting the University’s academic and research strengths to work here on campus to develop solutions that business partners can utilize in their fields.
The LeBow College of Business has been the center of activity in this area, working with a range of industry partners; notable among them, SEI, which last year turned to LeBow’s Behavioral Science Lab for a study on how consumers react to the financial services firm’s website. Now, we plan to build out this approach across the University — and, in doing so, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Drexel Business Solutions Institute.
Partnering with the Steinbright Career Development Center, the Business Solutions Institute will be Drexel’s gateway for industry to reframe our co-op partnerships. While based at LeBow, the Institute will draw upon faculty and students from across the University to provide organizations with talent pipelines and development solutions, and with interdisciplinary research-based solutions to business and societal challenges. By supporting comprehensive partnerships with industry, the Institute will help create more relevant interdisciplinary programs and enable firms to effectively address their needs.
The Institute’s work will have a direct, beneficial impact on students’ experience by fostering a business-solutions approach that better prepares them for success in a rapidly changing society.
Some of the first collaborations are expected to occur with the School of Biomedical Engineering, the College of Computing and Informatics, the College of Engineering and the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.
We expect that the more comprehensive partnerships offered by the Business Solutions Institute, Steinbright and the Office of Research will enhance the attraction to companies looking to locate at Schuylkill Yards and uCity Square. An external advisory board and an internal advisory council that spans a number of Drexel colleges and schools will guide the Business Solutions Institute, and Anna Koulas, executive director of business development at LeBow, and Dr. Raj Suri, vice dean for research, will oversee the new entity.
My thanks to Paul E. Jensen, LeBow’s dean, for developing the plan to launch the Business Solutions Institute, as we look forward to its leveraging Drexel’s extensive assets to enhance the University as a center of innovative learning and high-impact research.