Kendall College and Ferris State University Partner in Master's Design Program

March 12, 2007

Grand Rapids, MI – Dr. David L. Eisler, president, Ferris State University (FSU), and Dr. Oliver H. Evans, president, Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) jointly announced the introduction of a new course of study for the Master's degree; the Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Design and Innovation Management.

This program responds to the increased awareness of the importance of design in business, and it is unique in combining the resources of a college of business with a college of art and design. The first students in this new program have just begun the first semester.
This course of study is developed around the philosophy that the integrative thinking and strategic methodology of design is at the heart of innovation, and the center of our everyday experiences. The MBA Design and Innovation Management concentration embraces collaboration as a means of producing the most relevant kinds of innovation and as a means of moving design thinking to the center of the business process. The program emphasizes the manner in which collaborative design thinking and strategies can partner with the business process in establishing strategic decisions that will result in improved organizational effectiveness.
An interdisciplinary faculty of working professionals and experts in the industry will teach the courses. They will utilize a multidisciplinary, holistic and method-based approach to design management and leadership issues, human and material resource management issues, environmental and social responsibilities, and legal and ethical issues. Using a case study approach, this MBA concentration demonstrates the ways in which design thinking and collaboration can and should guide innovation.

An MBA Advisory Board of five senior level executives has been developed with representation from five specialized areas. Advisory Board members include:

  • John Baylis, senior executive administrator, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing of North America
  • Sean Lindy, senior manager, Global Innovation and Strategy Development, Whirlpool Corp.
  • Dennis Nickels, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, West Michigan
  • Michele Serbenski, executive director, Corporate Effectiveness and Customer Satisfaction, Bronson Healthcare Group
  • Paul Smith, vice president, Business Groups and Global Work systems, Haworth Inc.

As a part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design offers programs that prepare the College's graduates for professional lives as artists and designers. Kendall's undergraduate programs include art education, art history, digital media, fine arts, furniture design, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, metals/jewelry, painting, photography, and sculpture and functional art. Kendall also offers the MFA in fine arts.  Kendall is an active community partner and annually provides more than 2,000 children and adults the opportunity to pursue courses in art and design through a richly varied continuing studies program. Kendall is located in Grand Rapids, MI.

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