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The first time I met him was in 1960 when he was taking a one-year course at the international Teachers Program of the Harvard Business School. With an engineering background from a university in Barcelona, he was preparing for his future role as the Dean of one of the best business schools in the world today, the IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. His name is Carlos Cavalle and he will be in Manila for five days in January 2014 to meet CEOs and other senior executives of the leading firms in the Philippines. In the morning of January 20, he will brief the CEOs of the various companies of the Ayala group. In the afternoon of the same day, he will address some 300 deans, professors and graduate students of the leading business schools in the country. In the afternoon of January 21, he will make a presentation to the top honchos of Philippine conglomerates who will be gathered by Metro Bank and the First Metro Investment Corporation. In between, he will have small gatherings with faculty and alumni of the University of Asia and the Pacific.
Dr. Cavalle was one of only two business school deans featured in the latest survey of business education in Europe by the Financial Times (December 2013). In the overall ranking IESE was sixth among all the European business schools. In the individual categories, IESE was third in MBA programs, fifth in Executive MBA programs (EMBA), second in open-enrollment programs and second in customized programs. It had no ranking in the masters in management program because it does not have one. In other listings like those of The Economist, IESE often ranks No. 1 in the world, even ahead of the top U.S. business schools like Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago. A great deal of this outstanding accomplishment can be attributed to Dr. Cavalle who was Dean of IESE for seventeen years, the longest record for a dean in a leading business school in the world. His specialization is leadership development and strategic management, in addition of course to business education. He will talk about Developing Leaders for the Asian Century to the CEOs he will be addressing in Manila while in front of the audience of business educators, he will talk about the Future of Business Education.
In the feature about him that appeared in the Financial Times, the author Emma Boyle emphasizes his broad knowledge about management education: "Prof. Cavalle's outlook is much broader, however, than his time with IESE might suggest. He has served as a chairman of the Graduate Management Admissions Council and later as president of Equis, the European based accreditation body. He was also integral to the establishment of the Harvard-IESE Committee, which has been 50 years of co-operation between the two institutions. There is little, in short, that he does not know about management education." In fact, it was during his tenure as Dean of IESE that this leading European business school, in tandem with Harvard and the European Union, helped to establish what is now considered the best business school in China, the China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS). In addition, Dr. Cavalle is also very familiar with the growth and development of management education in leading Latin American countries where IESE helped put up business schools in countries like Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Even today, Dr. Cavalle divides his time between the US (where IESE has a campus right in the middle of Manhattan, New York), Mexico and Spain. In fact, after his Manila engagement (which will immediately follow his conducting case discussions in Hong Kong for UA&P's Advanced Management Program), he flies directly to Mexico.
While very conscious of IESE's debt of gratitude to the Harvard Business School that helped in IESE's establishing the first two-year MBA program in Europe in 1964, Dr. Cavalle is proud of the manner in which European business schools have surpassed their U.S. counterparts in diversity of students and culture. After spending two years as a Visiting Professor at the IESE Business School in 2007 to 2008, I can confirm what he affirmed in the interview with Ms. Boyle: "If we compare Europe with the United States, you cannot find this variety as you find in Europe." Indeed, as my own personal experience supports, between 60 and 80 percent of students in European schools do not come from the host country and many of them come from outside the continent. Those who desire to have an international education and have plans to be in global management should consider European business schools. I am glad that the business school dean par excellence, Dr. Carlos Cavalle, will be able to enlighten the local audiences about the advantages of business education in Europe. At the same time, he will be able to elucidate on lessons that the fledgling ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) can learn from how leaders and managers were developed for the European Economic Community (EEC) by business schools like IESE. For comments, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.