End of Week Reflection from Dean Slaughter


November 12, 2021

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Recent weeks have flown by for many of us.  For me, these weeks brought my first extended period of Tuck travel since the pandemic, with several trips to visit alumni around the country.  These weeks also brought to campus for the first time in two years our School’s Board of Advisors and MBA Council.  To a person, the alumni I have been engaging with are so impressed with all that our School has been accomplishing amidst all the changes of the pandemic.  I always reply that credit properly goes to the entire Tuck community—students, staff, and faculty alike.

The changes that our alumni see us thriving amidst are all around us.  Consider this week’s remarkable example of General Electric.  Throughout the 20th century, GE was a symbol of U.S. innovation and management strength.  In 2000, GE was America’s most valuable company, with a market capitalization that hit nearly $600 billion, and Fortune declared CEO Jack Welch the “Manager of the Century.”  On Tuesday, with GE’s market capitalization down to only about $120 billion, CEO Larry Culp announced it would be broken up into three distinct companies focusing on aviation, energy, and health care.

“The only thing that is constant is change,” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus.  Dawson Her Many Horses T’10 and Kate Jhaveri T’03 delivered inspiring keynotes at last month’s Diversity Conference and Women in Business Conference, and their remarks echoed this theme.  “Your career and your life will almost surely unfold in ways you cannot foresee,” said Kate, “so be ready for rather than resist change.”

Tuck has thrived for 121 years because we have continually innovated, informed by the evolving aspirations of tomorrow’s learners and the organizations they join and lead.  What innovations we might make post-pandemic we will need to discern together.  For today, I want to thank everyone for the changes—be they small or large—that you have been a part of to help Tuck thrive this fall.  Colleagues, thank you for restoring the crackle and joy to our classrooms—with your teaching and with the research seminars and conferences we are again holding.  T’23s, be proud of all you have attempted and learned in summer and fall terms. T’22s, congratulations on finishing your fall term this week—and on whatever goals you achieved as part of a transformative second year.  And everyone, thank you for continuing to play your part for our shared community health.

Our accomplishments amidst a world of change require a lot of energy.  Please enjoy a restful weekend!