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Duke and Frankfurt University Sign Pact to Create Dual-Degree, Executive MBA Program

Note: The program's new web site is http://duke-goethe-emba.org/

July 20, 2004

DURHAM and FRANKFURT -- Duke University 's Fuqua School of Business and Frankfurt University 's Goethe Business School have completed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a dual-degree, 22-month executive MBA program for working executives, the schools' deans announced Wednesday.

Fuqua Dean Douglas T. Breeden and Goethe Dean Paul Bernd Spahn said the program, named the Duke Goethe Executive MBA program, will begin in May 2005 with an anticipated class of 45 to 60 students predominantly from Germany and surrounding countries. The program enables working professionals to pursue an MBA degree without career interruption. Teaching will take place mainly at Frankfurt 's new Campus Westend, Grueneburg Park, combined with two one-week blocks of classroom instruction at the Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina. In addition, when they are not in class students will study using Duke's distance-learning platform.

"Our five-year strategic plan calls for us to form significant partnerships with a few world-class business schools around the globe. These partnerships will complement our two existing global programs, our Global Executive and Cross Continent MBA programs," Breeden said. "Given Frankfurt 's fine reputation in Germany, especially in finance and economics, we believe it is an excellent partner for us. Together we will offer working professionals an innovative educational experience that combines Duke's rigorous MBA curriculum with a strong focus on the specific needs of the European business community."

Goethe Dean Spahn said, "The Duke Goethe Executive MBA fills an important gap in the German management education market. Our business community has a strong need for top-level management education delivered by outstanding academic institutions. Our partnership with Duke is an important step to evolve our new executive education facilities into a leading center for management education in Germany."

Many of the students who enroll in the program will be between 30 and 37 years old and have a minimum of three years of work experience. The GMAT and TOEFL tests are required, the latter because all of the classes will be taught in English. Upon graduation, the students will have earned both a Duke MBA and a Goethe MBA.

Fuqua Associate Dean John F. Cady, who will manage Duke's portion of the program, said the dual-degree program will enhance Fuqua's global reputation and allow it to serve students who reside in the Central Europe area within easy access to Frankfurt . "Our evolving alliance strategy allows us to continue our growth internationally," he said. "This is an example of a creative approach that allows us not only to develop relationships with outstanding faculty on a worldwide basis, but also to meet the needs of a diverse body of global students."

The curriculum will be based on both Duke's Cross Continent and Weekend Executive MBA programs. In all, a student will take 18 courses: 12 core courses will lay the foundation of modern management knowledge, and six elective courses will allow students to personalize the program and concentrate on individually chosen issues. The set of elective courses will change from year to year in order to make the program responsive to changing business demands.

Initially Duke faculty will teach two-thirds of the courses, and Frankfurt faculty one third. Over time, both parties plan to contribute an equal amount of teaching. Some courses are offered in a weekend format with classes running from Thursday to Saturday, and other courses are offered in a block-week format. The face-to-face instructions in the classroom will be complemented by Duke's "place and space" learning platform that enables students to continue their studies in virtual teams outside the classroom.

"This program has been designed in close cooperation with our surrounding business community," said Mark Wahrenburg, who will be dean of Frankfurt University 's newly founded Goethe Business School . "The initial reaction has been overwhelming: almost 20 companies immediately committed to send their high-potential middle managers to the program. We will continue recruiting over the next 10 months and make sure that this program will attract the best talents and help them become effective business leaders. Goethe is thrilled to work jointly with Duke and offer a top-quality executive MBA program in Germany."

Founded in 1914 as a private educational institution by Frankfurt citizens, Frankfurt University is one of the Top Five German universities in the research ranking by the Centrum fur Hochschulentwicklung. By 2006, Frankfurt University 's new world-class executive education facilities will open their doors to the public.

Duke's Fuqua School of Business was founded in 1969 and renamed in 1980 in honor of entrepreneur and philanthropist J.B. Fuqua. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in the Daytime MBA program or one of three executive MBA programs: The Duke MBA-Global Executive; The Duke MBA-Cross Continent; and The Duke MBA-Weekend Executive. The school also has a highly ranked Ph.D. program and operates the No. 1 non-degree executive education program in the world, according to May 17, 2004, rankings by the Financial Times.