Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, December 4, 2000
Stanford and Harvard Business School explore e-learning partnership

Stanford University and Harvard Business School (HBS) announced their intention Nov. 30 to jointly explore a project to develop and deliver online executive and management education.

The two institutions, pioneers in electronic learning, propose creation of a distribution platform for non-degree courses and say they hope it will become the world's premier source of online management education.

"The worldwide need for management skills has never been greater, and the demand for innovative approaches to management education is high," said Robert Joss, Dean of Stanford's Business School. "We believe partnership with Harvard Business School offers good prospects for developing new models in both educational content and delivery."

Kim Clark, Harvard Business School Dean, said that "Stanford and HBS share a common mission: to educate leaders around the world. We also share a commitment to using technology in management education. Over the last several months, as we have explored the advantages of working together, we have become enthusiastic about the opportunity to deliver online an unparalleled management education portfolio to executives and leaders around the world."

The collaborative program would involve the Harvard Business School, Harvard Business School Interactive (HBSi) and the e-Learning Division of Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP); Stanford's participants would include the Graduate School of Business, the School of Engineering and Stanford's Learning Technologies organization.

Both institutions have well-established online learning programs that include a wide range of courses and learning modules.

HBS will provide articles, course materials, and other content from Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP), Harvard Business School Interactive and the School's Baker Library. Harvard Business School Publishing's e-Learning Division has for several years offered comprehensive sets of personalized, practical multimedia courses and desktop performance support, including Harvard ManageMentor and customized corporate intranet sites of HBR reprints for some 80 corporations. HBSP recently completed two of three modules of "Building E-Businesses" and an "Essential Skills for Managers" suite of courses, including Accounting and Finance basics courses, as well as a negotiating skills course based on the Getting to Yes (tm) principles, with more on the way. All of these courses are accessible through the HBSP Web site at

Stanford's Graduate School of Business will contribute research articles, course materials, and other content, such as talks and case discussions with business leaders who have visited the school. Stanford Business School faculty currently are developing online courses for executives, and the School's MBA students use a variety of technology-supported class materials, including electronic case studies and data simulations. The Stanford School of Engineering, which pioneered the use of technology to deliver credit courses, graduate degrees, certificate offerings, and continuing education programs worldwide, will draw on these resources, including material developed for the Stanford Online program for executives and managers.

"With the accelerated rate of technological and economic change, executives and managers must have access to high-quality education where and when needed." said James Plummer, dean of Stanford's engineering school, which grants nearly 25 percent of its master's degrees to distance-learning students. "We see great potential in this partnership to develop unique online approaches that will address those needs. We expect to use this new opportunity to build upon and strengthen our many ties with industry."

About Stanford University: Stanford's Graduate School of Business ( and the School of Engineering ( have been key sources of executive leaders who have contributed to the creation and growth of Silicon Valley. The University's Learning Technologies ( organization conducts research and implements programs involving the use of technology in learning.

About Harvard Business School: Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School ( is located in Boston and offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as a portfolio of more than seventy Executive Education programs, Harvard Business School Publishing (, whose products include Harvard Business Review, HBS Press, and the eLearning Division. With a faculty of almost 200 distinguished scholars, the School's mission is to educate leaders. Its core focus is to shape the practice of business, build enduring knowledge, and effectively communicate important ideas to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.