Ed Leonard recently stepped down as associate dean of the W. Cliff Oxford Executive MBA program and will return to the classroom. “When I came to teach at Goizueta in 1979, it was one of the first schools to offer an EMBA,” remembers Leonard. Ten years later he was asked to run the program.
“He has been instrumental in moving our Executive MBA programs forward,” says Dean Larry Benveniste. Under Leonard’s leadership, Goizueta’s modular and weekend EMBA programs have grown in size, quality and reputation. Ever the team builder, however, Leonard says credit should also go to “a great faculty, great students, and a great staff.”
W. Cliff Oxford 94EMBA, who endowed the program, says that Leonard brought a customer-centric approach to it. “He found how to deliver rigorous academics to adults. That’s what gave it its ratings,” he says, referring to the fact that this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Goizueta’s EMBA 10th in the country and that last year BusinessWeek ranked it 7th in the world and first in the South.
Recognizing that many potential EMBA students are unable to travel to campus every other weekend, Leonard spearheaded the development and implementation of the Modular Executive MBA program, which allows students to do 30 percent of their coursework online. Today the program draws business managers from across the nation, as well as from Europe, South America, and Asia.
Leonard increased the EMBA programs’ focus on global business. In addition to courses, each EMBA class participates in a one-week international colloquium, visiting cities such as Barcelona, Istanbul, or Shanghai, where students engage with local business leaders, professors, and members of the media to learn about the complexities and opportunities of business abroad. According to Rick Gilkey, professor in the practice of organization and management, Leonard’s “overseas programs are a benchmark for instilling a truly global perspective.”
Benveniste says that during Leonard’s tenure, the EMBA programs “pioneered new programming and services, such as leadership and career development.” The knowledgeable staff behind this service advises EMBA students on how they can become more marketable and manage their careers after graduation.
“Ed has been an excellent citizen of Goizueta Business School, always stepping up to do whatever was asked of him,” notes Al Hartgraves, professor of accounting. Leonard has directed the Evening MBA programs, served as associate dean of academic programs and as area coordinator for the marketing faculty, developed nondegree programs and, of course, taught marketing courses.
“Ed is a wonderful classroom presenter and an excellent facilitator of in-class discussions,” says Robert Kazanjian, professor of organization and management. “He brings a detailed understanding of marketing theory and research that is also well grounded in current best practice.” Jeff Jackson 09EMBA adds that Leonard is “engaging and accessible and always has real-world examples to illustrate learning points.”
Marketing area coordinator Doug Bowman says he is very pleased Leonard will continue to teach marketing strategy to EMBA students. “Students always benefit when Ed is teaching, and the marketing area faculty will benefit from Ed’s experience and perspective.”