PUKAAR MAGAZINE SPEAKS TO PROFESSOR ZOE RADNOR, DEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, ABOUT HER VISION FOR THE NEW ESTABLISHMENT.
Becoming the first Dean of the University of Leicester’s new School of Business is a challenge in its own right, but her ambition to put Leicester in the top 20 business schools in the next five years has set the bar high.
Appointed Dean in May 2016, Professor Radnor’s passion for research, innovation and new ventures influenced her decision to move to the city: “I think Leicester is in a very exciting place. Alongside our Business School, the launch of De Montfort University Castle Business School means there is a great opportunity to have two strong business schools in a thriving business community.”
As well as holding a degree in engineering and experience as a management consultant, Professor Radnor has had an impressive academic career which has led her to work at a number of top business schools including Leeds, Manchester, Bradford, Warwick, Cardiff and Loughborough.
A wide range of experience, which has included leading research programmes and setting up a new postgraduate campus for Loughborough University at Olympic Park in London, has equipped Professor Radnor with the right skills and knowledge to build a successful business school, she said: “There’s an opportunity here at Leicester University to build something that’s exciting and innovative, as well as developing the combined reputation of the university’s former School of Management and Department of Economics.
“I believe this can be a Business School which asks questions other business schools are too frightened to ask.”
Establishing a strong brand identity for the new School of Business is key. It will take up residence at the Brookfield site on London Road, the former home of Thomas Fielding Johnson, one of the University of Leicester founding fathers.
Setting apart the University of Leicester School of Business from its competitors, the new school aims to enhance areas surrounding its outstanding teaching, research and external relationships. Professor Radnor added: “We’re looking at innovative ways to improve teaching, such as incorporating multimedia and technology into the classroom.
“It’s also important we build employability into our curriculum. It’s not just about how to write a good CV or how to do a good interview anymore. We want to integrate the skills and capabilities young people need once they leave their degree.
“We’ll still cover the fundamental areas of business such as leadership, strategy, economics, marketing, accounting, finance etc, but it’s about how we portray those in a way that makes us distinctive that’s important.”
By Jessica Challoner-Sterland