The Lally School to celebrate great milestone

Management school reaches 50 year history and success at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The business school at Rensselaer, proudly known as the Lally School of Management, is 50 years old. Significant milestones give us pause to reflect on what has transpired previously, to acknowledge accomplishments, and to look ahead to the future.

In 1963, the Management Engineering Department was separated from the School of Engineering and set up as a stand-alone School of Management. From a department that injected managerial concerns into the life of the School of Engineering, it was then asked to remove the “Engineering” from its title and expand on the “Management.” The new designation required its members to reorient themselves more toward the world of business, even if they originally taught only engineering students.

Eventually, the school began to admit its own management students and added faculty members with a more traditional business school education and focus. The core of the old Management Engineering Department returned to the School of Engineering, and the more recently recruited colleagues started to build the management school.

Kenneth T. Lally, a Rensselaer trustee, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, and his wife, Thelma P. Lally, endowed the school in 1995 and the School of Management was renamed the Lally School in honor of their $15 million gift and lasting legacy in management education and the Rensselaer community.

Since its early days, the school has been small by business school standards. Undergraduate programs at business schools in private technological universities seem to share this characteristic. For example, programs at Carnegie Mellon and Case Western are of similar size to Lally, and MIT’s is smaller. In contrast, at many comprehensive private and public universities, business schools are bursting at the seams.

In a technological research university, the Lally School provides programs that complement those offered in other parts of the university, while still maintaining its own identity. Adopting the Rensselaer focus on technology, innovation, and quantitative skills enhances its competitiveness among business schools.

This complementarity also has helped shape our values and mission: “To bridge management and technology to create sophisticated global business leaders who are prepared to guide their organizations in the conversion of pioneering ideas and analytical insights into innovative products, processes, and businesses.”

Today, the Lally School offers a variety of degrees: a B.S., MBA, and Ph.D. in Management; and M.S. degrees in Business Analytics, Management, Quantitative Finance and Risk Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship.

I like to say that the Lally School features the management of technology and technologies of management. The management of technology has been a long-term strength of the school—some might claim its calling card—exemplified by the prominence of the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. Technologies of management offer tools to improve managerial decision-making. In our case, the Quantitative Finance, Business Analytics, and Supply Chain Management degrees offer quantitative tools to better inform managers and make businesses more efficient and productive.

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Lally School is part of an ongoing effort to highlight milestones of how the world has been transformed by the achievements of the Rensselaer community––past and present––as a bridge to the bicentennial of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2024. We welcome you to celebrate with us this fall at the events below:

Friday, October 3, 2014

2014 William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year Celebration

2:30–4 pm

Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Auditorium

Honorees: founding team members, John Delbridge ’91, Jeffrey Stewart ’91, and David Uyttendaele ’91, of the innovative online, on-demand cloud printing services company.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

William C. Dudley, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

3–4 pm

Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Auditorium

A talk and Q&A with Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff about the national and local economic conditions, challenges, and opportunities.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Investing in Entrepreneurship”

9:30 am–5:30 pm

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center

A daylong showcase designed to increase the pool of angel investors and entrepreneurial talent, featuring a conversation with entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Internet pioneer Steve Case led by Rensselaer President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.

We are positioned for a bright future ahead in the next 50 years as part of this world-class, technological research university known as Rensselaer. We have excellent faculty members, dedicated professional staff, bright and motivated students, and alumni who are eager to help. We will continue to shepherd our personalized, customized environment, one where our faculty say hello to students by name. We will continue to make outsized contributions to the theory and practice of management. We will continue to produce graduates ready and able to address the business challenges of tomorrow.

Tom Begley, Ph.D.

Dean of the Rensselaer Lally School of Management