Capacity Mapping: Re-imagining Undergraduate Business Education

2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT May 6, 2014

Majoring in business continues to rise in popularity as industry recruiters, public officials, and parents alike increasingly focus on post-secondary education as preparation for employment. Faced with these market pressures, how might colleges and universities committed to the principles of liberal education respond? In this seminar, Mary Grace Neville, associate professor of business at Southwestern University, shares a framework for undergraduate business education that aims to cultivate high integrity leaders for the 21st century. (Times EDT)

The public’s scrutiny of higher education may be at an all-time high. Whether it be parents questioning the value of a college degree, researchers scrutinizing learning outcomes, government officials tracking student debt, or employers evaluating job-readiness, educators face unprecedented pressure to prepare students for life outside of college. For business educators at liberal arts colleges, this external scrutiny is often matched by internal scrutiny from colleagues who question whether pre-professional programs even belong. Other concerns extend beyond the present and focus on preparing students not just for their first job, but on developing capacities for their whole life—personal, professional and civic. How might business faculty respond to this increased demand and multitude of pressures?

In the midst of this new reality, seminar leader Mary Grace Neville, began a seven-year programmatic study. She led a multi-stakeholder inquiry and organized a national dialogue centered on the question: “What ought we be teaching at the undergraduate business level in order to be cultivating high integrity leaders for tomorrow’s rapidly changing, highly complex, multicultural, and interdependent world?” She will introduce the capacity-mapping framework that has emerged from this work (and continues to evolve) and invite participants to consider various ways to integrate capacity development across an undergraduate business curriculum. In preparation for this discussion, consider the following questions.

  • How do you set priorities and achieve balance within the curriculum?
  • How can business programs orient themselves so that they can be responsive to the constancy of change?
  • How can colleagues within institutions and across institutions collaborate to strengthen student preparedness?
  • How might technology support capacity development?

Join NITLE, Dr. Neville, and colleagues across the nation to re-imagine undergraduate business education.

Recommended Reading

Please review and explore these resources to prepare for active engagement with your fellow seminar participants.

  • Colby, A., Ehrlich, T. Sullivan, W. M., & Dolle, J. R. (2011). Rethinking undergraduate business education: Liberal learning for the profession. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Seminar Leader

Dr. Mary Grace Neville is associate professor of business and holder of the John Shearn Chair in Business at Southwestern University. She studies and teaches business behaviors and relationships that create world benefit. She explores business success as measured by the creation of well-being, environmental care, and organizations’ long-term financial stability. In 2012-2013, Neville served as a Fulbright Fellow at Ashesi University College in Ghana, Africa.

Neville follows a teacher-scholar-professional model of social change; each stream of work co-creates the others. She teaches, theorizes, and consults from a three-pronged belief about business in society: wealth is well-being, systems are highly interdependent, and relevant time spans multiple generations. She believes positive actions shape larger social patterns that make a difference in the world over time. Hence, her teaching, research, and consulting advance positive intersections between business and society.

Neville integrates liberal arts philosophies with business thinking. She draws heavily on experiential pedagogy in order to expand students’ critical thinking and analytical reasoning capacities. She regularly teaches the program’s business ethics and social responsibility course, the organizational behavior course, and the capstone course.

Prior to her work at Southwestern, Neville was a manager in the strategic services practice of a global management consulting firm. Before consulting, she was on the start-up team for a $52 million public aquarium, and served as the executive director of a state level non-profit agency.

Event Hashtag

Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on Twitter via this event’s hashtag: #NITLE


Liberal education leaders and business educators interested in how capacity development might be integrated into the curriculum should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Friday, May 2. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Georgianne Hewett at

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.