Rice's Education Entrepreneurship Program wins MBA Roundtable Innovator Award

REEP equips K-12 educators with leadership and management skills

Today the Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) was announced as the 2013 winner of the MBA Roundtable Innovator Award.

The award recognizes Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business for MBA curricular innovation with the delivery of REEP, a highly selective program that combines an elite business school education with a K-12 leadership and entrepreneurship practicum. The goal is to equip campus leaders with leadership principles and management tools. The MBA Roundtable presented REEP with the award at the organization’s annual leadership conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“The potential to impact our communities using our strength in entrepreneurship makes REEP a great fit for the Jones School,” said Bill Glick, dean and the H. Joe Nelson III Professor of Management at the Jones School. "REEP’s mission is consistent with the values of our school’s namesake -- businessman and philanthropist Jesse H. Jones -- and winning this award demonstrates that the Jones School is a source of leadership development for many industries and sectors, including K-12 education. We are honored to be among finalists such as the University of Washington and Yale University.”


The MBA Roundtable is a global association of business schools that promotes MBA curricular and programmatic innovation. A diverse panel of representatives from academic institutions and corporations served as judges for the Innovator Award, which acknowledges creative initiatives in MBA education and the institutions that are driving change in the field.

"Reflecting the spirit of the MBA Roundtable Innovator Award, REEP is a truly innovative program," said Brad Adams, who served as one of the judges. He is executive vice president and general manager of education technology company 2U Inc. "This mission-driven program that educates and challenges K-12 school leaders is having a direct impact on our K-12 schools while helping MBAs build skills in a critical area lacking today – leadership. The program has a strong track record of success, is having a tremendous impact on Houston-area schools and is positioned to expand at the state and national level."

Founded in 2008, in part through a donation from Houston Endowment, REEP allows full-time teachers and administrators to pursue either a two-year MBA or a one-year fellowship through the Jones School’s Executive Education training program. REEP complements a number of other Rice programs focused on improving the quality of education in the Houston community, Texas and the country.

With a belief that the principal is the CEO of the campus, over the past six years, REEP has developed almost 200 current and aspiring school leaders from 12 school districts and two charter management organizations. By understanding business frameworks and strategies, the campus leaders can identify and prioritize key improvement areas that ultimately improve student achievement. The education leaders are able to build lasting networks across the city of Houston for continued collaboration. Additionally, MBAs across the Jones School build a deeper insight into opportunities and challenges facing the education sector.

“The power of REEP comes from building leadership capacity," said Andrea Hodge, executive director of REEP. "Repeatedly, our students tell me that they think differently, they act differently and they get better results. We aren’t offering them the right answers, instead we focus on them learning to ask the right questions.”

Joe Fox, associate dean at Washington University's Olin Business School and the incoming president of the MBA Roundtable, noted that the Innovator Award exemplifies the mission of the MBA Roundtable. “The fundamental purpose of the MBA Roundtable association is to inform and inspire curricular and programmatic innovation in MBA programs worldwide," Fox said. "There are few better ways of achieving this goal than by shining a bright light on best practices and unique efforts. The MBA Innovator Award is the epitome of this effort. As such it gives me great pleasure to join all members of the roundtable in congratulating Rice University as the recipient of this year’s MBA Innovator Award."

For more information on the MBA Roundtable, visit www.mbaroundtable.org.

— Jeff Falk, Rice News