Sticking to the Script: Jerome Chazen's Latest Bet on Interdisciplinary Business Education

When we last took a good hard look at Jerome Chazen's philanthropy, three guiding principles stood out. 

First, Chazen gave liberally to his alma maters, the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. Second, he's been a strong supporter of the arts in New York City. And third, a good portion of Jerome and his wife Simona's giving goes to local organizations in Rockland County, the area they call home.

Chazen just opened his checkbook yet again.

Dean Glenn Hubbard of Columbia Business School announced that the Chazen Institute of International Business has been renamed the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, and that Chazen donated $10 million for its continued development. The gift will:

Help deepen the institute’s existing activities, expand the institute’s global visibility, and launch new initiatives for the institute, including the Chazen Research Fellows—visiting faculty members who will come to Columbia to conduct research, develop courses and cases, and lend expertise in globalization to the School’s intellectual community. The fellows will also help foster relationships with other parts of the University, according to their areas of expertise.

The gift, in short, doesn't veer wildly off-script based on our assessement of Chazen's recent giving. If anything, it seems to complement his $10 million gift to Columbia in the 1990s establishing the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business

But let's toss the checklist aside for a second and elevate this gift to a slightly more rarified plane. First, Chazen's donation represents a stamp of approval for the emerging interdisciplinary approach to global education and research.

"I have tremendous confidence in the institute’s ongoing ability to elevate the academic conversation on globalization, weaving it throughout the School’s activities," he said. "I believe in the institute’s capacity to be a top resource for thought leadership on globalization."

And second, his gift speaks to a more big-picture question facing business schools across higher education: How do we prepare students for an uncertain, ever-connected global economy? Chazen's latest gift to his alma mater is but one of many possible approaches. For another, consider news out of Atlanta, where Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business received a $2 million gift from the Delta Air Lines Foundation to fund the Delta Student Success Center.

And for our most recent donor profile on Jerome Chazen, click here.