The Evolution of a Top-Ranked Online MBA Faculty

The Evolution of a Top-Ranked Online MBA Faculty

As a pioneer within the online MBA space, the Jack Welch Management Institute’s approach to teaching is a key driver of delivering exceptional outcomes for its students.

Over ten years ago, Jack Welch developed a clear and compelling vision—to create the most relevant MBA in the world with top-tier MBA faculty and where students are treated as customers, not cogs in the machine. Throughout his career, Jack focused on getting the right people in the right places and providing them the tools to thrive.

Key to Jack’s vision was a school that treated students as the customer where faculty were hired not for research, but for their real-world business experience and passion. As we celebrate Faculty Appreciation Week, we look back on the evolution of JWMI’s top-ranked MBA faculty.

The Evolution of a Student-Focused Online MBA Faculty


Experience and Willingness to Serve

Since the school launched, JWMI sought out faculty who were not only academically qualified but were also executives from top companies around the world with practical business experience who could engage, excite, and mentor students. As our student population has grown, so too has our faculty, from just 17 MBA faculty members to nearly 100 today.

Mission and Values

With a growing online and remote group of professors, the faculty developed its own mission and values to align with Jack’s vision of a student-centric school. The first value is “Generosity” and drives MBA faculty to deliver the following behaviors.

  • Believe in our students.
  • Focus on student success.
  • Coach and mentor.
  • Engage with compassion and understanding.
  • Offer candid feedback.
  • Instill confidence

Leveraging Student Feedback

The traditional MBA faculty model is built around a professor’s ability to produce research and tenure. But the length of employment means little if you can’t deliver results for students. To measure those results, JWMI faculty are evaluated quarterly on their ability to live and breathe the charter and from student feedback. According to JWMI Dean of Faculty & Students Mike Zeliff, “We celebrate the top 20%. We coach around the middle 70%. And we take a hard look at the bottom 10% and ask whether this is the right spot for them. We let our professors know where they stand since transparency and candor are values that Jack instilled in JWMI from the beginning.”

Training Built for the Online Experience

JWMI’s approach to online education and our focus on student success is unique and calls for a training program that is both platform-specific and mission-driven. Regardless of teaching experience, all JWMI faculty members complete a two-part, 10-week intensive training program. The first part of the training focuses on Jack’s principles, expectations, and the JWMI online course experience. If faculty members pass this section, they then spend a term shadowing an experienced professor to master the course content and JWMI behaviors that are necessary for Jack Welch MBA students to thrive. This unique training approach ensures that all faculty members are prepared from the moment they step into the JWMI virtual classroom and that students receive the same level of attention and instruction, no matter the professor.

Personal Attention

JWMI students are working adults with constant demands on their schedule between work, family, and life. For this reason, our online MBA faculty are expected to deliver the highest value to our students. To ensure that each student receives individualized attention and substantive feedback, JWMI keeps class sizes small, averaging a student to faculty ratio of 19:1. With a smaller group of students to focus on, our faculty are able to engage with each student individually, and on the student’s schedule.

Delivering on the Mission

With JWMI, Jack’s goal was to transform working professionals into leaders, with immediately actionable ideas and practices, and have every student love the process of getting there. In just over 10 years, our student population grew to over 2,000 enrolled students and 2,000 alumni. These students continually share their stories of success, as they bring their learnings from our courses and the faculty into real-life situations within their workplaces on a weekly basis:

  • 94% of alumni said in the 2019 graduate survey that their confidence as a leader has grown. (1)
  • More than two out of three students receive a promotion or raise while enrolled. (2)

Every day, our faculty make it a priority to be mission- and values-driven and hold each other accountable to delivering a world-class experience for our students. It’s this commitment that earned the Jack Welch MBA #1 across all faculty rankings as part of the 2020 Poets & Quants Top Online MBA Rankings. (3)

  • #1 Overall Quality of Professors
  • #1 Accessibility and Responsiveness of Facultya
  • #1 Ability to Create Good Connections with Faculty

At JWMI, we love to celebrate success—the success of our students in their careers, and those of our top-ranked professors who are the backbone of our online MBA program.

In honor of Faculty Appreciation Week, we cheer our distinguished faculty who continually go above and beyond to put our students first.



  1. 2019 Graduate survey; 523 survey respondents among 550 JWMI students surveyed during the final term of their program during 2019
  2. 71%; 2019 Graduate survey; 523 survey respondents among 550 JWMI students surveyed during the final term of their program during 2019
  3. Based on students’ assessment;
    1. Tied with one other institution