Forging a stronger link between teaching and research. Montpellier Business School creates the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs


After starting the EQUIS accreditation processes in 2017, Montpellier Business School has decided to name an Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs in order to optimise, clarify, and simplify overall organisation. The new Associate Dean is Dr David Roubaud, who has been a lecturer-researcher at MBS since 2011 and has served as Academic Director for the last three years. He will oversee all academic activity, including the faculty’s teaching and contribution to the advancement of knowledge more broadly, as well as accreditation.

“The creation of this office is part of a global movement seen in France and abroad,” notes Dr Roubaud. ‘Our goal is to create a strong link between teaching and research, to ensure that our teaching is benefiting from our research, but also to ensure that our research focuses on subjects that are relevant to building a stronger connection to the ‘real world’. The impact should be beneficial for both sides, and together they should be understood as a whole, and not as two distinct things in the same institution.”

This new Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs will also be tasked with supporting MBS’s lecturer-researchers in a very competitive environment. “With this organisation, we intend to have more collaboration between teachers and internal and external stakeholders. Our goal is, on the one hand, to consolidate the achievements of the last few years, in terms of accreditation, both nationally (master’s programme renewed for five years) and internationally (AACSB, EPAS, AMBA). And on the other hand to boost research production, with 60 articles published in the reference CNRS FNEGE 120 (“Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique, Fondation Nationale pour l’Enseignement de la Gestion des Entreprises”, “National Scientific Research Committee, National Foundation for Business Management Education”), which is one of the main criteria in national rankings,” commented Dean Didier Jourdan.

Along with this new Associate Dean’s Office, two ‘faculty development manager’ positions will also be created. “The first will focus on pedagogy, while the second will focus on research,” adds Dr Roubaud. “These two teachers will be tasked with collaborating to bring together lecturer researchers in order to reflect on and draw up coherent action plans that are tailored to the needs of the institution and its stakeholders. The remaining values are the unifying elements in this new structure.”

No doubt this new organisation reflects MBS’s perspective on international accreditation requirements for continuous improvement, as well as the specific goals set by EQUIS. “We view academic quality from a perspective of sustainability. The triple crown isn’t an end in itself,” notes Dean Jourdan. ‘Montpellier Business School is the product of a long tradition of academic excellence that has for nearly ten years been bolstered by recognition from the leading international accreditation organisations. Of course, we’re pursuing this path of excellence for the benefit of all our stakeholders. At the same time, however, we’re making a long-term strategic move to strengthen our social and societal impact, which was recently recognised by the French government, when it awarded us EESPIG status (Établissement privé d’intérêt général, General Interest Private Institution).

On the eve of the oral tests as part of the entrance exam to its programmes, MBS is assembling the pieces of its ‘Together Further 2020’ strategy.