Educating Leaders Since 1978

The Washington Campus was founded in 1978 by the visionary L. William Seidman and other notable public policy leaders to provide Washington residencies for MBA students enrolled at a consortium of top graduate business schools. Born of frustration on the part of Washington policy makers over the lack of involvement of business leaders in key national policy debates, our programs were designed to prepare business leaders to participate effectively in the national policy discussion.

After serving in the White House as President Gerald R. Ford's Assistant for Economic Affairs from 1974 to 1977, Bill Seidman, along with other notable public policy officials and academic leaders, recognized the need for current and future business leaders to better understand the organization and function of government, as well as the process of policy making, in order to more effectively contribute their experience and expertise to the decision-making process. With the policy challenges confronting government officials, and the potential impact of policy decisions on the U.S. and global business climate and economy, the founders determined that it is critical for corporate leaders to engage in the process, inform the policy debate and understand the potential impact of policy changes on their own business sector. This realization helped lay the foundation for what would become The Washington Campus mission.
 

The Wye Plantation, Queenstown, Maryland. Location of the first Board Meeting, 1979.
 

Shortly after leaving his post at the White House, Seidman, along with colleagues from the Ford administration and other leaders in Washington set about organizing the foundation for the Campus. By the fall of 1978, the Campus consortium included nine member schools: University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Berkeley; University of Michigan; Cornell University; Dartmouth College; The Ohio State University; Grand Valley State University; the University of New Mexico; and Indiana University. The first Board of Directors meeting was held in 1979 at The Wye Plantation in Queenstown, Maryland. Since that time, the Campus has grown in size, membership and scope, and continues to add new universities to its consortium membership.

The original signers of the Articles of Incorporation are: L. William Seidman, Hugh Scott, William F. Gorog, Sidney L. Jones, James T. Lynn, Harlan Cleveland, Roger B. Porter, and John J. Bell.

 First board members gathered at The Wye Plantation.


Since that time, not only has The Washington Campus' University Consortium grown, but we have also expanded to provide programs tailored to the needs and interests of students in Executive MBA programs as well as accounting. The Campus also provides certificate programs for senior leadership in: U.S. and international corporations, Government exchange programs, Trade associations, Government agencies, and Non-profit organizations.

In 2011, the Consortium expanded the number of accrediting organizations that it accepts for member universities to include EQUIS accredited business schools. New universities interested in joining the Consortium can be accredited by AACSB or EQUIS. New applicants must meet a strict set of criteria to be admitted into the Consortium. The Board of Directors of The Washington Campus reviews each application for membership in the Consortium. The Board is comprised of leading public policy figures in Washington DC, as well as academic leaders from member universities. Once admitted to the Consortium, member universities are afforded to right to appoint a representative to the Board of Directors of The Washington Campus. The unique mix of public policy figures, business leaders, and university deans and professors represented on the Board of Directors, provides a strong leadership foundation for the Campus, ensuring that our programs are current, relevant, and effectively administered. The university deans and academic members on the Board of Directors oversee the quality and content of the programs, ensuring that they meet strict academic standards of excellence. Accreditation for the program is extended through our member universities.

Since opening its doors in 1978, many thousands of business leaders have participated in The Washington Campus program. As keynote speaker and honoree at a dinner commemorating the consortium's 25th Anniversary, Vice President Dick Cheney gave the following assessment of The Washington Campus:

". . . But most of all, [The Washington Campus is] valuable because it exposes future business leaders to the work of government. And that exposure, we think, is absolutely vital. Many business executives don't begin to understand the constraints and pressures that policymakers face when they have to make a decision or evaluate a proposal. And for their part, many government officials have never met a payroll, have never run a business, have never had to deal with government regulations on the receiving end. They have no concept of what the world of business is really like, and not all of them understand the importance of free markets, low taxes, and creating an environment in which businesses and entrepreneurs can take risks and invest in new technologies, and hire more people. That's why The Washington Campus program has been so important. They're helping bridge that gap between the world of business and the world of politics. Business leaders learn to see the world as Washington policymakers see it, and policymakers often gain a better understanding of the realities of business life."

 

 

The Washington Campus is a non-partisan, not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 educational organization. The Campus welcomes participants from diverse backgrounds and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicap. FEIN: 52-1140942