UNICON and its members comprise the global reference for executive education. Everyone with an interest in Executive Education/Executive Development looks to UNICON as their most vital resource.
UNICON’s aspiration is that its members are the most relevant, most successful, and most sought‐after learning partners for leaders and organizations who want to improve their performance. Through participation in UNICON, the leaders, managers, and team members of its member organizations gain new knowledge, inspiration, new perspectives, capabilities for enhancing the effectiveness of their operations, and a global network of colleagues. They stay at the forefront of the industry, and together help create the future of the Executive Education industry.
Who We are and What We Do
UNICON is a global consortium of business‐school‐based executive education organizations. Its community of member organizations is engaged in accelerating the development of leaders and managers, thereby enhancing performance in public and private organizations globally, through executive development initiatives.
UNICON’s primary activities include conferences, research, benchmarking, sharing of best practices, staff development, recruitment/job postings, information‐sharing, and extensive networking among members, all centered around the business and practice of executive education.
While informal meetings of university executive-education directors may have occurred before 1972, the first time that a number of the directors got together to talk about their profession was during a cold, blustery week in January 1972 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The idea for the meeting originated with Dean O. Bowman, Director of Executive Education at the University of Michigan’s business school. Dean Bowman was worried about his enrollments for the upcoming 1972 programs and began calling his fellow directors to see what they were experiencing.
After a number of calls in the fall of 1971, he suggested a meeting at Michigan to talk about enrollments and executive education in general.
The January 1972 meeting was held in the Student Union building at Michigan and was attended by representatives of nine schools. Several schools made informal presentations, although the whole meeting was loosely structured.
By the end of the meeting, two actions had been taken. The first was to set a meeting for the next year, and the second was not to set it in Michigan in January. In fact, the thing most remembered about the meeting was the bitter cold walk from the hotel to the Student Union and back.
Read the rest of Robert R. Fair’s “A Short History of the University Consortium for Executive Education“, covering the early years of the consortium from 1972 to 1989.
Two values drive UNICON membership policy. The first is that the consortium should be composed of those business schools (generally universities) that have a serious commitment to quality executive education and development. The second is that successful applicant institutions should be those that demonstrate a commitment to UNICON goals and activities. To this end, interested institutions are required to send a representative to one UNICON Spring or Fall conference prior to filing an application for membership to gain greater insight into what the consortium is about.
The application process for UNICON membership serves both the consortium and the applying institution. For UNICON, the documentation provides important information that can serve as the basis for dialogue between UNICON’s Membership Committee and the applicant. For the applying school, the application process raises issues of self-examination that the consortium believes are valuable for any school engaged in the field of management and executive education and development.
The information that is submitted as part of the application process is treated confidentially. It is used only by the Membership Committee and the Board and is not released to the general membership.