By: Richard Mosenthal, Tuck Executive Education Posted: Jul 15th, 2014

Some factoids:

40 participants from 8 countries. 73 sessions, 15 faculty. 1 governor.  12 dinners, including 2 BBQs and a dinner at the Finkelstein residence; 21 lunches (including two picnics). 3 journalist participants. I museum curator. 1 yoga instructor. 1 magician. 1 outdoor expert. 1 hike. 1 rock-climbing exercise. 1 orienteering exercise in the woods to help build the peer learning community.

It is fun to look back on the 1974 founding of TEP and to reflect on the enduring values that set the Tuck School of Business and TEP apart.

At its spring meeting in June of 1973, Tuck faculty, then consisting of 25 professors, voted to accept and support the report of the new Committee on Continuing Education recommending the launch of a “management development program…especially designed for high-potential middle management executives.” The rationale was “to broaden the executives’ understanding of their role as a manager, to improve analytical and decision-making skills and to increase the executives’ understanding of the unique function and responsibility of business in society.”

TEP was designed and directed by renowned Tuck marketing professor Kenneth Davis. The first program took place in the newly completed Murdough Center.  Participants came from 39 different corporations. All were from the United States, with the exception of one participant from Japan. Their average age was 40.

In his report to fellow faculty following the inaugural session, Davis said that “we have fulfilled our expectations in every respect. The program received an overwhelming endorsement from the participants, an exciting and stimulating group.” Davis affirmed that the first TEP class was “most enthusiastic” about Tuck’s unique learning environment. “Certainly the residential atmosphere and faculty/participant interaction is one of TEP’s distinctive characteristics,” he said.

The core of the TEP experience is a curriculum that has constantly evolved to stay relevant to the dynamic business environment. In 1974, the four-week TEP was centered around the business policy teachings of famed management professor, James Brian Quinn.  Sessions on planning and control, managerial economics, organizational behavior, marketing, and finance rounded out Quinn’s classes.

Today, under Associate Dean Sydney Finkelstein’s direction, TEP lasts three weeks and is divided into three modules: management in action; managing change growth and innovation; and leadership and personal change. Finkelstein, Faculty Director for over ten years, says that “TEP is a powerful, life-changing experience for participants.”  In addition to being Associate Dean of Executive Education he is also Faculty Director of Tuck’s Center for Leadership

In his briefing to Tuck Overseers after the inaugural TEP, Professor Kenneth Davis wrote: “It is clear that the program was successful and that have added a new dimension to the Tuck School.”

Tuck’s faculty and administrators knew the School had something special to offer executives in 1974. TEP today is proof that some things don’t change.

Join the TEP conversation on social media via #TEP40.

Interested in being a part of a future TEP class? Contact us for more information!

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