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The Liberal Arts in Business Education: Perspectives of a Multi-time CEO


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The 2008 financial crisis called into question, for many, the value of a college education—in particular, the value of a liberal arts education. Increased competition for jobs caused students, parents, and policy makers to emphasize the need for career-specific skills in order to secure a lucrative position. However, during this time, many academics maintained that a liberally educated populace would be better equipped to deal with the turbulence of such an economic downturn. What was missing from the conversation was an in-depth look at how leading practitioners felt about the value of a liberal arts education in business. Thus, I interviewed Jane Miller, former President and CEO of Rudi’s Organic Bakery in Boulder, Colorado, to glean an in-depth perspective of at least one successful business leader. This paper details our discussion and explains why Jesuit universities are well positioned to offer the kind of education that Miller promotes.