By Peter SpottsPeterS@thereminder.com
LONGMEADOW – Dr. Joshua Weiss, cofounder of the Harvard Negotiation Project
, has brought a new and unique master’s program to Bay Path College.
Weiss is the program director for the new M.S. in leadership and negotiation at Bay Path College
. He created the program to help generate new advantages for people in today’s work environment.
“This is a changing world and jobs change frequently. Coercion is not as useful a tool compared to persuasion,” Weiss said. “More people in the workplace will understand the need for [leadership and negotiation]. These skills cut across all professions, are applicable across the board and are what employers want.”
The new program is the first of its kind and offers a combination of skills that, currently, can only be found at Bay Path.
“This master’s combines leadership and negotiation together. The norm in other universities and colleges is to have a class in leadership and a class in negotiation. No other masters [program] combine the two realms,” Weiss said.
“The program was developed from scratch. The curriculum is 12 new classes, 36 credits for the degree,” Weiss continued.
The master’s degree is convenient for both students and people in the workforce, as participants will not have to spend time in a classroom or commute to campus.
“The program is completely online and flexible. The only downside I can see is that some people are not accustomed to learning in an online environment and adjusting may take some time,” Weiss explained.
Bay Path Provost Melissa Morriss-Olson is excited to have Weiss heading the program.
“Josh is an impressive human being,” Morriss-Olson said. “He’s done impressive work at Harvard and he’s called on by the biggest corporations to negotiate or mediate. His work in the intersection of leadership and negotiation is very unique and he brings credibility and leadership to the program.”
The idea was first discussed with Morriss-Olson 2 1/2 years ago, but it took time to make sure they were headed in the right direction.
“Josh was referred by a former student of mine, Scott Kaplan, who’s a good friend of Josh. We discussed the idea, but Josh wanted to do some research first,” Morriss-Olson said. “Then he came back and said this could be a good program at Bay Path and we could market worldwide.
“We approached the Dean of Management and Social Justice and it made sense to him,” Morriss-Olson continued. “One and a half years ago Josh taught an elective course in leadership and negotiation and it was highly successful.”
The process to get a new master’s program at Bay Path is rigorous. After the curriculum is developed, the program needs to be approved by the school it will be in, the Provost cabinet, the faculty, and finally the Board of Trustees.
“Getting approval can be an onerous process,” Morriss-Olson said. “We go to through great lengths and due diligence on the front end that it doesn’t make it [to the approval process] unless it’s ready. No program that has made it to the approval process has failed.”