Z Historie Anglo-American College

původní logo (do roku 1994) původní hlavičkovaný papír tištěný v Brockley

Fotoalba Anglo-American College

Článek od Gorjana Lazarova pro At Lennon's Wall

Stať od Marka Andersena

A childhood wish came true for Jansen Raichl
By Gorjan Lazarov

A childhood wish came true for Jansen Raichl in 1991, when the first 50 students enrolled in the newly formed Anglo-American College. For its Czech founder, a graduate of the University of London’s Goldsmith’s College who had no money to spend on such things as advertising and promotion, it was a wonderful moment.

            He would serve as the school’s chancellor during its first three years.

            Raichl had dreamed of forming a university from his early childhood. “The first time I played with the idea was when I was 11 years old,” he said. During the Communist era,he had tried to start a language school, but was unsuccessful.

            When the Velvet Revolution brought democracy to his country, Raichl was completing his bachelor’s degree at Goldsmith’s College in London. “I was a self-financing student because I was a refugee,” Raichl recalled, and added, “I thought I was paying a lot of money for the service I was getting.” That was the time when he began to work on fulfilling his childhood dream – forming a university.

            He blamed the high tuition fees on the monopoly position of the British universities and their organizational structure. “British universities were large bureaucracies and weren’t run efficiently,”Raichl said, “I thought that instead of Czechs coming to Britain and spending enormous money on college education, I’d form a college in Prague and attract foreigners there.  personal friend, offered help, providing information about the organization of the college. The economic climate in Europe also provided some help, as teachers were looking for work.“It was a time of recession, and there weren’t many jobs,” Raichl recalls. “It was not difficult to find fresh master’s degree holders. I invited them to start the school. I told them that there was nothing they could lose except time.”

            The start wasn’t easy. “We didn’t have any reputation, and there was a lot of suspicion,” Raichl said. The school rented space using the deposit money the students had paid and began its operation.

            Raichl’s plan was to develop a full-scale university with undergraduate and post- graduate programs as well as research.. “I didn’t envision anything small,” he said. “To grow quickly and build a reputation we needed many fee paying students. That is why we set the fees very low -- to attract as many students as possible.”

            This is the part of the plan that Raichl couldn’t accomplish. In 1994 internal disagreements over how the school should be run broke it into two pieces. A second college, the American International University of Prague,was formed. Fifty percent of the students left AAC and joined the newly formed school. “Some of the teachers at AAC blamed me for that and I decided to step down,” said Raichl. “Stephan Schakwitz became president and began cooperating with AIUP. I disagreed with his ways and completely left the school in 1995.”

            For two years Raichl didn’t have any contact with the school. In 1997 when new management took over he returned as a member of the faculty. Since then he has been teaching business statistics. He is involved in neither the management of the school nor the decision-making, and doesn’t wish to be. He does serve, appropriately, as a member of the Founders Board.

            Raichl declined to comment on the performance of the current AAC administration. “I am too far remote.” Raichl said, “I don’t know what is going on.” However, he sees one problem with the school. “The school is not growing,” he said, “and that is a problem.”

            The college founder didn’t suggest ways how to improve the AAC. “I don’t want to interfere with the work of the current administration. I appreciate the great improvements in the quality of teaching and services,” he said, and added, “I had hoped that the college would become a network of colleges in the world. However, it stayed local.”

               Raichl characterized the college’s administrative staff as “clumsy”— larger than it needs to be. “The school administration corresponds to a school 10 times as big,” he said. “The small number of current students can’t afford to support this.”

            The school’s founder is absolutely against a merger of the school with another institution. He is not in favor of the school accepting any big corporate grants, which often have strings attached. “Money for charity is OK,”Raichl said.

            He expressed satisfaction that the business program of the college was accredited by the European Council of Business Education, but thinks that the importance of accreditation is overestimated.“Accreditation is giving credibility to the school,” he said. “However, people don’t go to school just for an accredited diploma.”In his opinion the success of AAC alumni is far more important. “The Czech accreditation is of no meaning to our students,” he said. “It is important only if you look for a job locally.”

            The AAC founder will teach his business statistics course at AAC next semester. He lives in Prague and works also in other places.

First published in the AAC student magazine titled "At The Lennon Wall"

Mark Andersen



Mark Andersen, Anglo-American College
Joan Winn, University of Denver

Case Objectives and Use

This case is intended for an undergraduate course in management or organizational behavior. This case can also be used in a course on entrepreneurship or conflict management. The case is positioned to discuss the managerial and organizational skills needed to bring a company through the stages of start-up, stabilization, and growth. Interpersonal and inter-group conflicts permeate the case, first as the young organization's needs exceed the skills of its young founder, and then with conflicting managerial styles and perspectives as various individuals vie for power. Cultural differences play a subtle role, as the differences in style between British, American, and Czech managers exacerbate differences in individual style. The lack of staff permanence and continuity, financial stability or predictability, and managerial and leadership competence have threatened the survival of the organization. The case focuses on the growth and development of an American-style college in Prague and the successes and conflicts among the management team. This case is based on field research, in cooperation with the host organization.

Case Synopsis

The Anglo-American College in Prague (AAC) was started in 1991, shortly after the Velvet Revolution ushered in the Czech Republic's new era of independence and market-driven competitiveness. The underfunded state universities' inability to supply the multinational companies' desires for English-speaking managers and employees, provided the opportunity for new providers of university-level education. AAC had no trouble attracting students and faculty, but sparse funding kept its administrative staff lean and facilities and student support services poor. Jansen Raichl, AAC's founder and visionary, had kept AAC afloat with a combination of personal control, financial support, and hard work. Despite his efforts, student and faculty discontent reached crisis proportions during the spring semester of 1994. Most of the founding board left to start a new, competing college and subsequent disagreements among the remaining faculty and administration resulted in changes in leadership and a reorganization of the governing board and administrative functions of the college.

This case chronicles AAC's turnaround from 1994 through 1996, and highlights the pulling together of the administration, faculty and students to save the college. The hiring of a new Administrative Director and the acquisition of a permanent building brought renewed enthusiasm and cohesiveness among the faculty and students. Aggressive fundraising efforts enabled AAC to reopen its doors with better equipment, a library, and computers. The deft negotiations skills of AAC's new Administrative Director are contrasted with his secretive and controlling management style. Further management difficulties prompted another round of faculty and student unrest, and a move by the executive committee to oust the Director who had been so pivotal in AAC's turnaround just two years before.

Contact Person: Joan Winn, University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Denver, CO 80208, 303-871-2192, fax 303-871-2294, internet: jwinn@du.edu.