Like other departments in the college, business administration has been undergoing strategic review. Although the work is not complete, some changes have already taken place, and others will follow.
Revisions to the department by-laws include a change to the graduate admissions committee. This committee was first established to admit students to the MBA program. Since that program is no longer part of the department, the committee was renamed the Graduate Studies Committee, reflecting its current role with the doctoral program. In a similar move, the Education Policy Committee has become the Undergraduate Studies Committee, which examines all issues pertaining to the undergraduate program.
Since becoming head last year, Professor Kent Monroe has focused much attention on the doctoral program. One important issue has been the restructuring of the entire program, to make it smaller and more integrated. Downsizing the program is a gradual process that the department has been working toward for the past few years. The change will become more apparent in the fall of 1997, when several currently enrolled students finish their degrees. This year there will be four fewer students. Next year, ten fewer, and so on.
There is a pressing need to increase the stipends for business administration doctoral students to bring them into parity with their peers at comparable institutions. To do this, the department requires more funding, much of which will have to come from non-traditional sources. During the past two years stipends have increased 21 percent, from $6,600 to $8,000. Forty-six percent of the funding for the stipends now comes from non-state sources; namely donors, named professorship money, and research grants. Fellowships, scholarships, and other student support are also on the increase.
The department will continue to work toward its goal: a smaller, better funded, integrated, restructured doctoral program that reflects the current demands in the academic marketplace. At the undergraduate level, the department has taken steps to make BA 274, Operations Research, required of all business administration majors, into a discussion class. It has been taught all by lecture, but beginning this fall, three small sections of 30 plus students (instead of 100 plus) are being taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. Teaching assistants are being used to provide tutoring for students who have difficulty grasping material in the course. Because the college has convened several task forces to study undergraduate education, the Department of Business Administration is waiting for direction from these studies before making a wholesale evaluation of its won programs.
The creation of a new MBA curriculum places heavy demands on the business administration faculty. This fall, many of them will devote a great deal of energy to creating the new, integrated professional tracks the program requires.
INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE
The Colleges of Commerce and Engineering are sponsoring a conference on "Joining Information Infrastructure and Technology Management for Global Enterprise." It will be held on October 11-12, 1995, at the Beckman Institute. For information please contact Mike Shaw, 217-244-1266.