School of Business Administration

Thursday, January 05, 2017

SOBA's DEAN Report

Spring Semester 1, 2017

SOBA DEAN’S Report                                                           January 2, 2017

Happy New Year and Welcome to the Spring 2017 semester.

I hope you all had a good holiday season with friends and family and are refreshed after a busy December of teaching, studying, working, or, in my case, completing the AACSB Continuous Improvement Report 2, a follow-up to last year’s AACSB visit. This report addresses specific issues that the AACSB Team identified during their February 2016 visit. While AACSB was pleased with the status of SOBA’s management education, they identified issues that we were not addressing to their satisfaction. In the 10 months since their visit, we have addressed these issues and have improved SOBA’s operations in many ways. Next month, in February 2017, an AACSB team will be back to ensure that the work we have done has satisfactorily addressed their concerns.

AACSB Accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB Accreditation. AACSB-accredited schools produce graduates that are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools. SOBA has maintained AACSB Accreditation continuously since 1974.

The first week of January also means the annual Southwest Business Forum hosted by SOBA and sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. The 25th annual Forum will be held on January 4, 2017. I am hoping that this year’s Forum will not arrive along with eight inches of snow as fell last year. We expect excellent presentations on the national, state and regional economies were presented by Mr Tim Quinlan of Wells Fargo Securities, Dr Richard Wobbekind from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Dr Tino Sonora of SOBA. Given the events of 2016, we expect this year’s presentations to be lively and informative and give us all some idea of what to expect in 2017. Shortly after the Forum, copies of the presentations will be uploaded to the Office of Business and Economic Research website.

https://www.fortlewis.edu/ober/SouthwestBusinessForumPresentations.aspx

On December 17, 2016 I was honored to participate in the Fall 2016 Graduation ceremony where nearly 50 SOBA students celebrated their successful completion of a Fort Lewis College degree. The December graduation ceremony is always my favorite because it honors the atypical graduates. These mid-year graduates are not traditional finish-in-four year students. These are the students who have faced challenges and still graduated. While there are a few superstars who finished in 3 ½ years, most of the December graduates have taken more than the normal four years to graduate. They have had challenges: Some have had family issues slowing their progress; some changed their majors, slowing them down; some transferred to Fort Lewis from other institutions; some had academic problems they had to overcome. But they all met these challenges, overcame their problems and GRADUATED. These are the graduates that make me proudest. CONGRATULATIONS to all of them.

Best wishes to all for a successful 2017.

Paul McGurr

Interim Dean, School of Business Administration

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