College of Business and Management expands operations

Thursday, February 7, 2013 4:30:00 PM

Stritch’s College of Business and Management has reorganized in alignment with its new mission to help students gain critical skills and training to balance people, planet, and profit in service to a greater good.

Dr. Peter Holbrook, dean of the college, said that a new way of thinking and operating was required to ensure that the college continues to produce well-informed, marketable graduates who are attractive to employers.

As part of an ongoing effort to increase Stritch’s presence and enrollment in Minnesota, the College of Business and Management and the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing will begin to operate at a classroom site in Owatonna, Minn., as part of articulation agreements with Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

The site will serve students in primarily the Bachelor of Science in Management degree program, with other programs to be offered later. The College of Nursing will also begin offering its Bachelor of Science in Nursing-Completion program at the site.

Two articulation agreements signed this past summer allow students at Riverland Community College, with locations in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna, to complete their Associate in Arts (AA) degree with a business emphasis or Associate in Science (AS) degree in business, then transfer those credits to Stritch’s Bachelor of Science in Management degree program.

Riverland Community College serves approximately 4,900 students annually in for-credit courses and an additional 5,400 students annually in non-credit courses.

The college is segmented into undergraduate and graduate schools, each led by an associate dean. Dr. Bruce Loppnow is associate dean for the Graduate School of Business, and Dr. Eileen Sherman is associate dean for the Undergraduate School of Business. In addition, Dr. Jennifer Northern is associate dean for assessment, accreditation, and strategic planning; Dr. Michael Venn is associate dean for instructional strategy and design; and Susan Boehm serves as assistant dean of academic advising.

The associate dean positions report directly to Holbrook. Each school now has faculty chairs in programmatic areas, providing oversight on curriculum, as well as faculty management and development. These include:

Debra Bruers, Undergraduate Program Chair, Associate of Science in Business
Dr. Barbara Fischer, Graduate Program Chair, Master of Business Administration
Mark Gesner, Chair of Community Engaged Learning and Leadership
Dr. Creig Kronstedt, Graduate Program Chair, Master of Science in Management
Todd Penske, Undergraduate Program Chair, Management
Thomas Scheiding, Undergraduate Program Chair, Business Administration
Deborah Hanks, Interim Undergraduate Program Chair, Bachelor of Arts in Business

This structure renews the role of the faculty and strengthens the college’s system of shared governance.

“This realignment was guided by several guiding principles, including the need for continuing academic excellence and student service, as well as accreditation,” said Holbrook. “This new structure allows us to be more adaptable and flexible to meet the changing needs of the competitive higher education landscape. As a result, the college is better positioned to prepare business leaders for the 21st century shaped by a Franciscan worldview.”

The move was also geared to enhance the marketplace perception that the College of Business and Management has a demonstrated expertise in business education, allowing for better long-term growth for both traditional and non-traditional business programs. This change aligns the University with the best practices of its peer institutions.

In addition, the Department of Business and Economics, formerly in the College of Arts and Sciences, became part of the College of Business Management. The move was made for several reasons; including recent research suggesting that the marketplace was confused as to why Stritch had a Department of Business and Economics separate from the College of Business and Management.  

As a result of this change, all four faculty members and the administrative assistant in the Business and Economics Department moved to the College of Business and Management. Course offerings for traditional undergraduate business students remain on the main campus during the day, just like other traditional undergraduate programs, and these students will continue to be educated by the liberal arts core courses and receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in business.

The realignment was led by Holbrook, who served as interim dean of the college since June 2011 and was named dean in January 2012. He has helped lead the college’s efforts to be recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the leading specialized accreditation association for business education that supports, celebrates, and rewards teaching excellence.