Dean's Update, August 16, 2013

Recapping Five Years as CBA Dean

Five years ago seems like a different world.

Then, the CBA received over $2.0 million more in state funding than we do now, and we had a healthy balance from the prior year. We were preparing for re-accreditation under the new AACSB standards, and while some of our AQ/PQ faculty ratios were a challenge and our assessment of student learning was just beginning, we received full reaccreditation that year. Our one-year AMBA and Saturday FEMBA were small programs that provided a supplement to state funds, and we had about 225 students in our stateside evening MBA program.

Much has happened—good and not good—over the last five years.

Not good: CSU state allocation has been cut by over 30%, and we all endured a year of two-days-per-month furloughs. There were no spring admissions in three of the last five years, hurting both undergraduate and graduate enrollments. The budget and enrollment declines have led to cut backs in the number of lecturers and graduate assistants as well as to reductions in travel funds. We closed the Singapore program as result of an AACSB reaccreditation recommendation. The MBA fee started in 2009 and provided funds for faculty Assigned Time in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, but unfortunately now these funds are buffering us against budget cuts.

On the positive side, the university Highly Valued Degree Initiative and state-mandated Transfer Model Curriculum caused us to streamline curricula and expand advising activities. Under the CBA Center for Student Success, proactive advising improves graduation rate and reduces the graduation rate gap for underrepresented minority students. Outreach efforts increase undergraduate enrollment. Thanks to federal stimulus and university Student Excellence Funds, we remodeled the Advising Center and strengthened our advising staff. In total, these are exciting, positive changes that promote student success and enhance greatly our advising effectiveness.

There are other bright spots for the CBA. Prop 30’s passage was significant because $250 million in state cuts to the CSU were avoided, stabilizing our budget for the coming year—but at the low point of state funding! Declines in Evening MBA enrollments seem to be reversing, and AMBA has had two 30+ student classes in a row, which will provide a much needed supplement to state funding. SCPD and Ukleja Center advisory boards strategically examined these centers to improve and strengthen their activities and programs. Advisory boards for HRM, OSCM, and SMIF are similarly engaged and energetic. Faculty research productivity is solid and ongoing.

Fundraising hit a high note with over $6.0 million raised last year and momentum seems to be building. CBA Alumni & Friends network, initiated in 2010, has over 2,000 members who want help the CBA be the best it can be. Two Active Learning Classrooms will come on line in fall 2013. The CBA is in an excellent position for reaccreditation in 2014.

CBA faculty deserves immense credit for the current state of the college. Coping with heavy teaching loads, continuous research requirements, and significant service activities, CBA faculty has been efficient, effective, and productive. Faculty engagement is impressive, as the following milestones indicate: new minors in Finance and International Business, proposals for three new MS programs (Accountancy, Global Supply Chain Management, and Information Systems), and a Distance Learning Task Force report to frame conversation on this dimension.

While there has been much pain in our journey over the last five years, there is much pride in how the CBA has coped with challenges and continued to move forward. I thank everyone in the CBA family for their efforts for our collective good.