Dean’s Fall 2011 Update

CBA Preview Day Reaches Out to Community College and High School Students

On the morning of Saturday, October 15, 2011, over 90 potential CBA students and their parents came to the CBA to learn more about the college and our undergraduate options.  The purpose of the preview was to let prospective students know about the CBA, what our programs are like, and why we should be a college of choice for them.  Given that the GPA to enter the CBA had been raised as high as 3.29 in 2010 (it is now back to 2.40), it was important to let the prospective students know that we are open, and accessible, for accepting new students.

We are working to overcome the perception that our requirements are so high that applying to the CBA is not worthwhile.  The CBA Preview was successful in not only showcasing our faculty and programs but also in dispelling the notion that our entry requirements are difficult to meet.  The presenters provided lots of good information and created a lot of goodwill.

Registration began at 8:00 a.m. and a continental breakfast was provided.  At 9:00 a.m., Shelia Hill opened the session in CBA 140A and an ABSOC officer and the Dean provided an overview of the CBA.  Carol Grutzmacher provided detail about CBA programs and options to the whole group.

Breakout sessions followed for Accounting (Steve Fisher), Finance (Cindy Chen), Information Systems (Sophie Lee), International Business (Terry Witkowski), Management/HRM/Supply Chain Management (Judy Strauss), and Marketing (Ingrid Martin).  These were offered two times so that students could gain an in-depth look at some options of interest to them.

Next came a student panel followed by a CBA alumni panel that helped prospective students understand why the CBA is a good choice and how the CBA helps prepare students for the world of work and life after college. Jeane Caveness provided some closing remarks and the prospective students then had the opportunity to attend an ABSOC Informational Fair and/or a tour of campus.

I want to thank everyone involved in this outreach to prospective students.  Shelia Hill was the primary organizer of this event and she gets big thanks for a job well done.  Shelia worked with University Outreach to connect with the community college and high school students and coordinated with CBA departments.  This was an excellent way to get the word out about the CBA and Shelia is already looking ahead to a similar event in the spring.

Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership hosts Faculty Ethics Roundtable

The Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership hosted a faculty roundtable on ethics on October 14, 2011 in the Pyramid Annex.  Twenty-six ethics subject matter experts participated from 20 CSULB departments, along with representatives from The Ethics Game and California State University, Northridge.  Discussion topics included: 1) learning objectives pertaining to ethics and/or ethical decision making courses; 2) teaching methods used to facilitate learning; and 3) assessment methods used to evaluate achievement of the learning objectives.

Roundtable participants were also invited to provide feedback on a survey instrument that will be piloted at CSULB and then become a national study involving over 40,000 faculty members across the country.  Incentives to increase participation in the ethics survey were also shared. 

The ethics research project is being spearheaded by Dr. Brenda Freshman, the Ukleja Center’s William Dickson Faculty Fellows Chair and Director of Research.  Dr. Freshman is an assistant professor in the Health Care Administration Program in the College of Health and Human Services.  She became involved with the center after receiving one of its Ethics Across the Curriculum awards for integrating an ethics component into her Health Care Management and Administration course.

Dr. Hannah-Hanh Nguyen assisted Dr. Freshman with discussion facilitation at the ethics roundtable.  Dr. Nguyen is an assistant professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and a member of the Ukleja Center’s Governing Council.  At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Freshman remarked that, “faculty enthusiasm for this project was palpable and new collaborations and friendships were forged at the roundtable.”

Faculty from diverse disciplines across campus participated in the Ukleja Center’s ethics roundtable

Faculty from diverse disciplines across campus participated in the Ukleja Center’s ethics roundtable

Status of the MBA Curriculum

Nearly 50 CBA faculty and staff members attended the information session at the Chartroom on October 7—this is an excellent turnout. We heard excellent updates about information technology, accreditation activities, and Faculty Council activities. My thanks to those presenters.

The main topic of the day, though, was the MBA curriculum and proposed changes to it. MBA Director David Horne did a great job leading the discussion and presented how the Evening, Day, and Saturday programs would look if a 42-unit curriculum were implemented that included some integrated courses, an orientation, international travel, a practicum, and no 500-level courses. There was active discussion with lots of questions, and David addressed the issues very well.

The meeting showed me very clearly that if the proposed curriculum were put to a faculty vote, it would be voted down.  So, I want to notify all of you that there will be no new MBA curriculum to vote on at this time.

All is not lost. For the last three years, it seemed that improving the MBA program required a new, revitalized curriculum. I am convinced that we can capture things learned in the last three years that will result in improving the existing MBA program. Some of these things are:

  • Adding some sort of orientation experience
  • Allowing for international study trips
  • Having experiential learning practicums
  • Developing integrated courses/electives where it makes sense
  • Tightening the connection between the 500-level and 600-level foundation courses
  • Continuing curriculum matrices development to improve students’ educational experience
  • Continuing to send faculty to teaching workshops like the Harvard case study workshop

It has been a long journey, and perhaps we could have taken an easier, quicker route.  Change is never easy and this road to change has taken many directions. But now we have come to a point where we need some closure on the MBA Revitalization process, and I will accept the responsibility for allowing this route to be taken. The October 7 meeting brought us to the end of the current new curriculum process and we can continue forward on making our existing MBA program the best that it can be.

Lots of effort was expended by almost every CBA faculty member through the various faculty meetings and workshops. Please accept my thanks for your patience and involvement. I especially want to thank the members of the MBA Task Force and GPC members who worked many hours on the MBA process:

  • Michael Chung, MBA Director during the 2008-2009 MBA Task Force and GPC member since 2010
  • Lynn Dymally, contributor, GPC 2009-2011 and Saturday Pilot Orientation
  • David Horne, MBA Director since 2009
  • Mo Khan, MBA Task Force member, GPC member 2008-2010
  • Ping Lin, MBA Task Force member
  • Ingrid Martin, MBA Task Force member and GPC member since 2008
  • Sam Min, MBA Task Force member
  • Khosrow Moshirvaziri, MBA Task Force member
  • Thang Nguyen, MBA Task Force member
  • Chanwit Phengpis, MBA Task Force member, GPC member 2008-2010
  • Sabine Reddy, MBA Task Force member, GPC member since 2008
  • Rod Smith, MBA Task Force member, GPC member 2007-2011
  • Judy Strauss, MBA Task Force member
  • Jasmine Yur-Austin, MBA Task Force member and Saturday Pilot Orientation
  • Mark Washburn, contributor, Saturday Pilot Orientation

I appreciate the efforts of everyone, and I look forward to working with you all in the future.