Annual Report 2015 – 2016

College Mission:

The College of Business provides quality business education, delivered by research engaged faculty, in partnership with the business community, to prepare students for professional careers and enhance regional economic development.

Strategic Initiatives:

  • Provide students with core business competency, discipline based knowledge, demonstrable, practical skills to enable/improve their professional careers.
  • Involve students in experiential and application based learning through partnerships with the business community and external constituents.
  • Support students’ professional development opportunities through investment in Career and Student Services and engagement with external partners.
  • Engage in applied, teaching and learning, and discovery scholarship.
  • Participate in and provide expertise to the external community and business profession.
  • Continuously improve through assurance of learning and response to the educational needs of our region.
  • Advance professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

College Values:

  • Respect for our diverse students, colleagues, and communities
  • Integrity in our professional conduct.
  • Commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Accountability for our actions and results.

College Vision:

The College of Business serves as a catalyst to advance education and economic development in the state of Arkansas.

Teaching

  • The increasing demand for and strength of the MS in BIS program reflect a program that matches skill development to workplace demands.
  • Increased integration of corporate speakers and industry-based projects has enriched undergraduate and graduate BIS programs.
  • The BBA in Business Information Systems was reviewed by the BIS Advisory Council relating to the following:
  1. Identification of career-based skill sets developed in the major.
  2. Identification of job availability.
  3. Matching of identified skill sets to current required courses.
  4. Identification of revised/new course offerings.
  5. Identification of student internship opportunities.
  6. Receipt of scholarship monies for majors.
    • Results: News scholarships were developed and an increased number of internships opportunities were identified.

The Council concluded that any new additions should focus on Business Analytics.

  • The newly available BBA in Business Analytics, Certificate of Proficiency in Business Analytics, and Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics were marketed to corporate partners and area community colleges/universities.
    1. Student teams were developed to participate in the AIS-sponsored analytics competition.
    2. Marketing video was produced to promote the Business Analytics program.
  • Business Analytics content was integrated throughout the undergraduate and graduate BIS program—a focus of program branding in department recruitment media.
  • Faculty focused on recruiting for undergraduate program:
    1. Attendance at 7 high school and community college fairs.
    2. Direct recruitment at Pulaski Technical College and National Park College, including development of MOUs for student transfer.
    3. Participation in EAST conference.
    4. Use of social media for relationship building.
    5. Survey of majors to identify factors important in selection of BIS major.
  • Focus group meetings were held with international majors (i.e., Saudi) to promote program success and develop strengthened relationships with Saudi Embassy.

 Research

  • 1 faculty publication in academic journal, 2 articles accepted.
  • 6 conference proceedings articles published.
  • 5 faculty presentations at professional conferences.
  • 7 faculty (all) attended professional development activities.
  • Robert B. Mitchell and Dr. Ravi Thambusamy received the 2016 Distinguished Paper Award for the Association of Business Information Systems.

Service

  • Rachida Parks served on the Board of Trustees for the Little Rock Preparatory Academy (LRPA). (LRPA’s mission is to prepare students from underserved communities for competitive colleges and advanced careers by ensuring student mastery of the core subjects and developing the key behaviors required for personal success, citizenship and leadership in their communities and beyond.)
  • Rachida Parks served as a faculty advisor for the PhD Project Information Systems Doctoral Student Association (ISDSA).
  • Department faculty served on national boards of the Association for Research in Business Education, Decision Sciences Institute, Federation of Business Disciplines, and Microsoft Enterprise Consortium.
  • Five faculty were involved in editorial review activities; two faculty provided corporate consulting.
  • Department faculty provided service on various university committees: Cybersecurity Committee, Committee on Tenure, Faculty Workload Taskforce, Quality Initiative Task Force, Student Research & Creative Works, and Title IX Oversight Committee.

Student Success

  • Social function was held each semester to promote a sense of community among students and faculty.
  • IT Power Team, sponsored by Dr. Janet Bailey, focused on helping students develop strong IT professionalism skills, including networking, generating financial success, increasing industry involvement, and community service.
  • Two student teams (faculty sponsors Dr. Janet Bailey and Dr. Rachida Parks) placed in top 5 of the National Merck Analytics Challenge sponsored by the Association of Information Systems: Taner Bulgak, Timothy Jones, Kun-hee Kim, Aditya Mamidi, Douglas Meyer, Theodora Ross, and Jon Wicklund.
  • Phi Beta Lambda, interdisciplinary student association sponsored by Sarah Clements, provided members the opportunity to develop stronger ties to industry and refine their employability skills.
    • UALR students were top winners at the 2016 state Phi Beta Lambda conference: Bonn Belingon and Deepali Lal (2nd place, Business Law); Lauren Crow (1st place, Help Desk; 3rd place,  Impromptu Speaking); Robert McCarville (1st place, Future Business Executive and Who’s Who in PBL; 4th place, Macroeconomics); TraVon Rougely (2nd place, Networking Concepts; 4th place, Sports Management and Marketing); and Tanya Triplett (5th place, Accounting Principles).
  • Members of the Business Information Systems Advisory Council and other corporate partners facilitated speakers, field trips, competitive class projects, and mentorship of majors.

Faculty in the Department of Business Information Systems fully participated in assessment activities of the college throughout the year:

  • Active participation on college assessment committees.
  • Continuing revision of BIS undergraduate and graduate programs, with emphasis on Business Analytics components.
  • Team evaluation of assessment documents.
  • Analysis of graduate IT Knowledge exam results.
  • Curriculum evolution based on assessment findings.

Within the department, assessment of the following two programs was completed:

BBA in Business Information Systems was rated as “meets expectations.”

Two learning goals were addressed:  (1) Demonstrate competence in applying functional business knowledge and (4) Demonstrate effective communication skills.

Learning outcomes/objectives for these goals:

  • a Demonstrate competence in each of the functional areas of business. (Accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, operations, and information systems.
  • a Demonstrate effective written communication skills.

 

Goal 1a was assessed through the MFT exam administered in 2015 in the BBA core capstone course, Management 4380.  Overall students scored on the MFT within one standard deviation of the national mean correct, meeting the college metric of performance.  Students scored at the 62nd percentile for Information Systems—a high rating relative to other business knowledge indicators.  Only eight BIS students took the exam in this round of testing; one scored at the 91st and one at the 71st percentiles—paralleling the students’ GPAs.

Goal 4a was assessed with a writing assignment in Business Information Systems 4331.  In comparison to scores assessed in 2014, 2015 writing performance on four criterion improved:  organization, content, writing style, and format; scores on grammar/mechanics remained low.  The results were positive, considering the large percent of students in the population assessed for which English is not their first language. Assessment of writing skills in BINS 4331 did indicate that BINS majors are transferring knowledge from BINS 3380 and increasing their writing skills as they progress through the major.

 

MS in Business Information Systems was rated “meets expectations.”

Four learning goals were addressed: (1) Apply technical competencies in business applications development; (2) Leverage information technology for business solutions at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels in a global environment; (3) Develop individual and group communication competencies needed in a multifaceted IT environment; (5) Develop an integrated understanding of the IT field.  Learning outcomes/objectives for these goals:

  • 1 Students will demonstrate modeling techniques.
  • 2 Students will critically analyze the strategic use of IT solutions to their constituents.
  • 1 Students will articulate in writing an IT solution to a business problem/opportunity.
  • 2 Students will articulate orally an IT solution to a business problem/opportunity.
  • 1 Student will demonstrate knowledge of select knowledge areas of IT.

 

SLO 5.1 was evaluated with the IT Knowledge exam.  2016 analysis revealed that the goal of >=60% performance was met in Systems Analysis and Design (78%), Database (81%), and IT Strategy (66%).    The results were comparable to last year; the overall exam score was impacted by a couple outliers.  Improvement was seen in knowledge areas related to Database and IT Strategy.

Student projects/exams were used to assess the other objectives.  On each the goal of >=75% of students scoring acceptable or exemplary was met.  Needed program interventions were identified.

Undergraduate Program

Continue to focus on recruitment at community college and relationship building with community college programs.  Provide increased value-added to majors by branding the program as a direct avenue to career success:  through activities such as supplemental technical training, internship opportunities, competitions, and certifications/badges.

 

Graduate Program:

Develop a graduate BIS skills grid to serve as basis for revision of MS in BIS program.  Conduct focus group meeting with employers and advisory council members to serve as basis for program updates.  Identify factors of program impact.

 

Faculty Development:


Facilitate faculty networking/relationship building in the IT community.

 

Enrollment (fall census, 1st major headcount and SSCHs)

  • Majors: 148 (18% increase)
  • SSCHs: 2347

Personnel

  • Category of Faculty
    1. Full Professor: 2
    2. Associate Professor: 1
    3. Assistant Professor: 3
    4. Instructor: 1
  • Promotion
    1. Sung-kwan Kim promoted to full professor.
    2. Richard Woolridge promoted to associate professor.
  • Resignation
    1. Rachida Parks resigned.