Annual Report 2016 – 2017

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.

  1. Teaching
  • The Master of Science in Business Information Systems program was reviewed by the BIS Advisory Council:
  • BBA in Business Information Systems approved for online delivery.
  • The continued integration of corporate speakers and industry-based projects has enriched undergraduate and graduate BIS programs.
  • Identification of career-based skill sets developed in the program.
  • Matching of identified skill sets to current required courses.
  • Evaluation of program assessment data.
  • Identification of revised/prospective new course offerings.
  • Identification of student internship opportunities.
  • Receipt of scholarship monies for majors.
    • Results: Course content throughout the program was revised (identified in department assessment report).  Scholarship funding was provided and an increased number of internships opportunities were identified.  The Council concluded that any new additions to the graduate program should focus on Business Analytics.
  • Business analytics components in the business core were strengthened with curricular changes in BINS 3305 and 3352. Successes were validated through college assessment.
  • 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.
  • Faculty integrated high impact learning activities throughout the curriculum, such as:
    1. BINS 3380 students (Sarah Clement, faculty) conducted research and created a blog for Heifer Village.
    2. BINS 4355 students (Dr. Janet Bailey, faculty) developed business systems for David’s Burgers and Stones Throw Brewery.
    3. BINS 7353 project management students (Dr. Richard Woolridge, faculty) managed MGMT 4365 Business Consulting projects for local small businesses.
    4. Faculty mentored students through research projects.
    5. Students participated in a “Communications Buffet,” incorporating professional career development (Sarah Clements, faculty).
    6. Student participation in corporate internships increased.
  • CONNECT to UALR was held for high school FBLA students and faculty to participate in faculty-led workshops (coordinated by Sarah Clements, faculty).
  • Faculty focused on recruiting for undergraduate program:
    1. Attendance at community college fairs.
    2. Direct recruitment at National Park College and Pulaski Technical College.
    3. Use of social media for relationship building.
  1. Research
  • 4 academic journal articles published, 1 article accepted.
  • 1 conference proceedings article published.
  • 5 faculty presentations at professional conferences.
  • 7 faculty (all) attended professional development activities.
  1. Service
  • Sarah Clements served on the Undergraduate Committee of the Association of Business Communication.
  • Faculty served as judges in areas competitions: Baseline Elementary School Science Fair (Dr. Sung-kwan Kim) and STEM Education Center Fair (Sarah Clements).
  • Richard Woolridge served on the T3—The Think Tank, a community-based group designed to address issues/policies affecting the community, state, region, and world.
  • Faculty served on four editorial review boards:
    • Sung-kwan Kim: Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems and the International Journal for Web Engineering Technologies.
    • Robert B. Mitchell: Journal of Applied Research in Business Education.
    • Ravi Thambusamy: International Journal of Electronic Healthcare.
  • Two faculty providing corporate training/consulting services.
  • Department faculty provided service on various university committees: Graduate Council, Quality Initiative Task Force, Technology Planning Committee, and Title IX Oversight Committee.
  1. Student Success
  • Social function was held each semester to promote a sense of community among students and faculty.
  • Lee Richardson placed 3rd in the International Writing competition of the Association for Business Communication (Sarah Clements, BINS 3380 faculty).
  • Deepali Lai, Michelle Poroshine, and Logan Vickery placed 2nd in the Engineering/Technology category of the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research and Creative Works Expo 2017 (Dr. Ravi Thambusamy, faculty).
  • 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 2017 state Phi Beta Lambda conference:
    • Lauren Crow, Cyber Security, 1st place; Information Management, 1st
    • Brittany Fugate, Client Services, 4th
    • Cliff Haney, Future Business Executive, 4th; Job Interview, 3rd
    • Deepali Lal, Emerging Business Issues, 2nd place; Business Law, 3rd
    • Shibania Lai, Business Ethics, 5th
    • Andre Roddy, Entrepreneurship Concepts, 5th
    • Maritza Rosa, Macroeconomics, 2nd place; Overall, 3rd
    • TraVon Rougely, Information Management, 2nd place; Organizational Behavior and Leadership, 3rd
  • 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.
  • Team evaluation of assessment process and results: undergraduate and graduate.
  • Curriculum evolution based on assessment findings.

Within the department, assessment of six programs was completed.  College review rated each assessment report and provided feedback on seven factors:  SLO’s, Mapping, Evaluation Methods, Results, Continuous Improvement, Communication with Stakeholders, and Faculty Participation (Details of the assessment process, curricular revisions, and stakeholder involvement found in College assessment report—http://ualr.edu/cob/about-us/assessment).

  1. Certificate of Proficiency in Business Analytics

Student learning outcomes assessed:

  • 1 Demonstrate knowledge to use logic-based tools to retrieve information for decision-making.
  • 2: Demonstrate ability to retrieve data and address business issues using an analytics tool.

SLO 1.1 was assessed through an objective exam measuring knowledge of (1) data retrieval using formulas and logic-based functions in Excel; (2) ability to manipulate data in Excel using sorting/filtering techniques and PivotTables; and (3) ability to apply what-if analysis in Excel using varied tools.   The goal was to achieve 60% or more correct.  Students performed as follows:  data retrieval, 84%; data manipulation, 92%; apply what-if analysis, 86%.

SLO 1.2 was assessed with through a project with objective- based requirements measuring ability to (1) manipulate Excel Tables—formatting, sorting, summarizing—to match data to problem scenario; (2) modify Excel Tables—data conversion, inserting subtotals, other options as appropriate; (3) create Excel PivotTables—designing, formatting, modifying—to provide summary data and identify relationships among data entries; and (4) modify Excel Pivot Tables—adding filter, Slicer, PivotChart.  Goal was to achieve 75% or more correct on each criteria.  Students performed as follows:  item 1, 92%; item 2, 86%; item 3, 74%, and item 4, 95%.

Online and face-to-face students performed similarly.  Combined scores indicate performance metrics were met:  60% metric for Logic-Based Evaluation exam was met; 75% or greater was achieved on each criteria on the Analytics Tool problem, with exception of 74% on criteria 3.

  1. BBA in Business Analytics

Student learning outcomes assessed:

  • 1 Demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  • 1 Identify an ethical dilemma and identify impact on identified stakeholders.
  • 2 Analyze alternative actions and consequences of behavior based on an identified Ethical Rule or Model.
  • 1 Demonstrate knowledge to use logic-based tools to retrieve information for decision-making.
  • 2 Demonstrate ability to retrieve data and address business issues using an analytics tools.

SLO 1.1 was assessed through a written report in BINS 3380 (Business Communication).  Short reports written in all sections of BINS 3380 fall, 2016, were assessed to determine writing skills near beginning of upper-level coursework.  Prior assessment indicated comparable writing skills at entry and exit points in core (BINS 3380 versus MGMT 4380), with little improvement seen as students progress through the curriculum (though performance goal was met).  (The types of skill assessed did not evaluate the critical analysis component requirement in the writing process of analytical business writing.)

The 2016 overall averages for each criteria except Format increased over 2014, with largest % increase for Writing Style (16.9% increase) and Grammar/Mechanics (19.9% increase).

The Goal of >= 75% achieving acceptable/excellent, which was met in 2014, was not met on any criteria in 2016.  An increase was experienced in the number of students scoring Unacceptable.

SLO 3.1 and 3.1 were assessed through a case analysis in BINS 3305 (Management Information Systems).   The goal of >= 75% of students achieving acceptable/exemplary was met on each criterion:  Identifies Dilemma, Identifies Stakeholders and Impact, Analyzes alternatives and Consequences, and Chooses an Action.

SLO 4.1 and 4.2—see summary above in Business Analytics Certificate of Proficiency.

  1. BBA in Business Information Systems

Student learning outcomes assessed:

  • 1 Demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  • 1 Identify an ethical dilemma and identify impact on identified stakeholders.
  • 2 Analyze alternative actions and consequences of behavior based on an identified Ethical Rule or Model.
  • 1 Demonstrate knowledge to use logic-based tools to retrieve information for decision-making.
  • 2 Demonstrate ability to retrieve data and address business issues using an analytics tools.
  • 1  Use appropriate analytical techniques to evaluate business problems, generate and compare alternatives, and develop a solution.

SLO’s 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, and 4.2 found in “B:  BBA in Business Analytics” above.

SLO 5.1 was assessed through a written executive summary of systems development project from BINS 4355 (Information Systems Development Project).  The goal of >=75% of students scoring acceptable or exemplary was met, using the following two criteria:  Goal/Problem statement (100% scored “Excellent”), Technological Fit with Goal/Problem (11% scored “Acceptable,” 89%, “Excellent”).

  1. Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

Student learning outcomes assessed:

  • 1 Leverage the use of emerging technologies to solve a business problem or capitalize on an opportunity.

SLO 1.1 was assessed in Business Information Systems 7350 (Information Systems Management) using the course term project which involved a complex analysis of an emerging technology that would provide competitive advantage/value.

The metric of >=75% achieving Acceptable or Exemplary was met on all four factors of evaluation:  Identifies emerging technologies; Identifies managerial considerations for assessing; Justifies the potential value to stakeholders, and Applies appropriate frameworks and theories.  Improvement in performance from 2014 was achieved.

  1. Graduate Certificate in Business Information Systems

Student learning outcomes assessed:

  • 2 Demonstrate data manipulation language skills.
  • 1 Leverage the use of emerging technologies to solve a business problem or capitalize on an opportunity.

SLO 1.2 was assessed in Business Information Systems 7305 (Advanced Database Management Systems) using an exam measuring knowledge of the relational model and SQL for data manipulation.  The metric of >=75% achieving Acceptable or Exemplary was met on all three factors of evaluation:  Relational Model, SQL for Data Definition, SQL for Data manipulation.  In the area of relational model (concepts), 80.8% of the students were exemplary or acceptable (38.5% and 42.3% respectively). In the area of data definition, all students were exemplary or acceptable (84.6% and 15.4 respective). In the area of data manipulation, 92.3% of the students were exemplary or acceptable (53.8% and 38.50% respectively).

SLO 2.1 found in “D:  Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics” above.

  1. Master of Science in Business Information Systems

Student learning outcomes assessed:

  • 2 Students will demonstrate data manipulation language skills.
  • 3 Students will apply project management techniques.
  • 1 Students will leverage the use of emerging technologies to solve a business problem or capitalize on an opportunity.
  • 1 Students will articulate in writing an IT solution to a business problem/opportunity.
  • 1 Students will identify an ethical dilemma and the impact on identified stakeholders.
  • 2 Students will analyze alternative actions and consequences based on an identified Ethical Rule or Model.
  • 1 Student will demonstrate knowledge of select knowledge areas of IT.

SLO’s 1.2 and 2.1 found in “E:  Graduate Certificate in Business Information Systems” above.

SLO 1.3 was assessed in BINS 7353 Project Management using a project management plan.  The Goal of >=75% of students scoring acceptable or exemplary was met.  On the criterion plan tasking, 100% of students were exemplary; task understanding, 80% acceptable; plan mechanics, 60% exemplary.  Again, this assessment cycle, high performance was observed.

The change in instructional approach (documented in previous assessment) to provide increased emphasis on project plan taking, task understanding, and plan mechanics is reflected in high scores.

SLO 3.1 was assessed in Business Information Systems 7350 using a case analysis .   Goal of >=75% of students scoring acceptable or exemplary was met.  Major weaknesses identified in 2015 were no longer evident (document organization/coherence; grammar/mechanics remains lowest score, though number of international students increased from 46% to 54% of sample.  New report writing metric is being integrated throughout classes to enhance further student writing ability.

SLO 4.1 and 4.2 was assessed in Business Information Systems 7350 using a case analysis.  Goal of >=75% of students scoring acceptable or exemplary was met.  Scores revealed exemplary performance on three of four criterion:  dilemma, stakeholder, alternatives.  The Analytical Thinking and Ethical Decision-making metrics will continue to be used throughout the curriculum.

SLO 5.1 was assessed in Business Information Systems 7353 using a multiple-choice capstone examination.  The overall exam score average has fluctuated (2013; 60%, 2014, 67%, 2015, 52%).   Comprehensive exam analysis revealed that the goal of 60% performance was met in Systems Analysis and Design (78%), Database (81%), and IT Strategy (66%).  Business Analytics exam topics will be incorporated in 2017.  Suggested curricular revisions resulted.

  1. Student Community Building
  • Develop process for identifying and tracking career-based needs of majors: skill sets, career goals, special interests/needs, such as internship and mentorship.
  • Develop departmental plan for offering specialized student/corporate workshops and training throughout year to provide direct impact on student recruitment, student career readiness, and industry linkages.
  • Encourage faculty as a team to be more involved in AIS student chapter activities and to participate in facilitating student business analytics teams, both undergraduate and graduate, for competition in spring 2018.
  1. Undergraduate Program
  • Focus on marketing online BBA in BIS degree. (market in NW Arkansas; state Community College Association; select community college visits)
  • Work with university IT staff to assure online students can have access to needed campus hardware resources (related to security controls on network).
  • Develop analytics tools curriculum for integration into the undergraduate business analytics program.
  1. Graduate Program:
  • Work with analytics faculty to identify specific skills developed in and remove overlap among graduate analytics courses (now part of MS and graduate certificate in analytics). Work with Econ Finance on providing graduate-level modeling class for program.
  1. Faculty Development:
  • Conduct ongoing faculty training to assure high quality online course design and delivery. Assure development of community among students and engagement of faculty with students and students with students.  Evaluate supplemental teaching/community-building tools that are available.
  • Facilitate faculty networking/relationship building in the IT community.
  1. Enrollment (fall census, 1st major headcount and SSCHs)
  • Majors: 151
  • SSCHs: 2,039
  • Retention 2015 to 2016: 90%
  1. Personnel
  • Category of Faculty
    1. Full Professor: 3
    2. Associate Professor: 1
    3. Assistant Professor: 1
    4. Visiting Professor: 1
    5. Instructor: 1
  • Retirement
    Dr. Janet Bailey, full professor.
  • Promotion
    Dr. Richard Woolridge promoted to associate professor for 2016-2017.