Annual Report 2016 – 2017

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.

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

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

College of Business Student Services: The College of Business continued to offer career oriented extracurricular workshops and activities for students.  Nineteen workshops held during the fall and spring semesters provided job related skills. New workshops in ethics, financial literacy, and communication delivered new student professional development activities.  Working with local human resource professionals, “NextStep” added another job placement opportunity. Forty-four separate atrium visits by companies and organizations provided students additional information for career development.

The annual Executives-in-Residence program occurred in September.  Top, local executives spent the morning visiting classes ending with a career panel in Atrium with more than 100 students participating in the event.

Curriculum:   Accounting and Business information systems undergraduate programs were approved for online delivery with students registering for fall 2017.

MBA enrollment was up 14 students overall from fall 2015 to fall 2016 with 119 evening students and 59 weekend students. The weekend student enrollment includes the addition of cohort four with 15 students. Of the evening students, 108 were enrolled in the general MBA program, seven were enrolled in the human resources concentration and two were enrolled in the organizational communications concentration. Three students were enrolled in the concurrent JD/MBA program. In addition to the MBA program, there were 19 graduate certificate students, three in management, three in business, and 13 in human resources and organizational psychology. The business graduate certificate began this semester.

Spring 2016 to spring 2017 enrollment was up 15 students. Total MBA enrollment for spring was 185 including 104 general MBA, six concentrating in human resources, four concentrating in organizational communication, three JD/MBA, and 68 weekend students including 12 students in cohort five. In addition there were a total of 14 graduate certificate students, four in management, two in business, and eight in human resources and organizational psychology. The decline in HROP-GC students from fall to spring was due to difficulties with scheduling required psychology classes and student struggles in social psychology in the fall. The first weekend MBA cohort graduated spring 2017.

High Impact Learning:  The College prides itself on using the applied learning model. A new mentorship program piloted during the year  with the College Advisory Council will expand during the 2018 academic year.  Students participated and placed in competitions including in the CFA Global Research Challenge, national sales competitions, Phi Beta Lambda student competitions, and the Arkansas Society of Human Resources case completion.  Faculty continue to work with ASBTDC to provide opportunities for students to work with clients of the Center.  Through these projects, student teams provided 135 hours of consulting to eight small business owners in the areas of website branding, market segmentation, and marketing management.

The State Farm Business Skills lab opened in the fall.  Twelve State Farm agents invested in the lab with five-year naming rights. The lab aids students to master effective communication skills. Inside the lab, two offices, a conference room, and two sets of cameras are available for students to practice interviews and presentations. Web based software allows faculty, employers, and community business professionals to critique the students’ work and provide valuable feedback.

External Relations: The College honored Mr. Mark Pollack, BBA 1988, and Mr. Thomas Dickinson, MBA 2007, at the Annual Distinguished Alumni Luncheon in October.  Mr. Pollack is president of Affirmative Risk Management and currently serves on the UALR Foundation Fund Board.  Mr. Dickinson is the General Manager at McGeorge Contracting and is a former member of the UA Little Rock Alumni Board.  More than 400 business professionals attended the luncheon sponsored by the College of Business Advisory Council.

A lead gift from US Bank established the Student Success Endowment for the College.  Plans for the proceeds from the endowment include student scholarships, internships, study abroad programs, career placement, and competitive support for gifted and talented students.

Pleasant Valley Country Club was the site for the sixth Annual College of Business Golf Tournament presented by Dillard’s on June 12, 2017. Fifty-two teams participated in the tournament that featured morning and afternoon flights, a silent auction, high-end participant gifts and breakfast, lunch and dinner for all players. The tournament raised over $115,000 with net proceeds added to the Student Success Endowment.

The 2017 Fiscal Year, the College had 689 gifts with 326 distinct donors. The total amount in gifts and pledges was $564,799.42 for the year.

During 2016-2017 the college revised program assessment plans to assure incorporation of essential elements, such as measurable student learning outcomes, curriculum mapping, and valid assessment evaluation methods.  Most plans were revised; some newer programs are currently developing or revising plans, with a final completion goal of spring, 2018.

The following conclusions were drawn regarding 2016 program assessment in the College of Business:

  1. Progress is evident in developing a culture of assessment across COB programs. The level of faculty participation in assessment is rated as very high, based on percentage of faculty engaged in college assessment activities.
  2. All programs have quality assessment plans or are currently developing/revising for completion by 2018; plans under revision/development: BBA in Accounting, BBA in International Business, BBA in Marketing, Graduate Certificate in Business, Graduate Certificate in Human Resources and Organizational Psychology, and Graduate Certificate in Management.
  3. Valid data collection is evident with analysis based on detailed rubrics: undergraduate program assessment builds upon the undergraduate business core assessment required by AACSB, graduate program assessment likewise is directed by AACSB curriculum management standards.
  4. Committee members identified various “closing of the loop” activities and indirect measures of student performance not reflected in the yearly assessment reports, likely because reports tend to focus on activities of one year and may not be reviewed by all department members who would have knowledge of specific activities that could complement the report.

Recommendations:

  1. Review the college undergraduate core assessment report and graduate assessment reports to identify how the findings and recommendations relate at the micro level.  Actions taken within the department/program should then be reflected in the program assessment report—especially “loop-closing” activities and ultimate results.
  2. Incorporate indirect measurements relating to SLOs; such measures can positively complement goal accomplishment.
  3. Use a two-year time frame when reporting communication of assessment results to stakeholders (internal and external). Often spring results are reported the following fall to students and advisory boards, but results of this discussion are not reported in the following year’s assessment report.
  4. Incorporate into program assessment reports “loop-closing” activities and results identified in the undergraduate core, MS in BIS, and MBA assessment documents.  Assessment coordinator should distribute this summary information to departments prior to completion of program assessment reports.

Department representatives on the review committee are charged with discussing with their respective departments the detailed analysis/conversation that occurred during the analysis process.

Strategic Initiative 1

  • Provide students with core business competency, discipline based knowledge, demonstrable, practical skills to enable/improve their professional careers.

 

Goal 1.1:  Enhance undergraduate advising.

Goal 1.2:  Improve communication to adjunct faculty.

Goal 1.3:  Improve academic quality of graduating students.

Goal 1.4:  Review programs for new certificates, graduate concentrations, and alignment with professional certifications.

 

Strategic Initiative 2

  • Involve students in experiential and application based learning through partnerships with the business community and external constituents.

 

Goal 2.1:  Engage students in discipline based competitions, internships, and client based projects.

 

Strategic Initiative 3

  • Support students’ professional development opportunities through investment in Career and Student Services and engagement with external partners.

 

Goal 3.1:  Realign student services activities into Student Professional Development.

Goal 3.2:  Update Career Catalyst activities.

Goal 3.3:  Create better communication with students and faculty.

Goal 3.4:  Change Career Connections to increase ease of use.

 

Strategic Initiative 4

  • Engage in applied, teaching and learning, and discovery scholarship.

 

Goal 4.1 Continue policies regarding travel and research funding.

 

Strategic Initiative 5

  • Participate in and provide expertise to the external community and business profession.

 

Goal 5.1:  Engage Advisory Boards in Career Connection.

 

Strategic Initiative 6

  • Continuously improve through assurance of learning and response to the educational needs of our region.

 

Goal 6.1:  Continue assessment plan.

Goal 6.2:  Evaluate real estate program.

 

Strategic Initiative 7

  • Advance professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

 

Goal 7.1:  Provide training for directors, staff, and advisors.

 

Development Activities

 

Goal 1: Cultivate new prospects and steward existing donors.

Goal 2:  $500,000 in pledges and gifts to the College for AY18

Fast Facts Fall 2016:

  • AACSB accredited since 1976
  • Retention Fall 2015 to Fall 2016 77%; a 1% improvement from Fall 2014 to Fall 2015
  • 1072 undergraduate students, 252 graduate students
  • 8 undergraduate programs and 3 undergraduate certificates
  • 2 graduate programs and 5 graduate certificates
  • 41 faculty (includes administrators) 37 with terminal degrees, 7.5 graduate assistants
  • 13 staff
  • AEDI – 21 full-time staff
  • ASBTDC -17 full-time staff and 2 graduate assistants
  • Academic Departments
    • Accounting
    • Business Information Systems
    • Economics and Finance
    • Management
    • Marketing
  • Centers
    • Center for Student and Career Services
    • Kenneth Pat Wilson Center for Economic Education
    • State Farm Business Skills Lab
  • 41 intellectual contributions published or accepted for publications since July 1, 2015