This strategic plan is the culmination of multiple conversations with various stakeholders of the College of Business and Management (CBM) at UIS. Regional and international business owners; accomplished alumni employed in government, nonprofit, and business sectors; current students; faculty and staff from Springfield and Peoria; and Deans from benchmark Colleges of Business and international professionals–all had a part in the dialogue that shaped this document.
Despite the diversity of participants and the views they expressed, a common sentiment emerged—a sense of optimism and excitement for the future facing the CBM as the college is poised to be accredited by AACSB. Faculty are adapting teaching and learning best practices to accommodate new UIS freshman; expansions in online offerings could put the CBM within reach of becoming one of the top ten AACSB accredited providers of online business programs, the Center for Entrepreneurship will influence economic and business development in the region, and more! The college will continue to build on its heritage of excellence, including a tradition of providing a first-rate education for adult learners; an exceptional CPA pass rate among accounting graduates, outstanding placements for MIS graduates, and high levels of employer satisfaction with CBM intern/AST students and graduates.
The College of Business and Management offers instruction provided predominantly by full-time faculty, with programs based on market needs, preparing traditional and nontraditional students for careers and/or advancement in corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations regionally and increasingly nationally and internationally.
The College of Business and Management will be the preferred choice within the region and increasingly beyond for a high quality and relevant business education for undergraduates, graduates and individuals wishing to continue their professional education. Online offerings will similarly serve those who cannot attend on-campus classes. Graduates of CBM degree programs will be highly sought after by regional employers. Prospective faculty will view CBM as an attractive employer that will contribute to their careers and sustain their development as teacher/scholars. The CBM will establish a reputation for expertise in selected areas of scholarship and community and well beyond outreach.
Competitive Analysis/Distinctive Competencies
The College of Business and Management has characteristics of high quality business colleges – AACSB qualified teacher/scholars who are academically and professionally qualified in their fields; quality graduate and undergraduate programs; small class sizes; most courses taught by full-time faculty; and exceptional infrastructure that includes a state of the art classroom and office building and technology support for classroom and online delivery of courses. Experiential learning offers a strong practical component to the business education students receive and creates constructive relationships with regional employers. As a public institution, CBM tuition compares favorably with regional institutions. Upon receiving AACSB accreditation the CBM will have a definite advantage as a high quality, low cost AACSB accredited provider of online Business education. Compared to the top ten providers of online business undergraduate degrees nationwide, e-tuition places the CBM as the low cost provider of online undergraduate education.
Goal #1 – Teaching as a Distinctive Competence
The UIS College of Business and Management will be known for the quality of its teaching and for its accountability to that mission. Recognizing its importance to effective learning, teaching will be the first priority of our attention and resources, and our most important measure of faculty competence. Teaching and learning are dependent on faculty and staff who are engaged in their disciplines through scholarship and applications in the real world. Faculty and staff embrace the fact the world of learning is dynamic in content, applications and practices.
Goal #3 – A Commitment to the Recruitment and Retention of Students
The College of Business and Management prides itself in going beyond the norm to make it possible for more Illinois residents and those in other states or nations to obtain a quality and relevant education, regardless of their location or scheduling constraints.
Goal #4 – Strengthen Ties with External Communities
The College of Business and Management will strengthen its relationships with external constituents, including area businesses, governmental organizations, not-for-profits, peer and feeder institutions, and UIS alumni in the region and beyond, including internationally. This goal includes strengthening the outreach to the greater Springfield and Peoria metropolitan areas for MBA and other degree and certificate programs, customized to meet business, government agency and health service employers and going well beyond these locations to Asia and Europe.
Goal #5 – Achieve and Maintain AACSB Accreditation
The College of Business and Management is committed to the successful completion of its quest to be accredited by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, which will immeasurably increase its stature among its peers, as well as the value of their education to its graduates. It is in the final stages of accreditation with the peer review team visit in February 2007.
The CBM Strategic plan highlights required resources related to human resources, finances, student support and technology. Human capital is a competitive advantage for the CBM. To maintain that advantage the college must continue to attract, motivate, develop, and invest in faculty, professionals and staff. Only through excellent human resources will the CBM be able to maintain, advance and expand academic programs, provide outreach to the business, government and non profit sectors, and pursue new initiatives such as the Center for Entrepreneurship, a Nanotechnology Policy Center, or expanded online offerings.
Support for student scholarships will enable the CBM to compete for and attract the highest quality undergraduate and graduate students. As the CBM enters new markets, scholarships can provide an incentive for students to take special note of the College of Business and Management at UIS. CBM resource needs go beyond faculty to staff professionals who provide the infrastructure to support stretch goals.
Advances in communication and education technologies make it imperative that the CBM regularly update technology including faculty computers, laptops, etc. Furthermore, faculty and staff must be provided with opportunities to retool and maintain their own currency with the use of information technologies—especially those used by student populations.
This plan envisions a future of an AACSB accredited College of Business and Management which is in sync with a dynamic, global business environment. It is a challenging future with ambitious goals related to teaching, scholarship, service, relevance and commitment to academically adapt to the continually emerging technologies and changes in business. Our plan has implications for students; faculty and staff; members of the business, government, and not for profit sectors; and the communities we serve. In the course of implementing our ambitious plan, students will benefit from high quality programs and effective use of resources and technology. Faculty and staff will benefit from the increasing quality of academic programs, students and increasing resources available for professional development. Our external stakeholders and expanding communities will increasingly view the CBM as having broader economic, social and educational impact in the region and well beyond. In summary, the College of Business and Management will become widely known for “Preparing Business Professionals to Advance and Make a Difference in a Global Economy.” Historically this focus was for the region, which remains critical to CBM, and now extends well beyond. We truly believe that the region and Illinois are flat and CBM extends this operating principle to a world that is increasingly flat without borders in economic and business terms.