College of Business: New program faces challenges

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Newly appointed Founding Dean, Howard Smith, has been hired to create the best opportunity for installing a College of Business, which will not be officially approved until the faculty senate votes.

Michelle Cowing, Chair of the Department of Business, said that there is a formal commitment to start building a College of Business. However, Cowing also said, “[The new college] likely won’t be seen for two to three years.”

There is still much planning and preparation to do before the program will be ready for undergraduate and graduate students. “This kind of thing takes time,” Cowing said.

Smith will be following the 10-point plan, which has been condensed from many predeceasing plans, sent out to all faculty and staff on campus from Provost John Miller. The plan’s first point states they will work to attract $5 million dollars by the end of 2012, and an additional $500,000 to $1 million by the end of 2013. Cowing estimated the installment of the new college close to $20 million, maybe more.

Cowing’s justified the cost by explaining they need to pay for new faculty, building a new hall for the college, scholarships for students, administrative positions, as well as internships. None of which includes the founding dean’s salary.

Smith’s salary is unknown at this time, but Cowing suggested that it is a large sum.

Chair of the Department of Social Sciences Sarah Phillips said, “Business colleges are very, very expensive.”

As for the location of the new college, it is still to be determined. Cowing said they might build a new hall on campus to accommodate the new undergraduate and graduate students Miller is hoping to bring in.

The question of where they are going to put it has to be raised. The idea to place it in Hillsboro is not really an option. It would be difficult for undergraduates to commute between Forest Grove and Hillsboro with only 10 minutes between classes. If the new college were solely geared toward graduates, this would not be a problem, but as of now it is being designed to accommodate both.

If the development of the new college is not stalled or altered, future business students may be able to look forward to a three-year graduation plan. Phillips said this is being offered to help accelerate students through their undergraduate to save them money. “College debt exceeds credit card debt,” according to Phillips.

Cowing wanted to advertise another new feature the college of business has to offer. She wants students to know that even if they are not majoring in business, they can still take business classes that will prove useful in their careers. She said students who open their own businesses for things like physical therapy need to know fundamental business skills in order to keep it running.

There is much anticipation for the progression of the college. Smith will arrive July 1 to get the ball rolling and from there any new developments can and will be made to finalize the college of business.


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