Earlier this year, we updated our strategic plan with a vision to become a renowned business school known for leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. As part of this process, we developed five strategic goals: (1) enrollment growth; (2) innovation and entrepreneurship; (3) value-added partnerships; (4) faculty and staff engagement; and (5) facilities and technology. Since 2010, with 65 full-time faculty members and 26 staff, the school has grown enrollment from 2000 students to 2,500 students across 7 undergraduate (UG) and 3 graduate (GR) programs. We have aggressively embraced the online learning environment where, in addition to 35% of courses being online, we now offer 4 degrees fully online (Accounting- UG and GR; and Information Systems Management- UG and GR). Next year, we will be expanding these online degree programs to include management, marketing, finance and economics. We have also streamlined our MBA program to improve quality and enhance the learning experience for working professionals, creating an environment for education and collaboration to occur naturally and symmetrically. To further support and inspire technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, we now offer a graduate certificate designed to provide the skills needed to transform intellectual property into new start-up companies and a minor in entrepreneurship available to all undergraduate students. In addition, to support UAB’s academic medical center, we are continuing to offer programs through our Healthcare Leadership Academy and we are developing customized MBAs for doctors, dentists, and optometrists. So, yes, you get the picture, we have been busy.
We are off to a great start in The Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything- the largest, most comprehensive fund-raising initiative in the university’s history. With a $60M school campaign goal, we have already been blessed with a $25M transformative gift from the Collat family. We are indeed grateful for this generous gift and celebrated with a wonderful unveiling ceremonyon November 4, 2013. To fully realize this transformation, we are actively raising $25M to help fund a new building to provide the necessary learning environment and technologies to continue to be competitive. We kicked off a faculty and staff campaign in October and over 70% have already donated. We are now asking alumni, supporters and friends to join us in this quest to transform our school.
Of course, student success remains paramount to us. For example, last spring we surveyed our graduates and upon graduation, 82% either had a job or were going on to graduate school. We are currently in the process of collecting this data from our soon to be fall gradates. These types of successes are reflective of the hands-on learning approaches used by our faculty along with the guidance and internships managed by our professional staff. In addition, we can attribute these successes in part to the engaging student experiences that are readily available through our many award-winning student organizations such as our Green and Gold Fund, Beta Alpha Psi, and Association for Information Systems, just to name a few.
In summary, this has indeed been an exciting and rewarding year here at the Collat School of Business. This holiday season, we are asking you to join us in our quest for excellence--please consider giving something to change everything!
Eric Jack , Ph.D.
UAB Collat School of Business