The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted Jan. 26 during meetings in Columbia, Mo., to approve the creation of a master of business administration degree program at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Pending further approval by Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education, the first students to pursue MBA degrees at UMR will begin classes in January of 2007.
The MBA program at UMR will initially be limited to 35 students and will be administered through the School of Management and Information Systems. The school’s dean, Dr. Arlan DeKock, says UMR’s MBA program has a unique structure in that classes will be focused on technological aspects of business.
“MBA graduates from UMR will have an in-depth knowledge of information technology and other vital technical trends in business, including Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP,” says DeKock, who notes that annual starting salaries of business graduates with ERP specialization average more than $80,000.
UMR’s MBA program will consist of 36 hours of graduate work, which can be completed in one calendar year.
UMR has offered undergraduate degrees in business administration since the School of Management and Information Systems was created four years ago.
“The MBA program will definitely put us on the map in terms of us offering business courses,” says Dr. Caroline Fisher, chair of the UMR department of business administration and associate dean of the School of Management and Information Systems.
The new MBA courses will be taught by existing UMR faculty members, and a separate administrative structure won’t be required. DeKock points out that MBA programs are traditionally “cash flow positive,” and that additional faculty could be hired as the UMR program grows.
UMR has been planning the MBA degree for several years. DeKock says university planners consulted corporate advisors at each step.
“There are advantages to starting up a new MBA program in the 21st century,” DeKock says. “In some ways related to technology, we are already out in front of the curve.”