By Douglas D. Anderson
Dean and Professor, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business
A year ago leaders from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business met to set some priorities. I'm not sure anyone realized at the time how important those initial decisions would become to the future of the college.
Douglas D. Anderson
We decided to focus our efforts on three areas that we think are vital for the success of our students. We are helping our students become adept at navigating the global economy, at developing an entrepreneurial mind set and at becoming strong ethical leaders.
It's rewarding to see that the news we've included in this edition of the BottomLine again centers on the results we are seeing as we refine that focus
As we've progressed in these three areas, we are discovering the educational power that is generated when all three of them come into play at once. We saw that happen in the summer of 2007 when 42 students traveled through Chile, Brazil and Peru as part of our first South American Study Abroad Program. The trip gave the students insight into the international marketplace they could not otherwise have had, but it did much more than that, as you will discover.
In this issue you can read about how their leadership skills were tested in very unfamiliar settings as they helped entrepreneurs seeking micro-loans develop sound business plans. And, you'll read about how our students overcame tough challenges as they staffed several eyeglass clinics in Peru.
There will be more to report in the future about our efforts to "internationalize" the college because this fall we are launching our "Junior Year Experience." We expect the Junior Year will become our premium academic program. Participating students will embark on an international academic experience in the fall semester and a Washington, D.C., and New York experience in the spring. The summer semester between the junior and senior year will be committed to an international internship. While the Junior Year Experience will recruit our top students, we want all our students to experience the world of business in an international setting. We hope those students who do not participate in the Junior Year Experience will choose among the set of summer offerings that blend a faculty-led academic program of study with international learning opportunities.
We were delighted this year that President Stan Albrecht's efforts helped secure $7 million in ongoing funding from the legislature to support the expansion of the university's regional campuses. This money will support, among other important initiatives, the hiring of new entrepreneurship faculty in Brigham City, Tooele, the Uintah Basin, Price and Ephraim. We are embedding the "entrepreneurship gene" in our academic DNA. We established an entrepreneurship major in August 2006, and we expanded it to include our five regional campuses in August 2007.
In addition to our new regional faculty members, we have hired seven new professors to work with us in Logan. We cannot remember the last time when we added seven new faculty in a single year! Three of these professors were hired to strengthen our entrepreneurial focus; one will join our Department of Economics; one strengthens our School of Accountancy; and two will join our Department of Management Information Systems. I hope you'll take time to read about them in this edition of the BottomLine. Much of our future is riding on their shoulders.
Recent surveys show that employers who have hired our graduates give them high scores for ethical behavior and standards. We want to build on that foundation as our graduates become nationally recognized for their moral courage, integrity, and their ability to inspire trust. We intend to make ethical decision-making a part of every course our students take. Jon M. Huntsman's book, Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children (But May Have Forgotten) is required reading this year. You can read more about that book on the back cover of the BottomLine.
Finally, as you may know, Utah State University has launched a major capital campaign with the theme, "Honoring Tradition, Securing Our Future." It's an effort long overdue and one that we can all contribute to. As you consider what role you'll play in this important campaign, I urge you to think about how the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business has impacted your life. It is only when we combine focus, ambition, passion and ideas with the resources we need to make things happen that we can elevate our game. The contributions each of us make to the campaign will shape what the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is now and what it can become.