Doctoral program keeps bar high

Oct 23, 2014

By Natasha Hillman

With a program already ranked #48 in the country, according to Consumer Reports, UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics (COBE)  has embarked on a new project to expand its offerings: integrating a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program.
With already the first semester underway, the DBA Program is available for the working professional. Director of Doctorate of the Business Administration Program Praveen Parboteeah said each student in the program is fully committed and aware of the time commitment and assignments in and outside of class.
With an acceptance rate of only 20 students total annually, Parboteeah said they are serious when it comes to the curriculum and want the very best in their program, working one on one with their faculty.
Parboteeah said this idea was established two years ago. After meeting with the Dean at the time, it was decided that they have everything it takes to do it.
From there came marketing the idea to see if there truly was a demand for it.
“After further collaboration, we discovered that there is going to be so much demand for it, that we couldn’t pass this  opportunity,” Parboteeah said.
So far, UW-W DBA program holds 19 students out of 20, who meet on a monthly basis. Each student often flies in from different states and is expected to find their own lodging when down here for the weekend.
In fact, many students in the program currently are from Illinois, so they have been trying to spread the word  throughout the state over the past couple months.
“If you understand the Ph.D., you have to be on campus for a number of years and be there full-time, and that’s not always possible for everyone, so we basically decided that this program is more for working professionals,” Parboteeah said.
“There are only six or seven [programs] like this in the United States and Whitewater currently ranks second or third. It is very new, both here, but also in the U.S.”
Parboteeah also said UW-W has one of the largest Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited MBA programs, which has allowed them to further their expertise.
“UW-Whitewater has one of the biggest accrediting bodies for colleges of business,” he said. “Only 5 percent of colleges of businesses in the world have it. So we have a strong reputation, the accreditation, but the other thing we needed was faculty, doing research. I joined here as a faculty member, almost 15 years ago, and over time have seen the profile grow so much in professors being able to teach doctoral classes to ensure that it works.”
Parboteeah touched on how UW-W’s DBA program compares with other schools.
“Places like UW-Madison do have a Ph.D. program, but, as with many Ph.D. programs, it is more rigorous, in that you are more likely unable to continue your full-time job while attending school. UW-Whitewater is much more flexible, in the students are able to continue with their work,” he said.
In comparison to say UW-Madison’s Ph.D. program, Whitewater’s DBA program is much less theoretical.
“It’s not always easy nor feasible,” he said. “Ph.D. can be more theoretical. I mean here we say theory is important, but our program is much more applied. You come to the class with more practical problems, maybe at work, or at consulting, and we provide you with the tools to help you solve them.”
The doctoral program was approved last summer. it recieved the final okay in January 2014, and the recruitment for the program began in February 2014. As Parboteeah explains, it was a process, but well worth it.
Parobeteeah was doubtful of the long classes at first but quickly changed his mind.
“The classes are like four hours long, so going into this, I was thinking this is going to be so long, but instead students are engaged and have a wealth of experience. So it’s been fun,” Parboteeah said. “With our DBA program, you really do unbiased research, seeing both sides of things. I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to follow through with this, and also find it challenging as well.”
He said UW-W’s DBA program currently is scheduling students in the next recruitment for Fall 2015-16 students, and hoping to spread the word to those interested.