Address serves as bridge between students and college

After considering a student body request to view the big picture, the College of Business and Economics hosted its first State of the College Address last Wednesday.

It was organized by the Dean’s Advisory Council to inform students of priorities of the College and changes they can expect to see.

This included a new curriculum, a revised mission statement and a campaign to improve the College’s reputation as an elite business school.

Through a process called Assurance of Learning, Associate Dean Lois Smith said the College evaluated students and has addressed their needs by changing the curriculum of certain existing classes.

AOL found that business students were struggling when it came to Excel and databases and some classes have been adjusted accordingly. The College also plans to offer more supplemental instruction outside of the classroom.

Smith

“Students might not raise their hands collectively and say they have a problem with say learning Excel, but our faculty noticed it and responded,” Smith said.

Dean Chris Clements, recognized the faculty and students who won awards, and stressed the importance of the college’s new mission statement.

It says the College strives to offer an, “inclusive and collaborative learning community…and will prepare students to compete in a global business environment.”

“We stress entrepreneurial leadership,” Clements said. “We want students to leave with the ability to create and innovate.”

In addition to improving the curriculum, the College has also made it a priority to improve its image and reputation in the Midwest and overseas.

Smith said the biggest challenge in solidifying UW-Whitewater’s brand as a top-notch business school is recruiting. She said it has been tough to balance the amount of students being accepted with the college’s maximum capacity.

“The public knows us as a strong business school, but when asked which is larger people might say UW-Madison,” Smith said.  “That is not true because we offer things other schools don’t.”

Smith’s examples were an award-winning online MBA program and 28 student business organizations.

While presenting its brand and mission to the world, the College also wants to express these ideas to students.

That is the priority of the DAC and it’s why President Quinton Baker pushed for the first college address.

Baker

“The purpose of the address was to let people know about the opportunities that exist,” Baker said. “As for the DAC, we serve as a go-between for the students and the dean.”

The new tagline for the College is, “A Degree Above,” and Baker said making that ideal a reality requires a commitment from students.

“To me this is something to aspire to and that means students need to embrace our mission,” Baker said. “Although we’ve come a long way, there is still plenty of potential for us.”