Spring is a time for new growth. We have invested in several “seed” projects and now have a great deal of new initiatives sprouting and bursting forth at the Lundquist College of Business.
First, you may have seen our Sports Product Management Program garnered approval in March from the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission to officially open the program and applications are now being accepted for fall 2015 admission. The news was met with a flood of applications—nearly 300 at last count with approximately one-third coming from abroad. Interest in the Portland-based master of science program continues to gain momentum. We extend a special thanks to Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, director of the Sports Product Management Program, and Jim Bean, senior associate dean for academic programs, for all their hard work to make this new program a reality up in Portland—and soon to extend to Eugene as well.
Second, we are growing our faculty ranks and recently completed six successful searches. The departments of decision sciences (to be renamed operations and business analytics in fall 2015), marketing, management, and finance all gained top-notch additions. Growing our faculty is a key priority for the college, and we plan to continue hiring outstanding candidates.
Third, we are now in the public phase of our capital campaign to build on our excellence and experience and provide greater access to students. The university is targeting a $2 billion fundraising goal, and the Lundquist College of Business is seeking more than $100 million worth of endowment and operating funds. Our priorities include
- Hiring and retaining excellent faculty
- Funding faculty research
- Increasing access for outstanding students through scholarships
- Enhancing our centers of excellence
- Continuing to build our presence in Portland and Bend.
Fourth, our new Oregon Business Consulting Group (OBCG) has already secured four projects for next year. Led by Rich Duncombe, the OBCG mission is to provide clients with a professional deliverable from student consulting teams at a fraction of the cost of a traditional consultancy. The goal is for clients’ fees to cover project costs, provide a real-life consulting experience for our students, and generate funds to cover overhead and expenses related to guest lectures from leading consulting professionals.
Fifth, the Oregon MBA moved up 17 places in the latest rankings for graduate business programs by U.S. News & World Report. With that increase, the Lundquist College program was one of the five biggest movers in the publication’s “Best Business Schools 2016.” Additionally, our Oregon Executive MBA in Portland is enjoying recognition as the state’s premier MBA program for working professionals. With significantly more applications this year compared with last, the program is riding a wave of momentum and increased interest.
Sixth, we are pleased to announce that funding has been secured for the next professor of practice. This position in finance is made possible by a magnanimous gift from Shirley and James Rippey ’53. Readers may recall the Lundquist College spearheaded the creation of this type of professor and the classification is now recognized by the State of Oregon for use in all of its universities. Avamere Professor of Practice Michael Crooke was the first such appointment at the University of Oregon and continues to serve in the position at our Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. A student favorite, Crooke quickly established himself within the college, developing curriculum and programs and serving as a frontline liaison to industry leaders and donors. Our plan is to attract a professor of practice for each center of excellence. We are halfway there thanks to the generosity and vision of our donors. Thank you.
Finally, some exciting new branding initiatives are launching soon. Watch this space for more on that topic soon.
Cornelis A. “Kees” de Kluyver
Rippey Distinguished Professor