Published 6. June 2014 at 8:53 am - No Comments
Results Matter: Five internships in Cape Girardeau and Enhanced class involvement by Fastenal for faculty/student case work. Fastenal, a fast-growing company in the maintenance and construction supply industry, and the Harrison College of Business continue to cement their relationship. As part the Harrison College of Business’s corporate relationship initiatives, Fastenal Company sponsored the 4th Annual Strategic Management Case Competition. Student groups comprised of majors from each business discipline were assigned to provide an internal and external analysis of IMAX Corporation, a world leader in entertainment technology. They were then challenged to provide a strategic recommendation for IMAX . HCB Faculty, Business Managers, and Executives evaluated the analysis and proposed recommendations to determine the most effective and best justified recommendation. This year seven teams of students from the capstone strategic management course (BA490) competed. Fastenal District Manager, James Blades generously provided prizes for the winning teams and to all participants. Fastenal also provides paid internships for SEMO students. Pictured left to right: Jim Caldwell (Faculty), Ryan Stoll (Accounting), Valerie Wang (Marketing Management), Ko Tabata (International Business), Niki Rismachi (Finance) , Andrew Hahn (Accounting), James Blades (Fastenal). Following up on last year’s HCB trip to the Fastenal Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana which included Dean McDougall and a group of HCB faculty, this spring, Associate Dean, Gary G. Johnson, five business faculty (Ben Dow, Matt Mardanov, Peter Gordon, Dana Schwieger, and James Caldwell), three students,(Thibaut Morrillon, Nathan Abert, and Patrick Green), and St. Louis Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Chris Martin, accepted the Fastenal invitation. The annual Expo is designed for vendors, customers, and partners – the Fastenal family. In addition to a display of the latest gadgetry in the industry, the HCB contingent was given a tour of Fastenal’s huge Indianapolis distribution center where the latest technology is used to fill orders. Everyone departed the Expo with a better understanding of what Fastenal actually does, and a greater appreciation of how the Fastenal team manages the multiple business processes comprising the organization. Mr. James Blades, District Manager, hosted the group for the event which included dinner and lunch. James furthered our understanding of Fastenal and its role in the industry. As a part of the discussions, Blades offered five internships in Cape, class presentations by Fastenal executives, and access to data for classroom study – a win-win-win for the HCB, Fastenal, and our students. Mr. Blades characterized the type of intern the company is seeking – hard-working, motivated to succeed (to move up), skilled in selling the products, loyal, and a team player. The HCB is proud to be a Fastenal partner, and as we continue to fill the pipeline with qualified students, there is little doubt that this partnership will continue to grow stronger over the coming years.
Published 6. June 2014 at 8:44 am - No Comments
At the end of the spring 2013 term, the dean of the Harrison College of Business asked the Harrison business faculty to accept one of the most difficult challenges a college faculty can undertake – a comprehensive review of the required courses that underpin a degree program; in this case, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree program. The last comprehensive review of the BSBA degree program was completed more than twenty years ago when the undergraduate curriculum was aligned with AACSB accreditation criteria as part of our initial and successful accreditation review. While we have continuously revised and updated the content of our courses, we have only made minor changes to the structure of the common required support and foundation courses. Most recently, for example, we eliminated the applied calculus course from the list of required support courses and added a second course in statistics. During the discussion that led to this change; the more general question was raised – shouldn’t we look at everything? To start this broader review the faculty were asked to describe what is distinctive about a BSBA graduate. Individual faculty, of course, had their own personal perspective on this; but the intent was to identify attributes that most, if not all of the faculty could agree with. A consensus formed around the following: Individuals with a BSBA degree from the Harrison College of Business are prepared to immediately contribute to the achievement of organizational goals. They employ a strong work ethic; they demonstrate professionalism; they exercise a strong understanding of business concepts; and they exploit analytic tools and utilize communication skills that lead to sound decision making. That is, individuals with the Harrison BSBA degree work hard, know their stuff and how to think, and they play well with others. Given this starting point, an ad hoc faculty taskforce was established, including Dr. Ben Dow, Dr. Roberta Humphrey, Ms. Rebecca Lohmann, Dr. Heather McMillan, Dr. James Stapleton, Dr. Judy Wiles and Dr. David Yaskewich. The membership is very diverse; it includes faculty members with varying lengths of service to the college; it includes tenured and tenure track faculty members, as well as a faculty member in a non-tenure track position. The membership was drawn from each department and covers a wide range of our majors under the BSBA degree program. The taskforce is charged to bring forward recommendations concerning the content and structure of the required core and some lower division support courses under the BSBA degree program, taking into consideration input from the business communities served by the Harrison College of Business, appropriate advisory councils, and any others identified by the taskforce. The taskforce may also bring forward recommendations concerning the structure of the core and the delivery of the core. As mentioned above, this charge presents the taskforce with one of the more difficult challenges a faculty may confront. The members deserve our congratulations and appreciation for accepting this challenge and moving forward on the charge in a very professional and objective manner. Where are we? The taskforce has completed a detailed review of the content of the required core and the support courses, basing this review on the course syllabi that are distributed to students. The taskforce also compared Harrison core requirements with requirements at our AACSB aspirant and peer institutions. Working with the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, the taskforce solicited input from our local business community. At the same time, the taskforce consulted with the members of the St. Louis Corporate Planning Committee. Summaries of these discussions were distributed to all faculty members. The taskforce also reviewed relevant survey data developed by others; e.g., Northeastern University’s “national survey on higher education issues and CEOs and other senior executives’ assessment of the effectiveness of universities in preparing students for the global workforce.” After bringing all of this information together and after many hours of discussion, deliberation and disagreement, the taskforce brought forward a proposal based on twelve significant changes to the structure and content of the required core and support courses. The taskforce recommended moving some third year foundation courses into the second year of study and moving some second year courses into the third year of study. It has also recommended a restructuring of our computer applications and information systems courses and our management sciences and operations management courses. The taskforce also recommended the creation of a two semester freshman year experiential course with a focus on innovation and creativity. The proposal was introduced to the faculty at a college-wide faculty meeting this past March, with the understanding that there would be extensive discussions at the individual and department levels; with the opportunity for departments to develop a fuller understanding of the proposal and the thinking underneath it by meeting with the members of the ad hoc task force. Early in April there was another college-wide faculty meeting for open discussion among all members of our academic community. This discussion revealed concerns, issues and alternatives for the taskforce to consider. Another college-wide faculty meeting was held late April, taking advantage of results from a survey submitted to faculty by the taskforce. This discussion focused not only on remaining concerns and issues, but also on positive elements to the taskforce’s proposal. Some themes seemed to emerge from this discussion. There seemed to be a desire to have a more integrated core curriculum, perhaps accomplished by adopting a common business case that would provide an integrating focal point. There seemed to be an emerging consensus that we needed to incorporate structure that better develops communication skills. And, a consensus seemed to forming around the possibility of having a first year introduction to business course; perhaps as a substitute for the university’s required freshman seminar. It bears repeating – the members of the ad hoc taskforce deserve our congratulations and appreciation for accepting this challenge and moving forward on the charge in a very professional and objective manner. The discussion will continue over the fall 2014 term. With the intent to bring focus to the remaining discussions, the dean asked that the faculty articulate and keep at the forefront of future discussions (1) the learning goals the faculty established for the BSBA degree remain valid, (2) what we heard from our business communities (the Cape Girardeau business community that serves the rural regions of southeast Missouri and St. Louis business community that serves the urban center in our service region), and (3) other desired outcomes that reflect the academic values of the faculty and its engagement with the practitioner and the practice of business.
Published 6. June 2014 at 8:42 am - No Comments
The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University held a groundbreaking on September 28, 2013 on a Creative Labs and Industries Incubator. Southeast students will soon get the opportunity to create, innovate and showcase their entrepreneurial mindset thanks to a generous gift from an alumnus. The Creative Labs and Industries Incubator is a new, one-of-a-kind program that cultivates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship by connecting interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and practitioners in highly-integrated laboratories to design novel product and service concepts and test business models through a modern commercial marketplace. Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, said, “New ideas are driving success in our economy. The creative economy is changing the way people live, work and learn – where they think, invent, and innovate. This program will provide a model for the future of multidisciplinary and experiential learning by connecting students and practitioners in a variety of creative and innovative disciplines that often work in silos, and immersing them in a space with the technology and creative culture to bring big ideas to life.” Dr. James Stapleton serves as the executive director of the Center and developed the new concept to improve on current incubator approaches that offer little more than inexpensive rent. “The creative economy is based on new ways of thinking and doing. The most important inputs are individual talent or skill, combined with creativity that generates novelty and transforms familiar ideas into innovations,” he said. “Current incubator approaches don’t bring together creative talent in environments that spawn new ideas with tools to develop innovations, and a marketplace to test business models. Our new program is where creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship come alive.” The new program will be located at 612 Broadway, in the heart of downtown Cape Girardeau that connects the University’s main campus with its River Campus. Laboratory spaces will include a variety of creative studios for 3D modeling and printing, app and Web development, graphic design, painting, large format digital and letterpress printing, fashion and printmaking. The commercial market will provide an innovative retail destination that includes galleries, print shops, workshop and venue spaces, an impact room and more. The project was made possible in part by a generous gift of $750,000 to the University from Charles Stamp Jr. Stamp Jr. is vice president, Public Affairs Worldwide, at Deere & Company, a position he has held since September 2002. In his role, Stamp leads a department that manages government and public affairs to provide the company with timely and actionable plans that address issues of risk and opportunities that exist worldwide within key markets and among key audiences. Stamp joined Deere & Company in 1999, as part of the company’s acquisition of InterAg Technologies, Inc., where he was president/chief executive officer. He has also served as president, John Deere Special Technologies Group, and president, Agricultural Division – Global AgServices. Stamp is a native of Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Southeast Missouri State University and holds the University’s distinguished Alumni Merit Award. He received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia in 1974. He practiced law from 1974 until 1981 in Sikeston, Mo. He entered the agribusiness industry in 1981 as president of Meyer Agri-Products, which later became a division of Butler Manufacturing Company, where he served as vice president of Butler’s Agri-Products Division. He then served as president of Capital South Investors and as a partner of Capital Partners, Ltd., which founded InterAg Technologies, Inc. Stamp is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and is a Life Honorary Director of AEM. He has also served as a trustee of the Farm Foundation. Stamp is a member of the Missouri Bar Association. “Charlie’s generous gift allows us to make this next investment in our outstanding entrepreneurship program. He knows first-hand the importance of real-world experiences for students, and the importance of cultivating the talents of aspiring entrepreneurs. We appreciate not only his gift of treasure, but look forward to Charlie spending time mentoring our students,” Dobbins said. The University hopes to name the facility to honor Stamp at a dedication and grand opening next fall, when the facility renovation will be complete. The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.