College of Business Vision: The College of Business at Washington State University will be recognized as a leading business school among our land-grant peers.
Having recently accepted a five year reappointment as dean of the College of Business at Washington State University, I am excited by the opportunity to continue leading our college. As an undergraduate student in the College of Business in the early 1980s, I never dreamed I would be responsible for running the shop decades later. I have truly enjoyed working, both internally and externally, with the outstanding people associated with the CB and look forward to many more years to come.
The quality and enthusiasm of our faculty, staff, students, and supporters is continually reaffirmed as we face numerous challenges and opportunities. As I am sure you know, our biggest challenge in recent years has been dealing with substantial budget cuts. We were not alone in facing this challenge.
However, we worked with several people both internal and external to the college to engage in a strategic realignment that made us a smaller, but I believe stronger, business school. This kind of strategic thinking isn’t new to the College of Business. When I began as dean in 2005, I worked with faculty, staff, and external constituencies to develop a strategic plan that would help us realize our vision of transforming the lives of students while positively impacting the business and academic communities of Washington state, the region, and the world. Because we began thinking strategically long before the latest budget cuts were announced, the college was in a position to overcome many obstacles and capitalize on the opportunities we faced. As part of our strategic realignment, we looked at administrative processes within the college in order to streamline the delivery of academic excellence. While we have not lost academic majors, we have reorganized departments to ensure that we are using our resources effectively and efficiently; the new departmental structure will allow us to maintain our margins of excellence.
To further leverage our strategic priorities and differential advantages, we are proud to continue leading academic thought and developing the next generation of business leaders through innovative scholarship, teaching, and learning. We continue to graduate Ph.D.s at a rate meeting or beating our peer institutions and our MBA programs have been ranked among the country’s best by Princeton Review. The international business program has re-entered the rankings in the top 25 in U.S. News and World Report, Entrepreneur magazine has again rated our entrepreneurship program as the state’s best and among the top 25 in the nation, the School of Hospitality Business Management has been ranked number one in career services, as well as in the top 11 in research productivity, and the information systems group outpaces the competition with a top 10 ranking for research productivity. The WSU College of Business is indeed a vibrant, internationally recognized educational environment; we continue to innovate and deliver to students both in our state and around the world.
Building upon 15+ years of experience in online undergraduate education, the WSU Online MBA recently opened the door for busy professionals to pursue graduate education on their own time, wherever they may be. Following the initial success of that program, we are launching an online Executive MBA. Our students are already seeing the opportunities offered by the recently introduced major in wine business management, a resource neutral program offered as a cross-university partnership led by the School of Hospitality Business Management.
With my reappointment, I look forward to continuing the great work we have underway. Despite challenging times, the College of Business continues to surpass our fundraising goals and I want to personally thank all those who have invested their resources as well as time and talent. The efforts of our faculty, staff, and students, combined with the investment and advice of our supporters, will allow us to continue to make significant contributions to our respective academic disciplines while we produce world-class business graduates who will lead the global marketplace into the next decade and beyond. I look forward to seeing you in the upcoming year, hopefully at one of our signature College of Business events.
Eric R. Spangenberg, Ph.D
Dean and Maughmer Freedom Philosophy Chair