I am excited about the college's future, and I am humbled and honored to serve as interim dean. I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends to advance our existing programs and initiatives while exploring new opportunities to maintain the college’s leadership position in on-campus and online business education. The future looks bright for the College of Business, and many exciting things are to come.
It has certainly been an eventful year, and we have celebrated many successes stemming from the results of strategic investments in programming that allow the college to deliver a wealth of business education in Todd Hall and beyond its borders. My colleagues and I are proud of our efforts resulting in being ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
for best online graduate business programs overall as well as for military and veteran students in 2013. We rank 14th among public national universities for our undergraduate international business program (23rd overall) and 43rd among public national universities for undergraduate business program (86th overall). National rankings reflect the college’s ongoing investment in developing and nurturing a global mindset and professional perspectives in students’ success.
We are nearing the end of the Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas. I am proud to report that the college is on track to meet or exceed its fundraising goal of $75 million by fall 2014. Additionally, the college’s 2014 Dean’s Leadership Celebration raised over $550,000. Through endowments, legacy gifts, corporate and foundation partnerships, advisory board engagement and building a network of involvement, the college continues to be a top-ranked institution, delivering relevant and timely programs to students both online and in the classroom.
Developing students’ entrepreneurial spirit continues to be a consistent focus of our curriculum, most notably in the annual Business Plan Competition
. This year, 24 collegiate teams competed for more than $38,000 in prize money, and four regional high school teams competed to win up to $12,000 in prizes. The participating teams’ business plans spanned industries including health care, aerospace, agriculture and construction, with some plans and ideas currently patent pending. We are very proud of the Ze-HunterS team from China, who were the collegiate champions, and high school league champion Art by Chelsea, from Spokane, Wash.
Seven new faculty and eight new staff members have been hired in the last year as part of our ongoing effort to rebuild faculty and staff numbers in critical areas. We are also experiencing growth in our online and Pullman-based graduate programs. We grew almost 170 percent this year between the online MBA and the Executive MBA programs, and since opening the Pullman MBA program in fall 2013, applications have doubled for fall 2014.
The college reached another milestone by receiving renewed accreditation
for another five years, across all degree levels, by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. This extension is the outcome of AACSB’s positive and constructive review of the college earlier this year. Accreditation adds another level of distinction and accountability to the programs we offer, all of which support WSU’s land grant mission and help our graduates stay competitive globally. Our AACSB review team commended the college on several of its efforts including its on-campus speaker series, career support for students, National Board of Advisors engagement, and nationally ranked programs.
While I am always amazed at the individual excellence and accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students, it is our collective efforts that fuel our current trajectory. Although I didn’t graduate from WSU, I have come to appreciate it as a special community in the 17 years I have been here. I’ve enjoyed teaching and interacting with hundreds of Cougs; hearing from you brightens any day. Please contact me if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns about any college-related issue. I am interested in your input and am grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to continuing our ascent, together.
David A. Whidbee, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Omer L. Carey Chair in Financial Education