UM officials tout school’s new MBA program

Published 3:30 pm Monday, March 22, 2010

A recent decision by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education will provide several benefits for the University of Montevallo, according to business college Dean William Rupp.

UM will begin offering a master’s of business administration degree program after the state commission approved the school’s proposal for the program March 12.

UM will administer the master’s of business administration degree program through its Michael E. Stephens College of Business.

The MBA program will fill a void in the business college’s offerings, and will benefit all students at UM, even if they are not business majors, Rupp said.

“What that means for accounting students is that they can get their bachelor’s in business administration and then get their master’s for just a few credits more.

“We also already offer a business minor to everyone on campus,” Rupp added. “If you take just 21 hours of business classes and get your minor, you can continue straight into that master’s program.”

The 30-hour master’s program will prepare students for careers in “operational management and strategic leadership of public- and private-sector organizations,” Rupp said.

“I am thankful to the faculty and staff for their commitment to this program,” Rupp said. “Because of this, the UM MBA will make a difference in the lives of Alabama citizens and their employees.”

Montevallo’s MBA program was at the center of a 2009 feud between outgoing UM President and the university’s board of trustees. In July 2009, the university agreed to allow UAB to hold night classes at Jefferson State Community College’s Hoover/Shelby campus.

In exchange for allowing UAB to hold classes in Shelby County, UAB agreed to support UM’s push for an MBA program.

After the agreement, some members of the UM Board of Trustees disagreed with the decision, saying Williams made agreements with UAB without first consulting the UM board.

After the clash between Williams and the board of trustees, Williams announced he would resign without the board’s full support. Williams was granted a sabbatical in September 2009 before he announced he would leave the university July 31, 2010.

However, UM board of trustees personnel committee chairman Todd Strange did not comment on Williams when asked for his thoughts on UM’s MBA program.

“Obviously, this expansion gives the university access to future students to help them further their value to the marketplace,” Strange said. “Any time you can help continue one’s education in a convenient, cost-effective manner, good things will happen.”

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