June 11, 2012

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Weber Business School Plans to Develop, Grow Strategic Programs

Heather Stewart

June 11, 2012

The Goddard School of Business & Economics at Weber State University intends to focus on five strategic program areas—all of which were identified by faculty as areas of strength for the school.

Dean Jeff Steagall, who joined the university about a year ago, said the business school has an opportunity to take its programs to the next level and achieve national recognition. The school’s faculty recommended areas in which the Goddard School already has a competitive advantage and which will help better prepare students for careers in business.

The five programs areas are supply chain management, entrepreneurism, master of taxation, international business and sustainability.

The school’s supply chain management program is the second-oldest in the nation, said Steagall. Students in the program can earn a bachelor’s in supply chain management and, according to the school, there are 2.5 job offers for each graduate from the program. Many graduates go on to work for Hill Air Force Base and Northrop Grumman.

The Goddard School’s supply chain management program is unique in that it focuses on the entire process, from sourcing materials to warehousing, logistics, demand forecasting and even marketing channels, said Steagall. “There aren’t a huge number of these programs around.”

The university began offering its master of taxation program in 2010, and it is the only such program in the state. The fledgling program has attracted a great deal of student interest and has already graduated 58 students.

The Goddard School intends to evolve its entrepreneurism certificate into a minor, said Steagall. The minor is not just for business students—it could be combined with just about any other discipline. Students from every area at the university are potential entrepreneurs, said Steagall. “The minor program will give them exactly what they need in terms of starting a business.”

Steagall said the school expects to see 75 student-led startups each year after the new minor program is fully implemented.

The international business program will “really be focusing on getting our students abroad,” said Steagall. The school currently has four study abroad partnerships, and Steagall said he is working to build new partnerships across the globe. The goal is to have 250 students studying abroad each year within five years.

“What that gives them in the job market is that international experience; they speak the language and understand the culture,” said Steagall. He noted that most European business programs require students to study abroad, often in two different places.

Weber’s Goddard School currently offers a certificate in sustainability at the graduate level. The school wants to grow that program by developing a sustainability center that would promote research and scholarship, host national conferences and offer consulting, said Steagall. The center would also help match students with real-world projects—a required component of the certificate program. Several faculty members at the Goddard School have been recognized for their scholarship and research on sustainable business practices.

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