Champaign, Ill. — The University of Illinois College of Business announces it has created five new majors for Department of Business Administration students, approved in the spring of 2007 by the Illinois Board of Higher Education for implementation beginning Fall 2007. The new majors include Business Process Management, Information Systems and Information Technology, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Management. The Management major includes two concentrations: Entrepreneurship and International Business. Students declaring a management major can either choose one of these two concentrations or elect to stay in general management.
The new majors replace the “Business Administration” title which has appeared on College transcripts for the past two decades and is a welcome change, said Huseyin Leblebici, professor of business administration and outgoing head of the Department of Business Administration.
“It was more than 25 years ago when the College of Business course modules for a degree in business administration were created, and while it made sense then, clearly, it was time to change,” said Leblebici.
“One indicator that we had to change with the times is that the words “business administration” didn’t suit the needs of recruiters. Students got around that by stating they were majoring in one area, information technology or marketing, for example. Essentially, they adopted the language they needed on their own.”
One advantageous result of the new curriculum is that students may now secure a double major. Leblebici added that students were a major driver in the decision to formalize the majors.
“We had many students coming to us over the years who wanted to double major, but could not, since there weren’t any formal majors in the first place,” Leblebici said. “Now we can give them a special designation, and we see the double major option as a way to give breadth across business disciplines as well as depth in one area of their choosing.”
Fall 2007 student orientation is the kickoff for a publicity campaign which consists of informational events during orientation, an updated web site, information packets outlining the new majors, and other components.
Implementing and promoting the new majors is well underway said Leblebici, who has dubbed Mark Roszkowski, professor of business administration, the official czar of the program. This title is based on Professor Roszkowski’s role in the development and approval of the program. He was Chair of the Department Undergraduate Studies Committee in the late 1990s when the curriculum was developed and approved by the Department; Chair of the College Educational Policy Committee when the curriculum was approved at the College level in 2004; and has shepherded the curriculum through the approval process by the U-C Senate, the Board of Trustees, and the IBHE. He is currently serving as chair of the Implementation Task Force for Business Administration Majors, which has worked diligently to prepare staff for the new majors. “Everyone dealing with students throughout the College and University knows what’s going on with the majors and we’re well prepared to help guide and inform them,” Roszkowski added.
Another driver in the decision to adopt a program of majors was faculty, and Leblebici and Roszkowski agreed that at its core, the program is faculty-driven.
“Faculty have been involved on a daily basis in developing the program since we started working on it over ten years ago,” Roszkowski said. “In that time, we’ve gradually developed more than thirty new courses and have made it easy for students in the current program to move their concentration into a major.”
“In general, management is much more diverse than the five majors we offer, but didn’t want to create too many majors,” Leblebici added. “We asked ourselves what are the critical ones that we need to focus on right now?”
The new majors may help the College and Department to secure future resources by providing more accurate student data. “In the past, the number of people studying marketing and entrepreneurship, for example, were blended into business administration overall, but will now stand out as distinct areas of study,” said Leblebici. “More accurate data will help support a variety of resources, such as faculty in the future, if they are needed.”
“While the core courses in the College of Business remain rigorous and unchanged, the addition of five majors and two concentrations will allow students greater flexibility in securing professional positions and in contributing specialty knowledge in their career,” said Dean Avijit Ghosh.
“A degree from the College of Business is esteemed in the business community