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Monday, August 16, 2010 - SBA partners across campus on new programs

Keeping its focus on the value of integrative thinking while offering market-leading programs, the SBA is partnering across campus to deliver two new programs to two distinct audiences. A continuing education program in partnership with OU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science offers engineering and business professionals the opportunity to earn a certificate in energy management. The SBA is also taking an active role in delivering the courses required for a new bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from OU’s College of Arts and Sciences.


Going Green – Energy Management

In transitioning to a new energy economy, a growing number of regional organizations are developing processes, products and services needed to adapt to changing regulatory, tax, supply-chain and demand environments. As a result, the emerging clean energy sector is poised to expand significantly. In the previous decade, clean energy jobs grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent. By 2038, the number of jobs is predicted to reach 4.2 million – quintupling the current count.

With the goal of supporting this economic transition, OU’s SBA and SECS are partnering to deliver a professional certificate program that integrates management and engineering perspectives. The Energy Management Certificate Program will prepare engineering and business professionals to differentiate themselves in their careers and help their organizations become sustainable enterprises.

Participants in this innovative program will:

  • Learn about energy usage and utilization options that lead to cost and energy savings
  • Apply sustainable principles to operations that reduce costs and or enhance corporate reputation
  • Acquire real-world skills to evaluate, analyze and implement the best conventional and/or alternative energy choices.

Registration is now under way. Classes begin September 10 and are held Fridays and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Those interested in registering or learning more should contact Maureen Callaghan at or (248) 412-3235, or visit the Web at



Interdisciplinary program offers advantage

OU’s SBA and College of Arts and Sciences will each provide about half the courses to complete the new major in actuarial science. The degree will be offered by the CAS.

Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries. Actuaries analyze data to estimate the probability and likely cost to a company of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability or loss of property.

Several Michigan public universities offer programs in actuarial science, but OU’s will be the only one offered in the metro Detroit area – where most firms in the state that employ actuaries are located. OU’s program is more interdisciplinary than traditional programs at some other schools, which could give OU graduates another advantage in the actuarial field.

To complete the Actuarial Sciences major, OU students must earn credits in mathematics, statistics, economics, finance, financial accounting, computer problem-solving and business writing.

The coursework will prepare students to take the first two of four basic professional qualifying exams during their junior and senior years. Most firms that hire actuaries don’t expect new graduates to have taken those exams, says Ron Tracy, associate professor of economics. Those who did will have an advantage.

“This is a very tough curriculum, but it offers unbelievable opportunities,” Tracy says. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2008-09 Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts an approximate 24 percent increase in the employment of actuaries from 2006-2016.

It's estimated only about five students per academic year will be enrolled in Oakland’s program, which will begin in the fall 2010 semester. Graduates will not only be able to enter the actuarial field, but also will be well-positioned to work toward advanced degrees in economics, mathematics, statistics, business and law.