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Message from the Dean
Dedicated to Excellence

  Dean Mohan Tanniru *
The School of Business Administration at Oakland University is dedicated to excellence through integration. We accomplish that in many ways – through meaningful research (watch for the upcoming print issue of SBA Insight for examples), innovative education through courses and programs, and recognition of excellence of students and our alumni. It is imperative to student success that the education they receive in and out of the classroom equips them to successfully adapt and operate in a business climate that evolves every day.

In this issue of SBA Insight Online, we shine the spotlight on a few examples that do just that. You'll read about the SBA's new Scholars program that is helping high-achieving students develop leadership and analytical skills through workshops, mentoring and case competitions. We offer a glimpse into new advanced education programs that will begin later this year – our new Master of Science in Information Technology Management in Business Analytics and two new certificate programs focused on advancing corporate leadership and innovation.

In addition, we highlight stories about a new student organization, faculty and alumni accomplishments, and our celebration honoring student achievement. Lastly, we provide a link to a short video where you can hear first-hand how SBA students talk about the value of their experiences at OU's SBA.

Scholars program connects students to success 


Rebecca Braga, a junior accounting major, has learned the connective power of Oakland University's School of Business Scholars program.

The program has connected her to people, opportunities and real-world experiences that have already kick-started her career.

Scholars is a three-part program that teaches SBA sophomores, juniors and seniors leadership and analytical skills, and pairs them with a mentor well positioned in the business community.

"Scholars has been a great experience for me," says Braga, of Shelby Township, Mich. "Not only has it aided me in getting an internship with an accounting firm, but also it has taught me valuable information that I would not have learned in a classroom."

Therein lies the heart of Scholars, explains Karen Markel, faculty director, strategic initiatives and undergraduate business programs, and associate professor, management. It gives students experiences to be prepared on graduation day to meet the challenges of today's rapidly changing business environment.

Full story

New online business analytics track among enhancements to MSITM program


Rapid growth in the business analytics (BA) field is just one driver behind the changes the SBA has made to its Master of Science in Information Technology Management (MSITM) program.

The facts tell the story: BA is set to become the top technology priority according to a 2011 Gartner survey of 2,335 CIOs. A rapidly growing field, BA provides insights that help businesses make more informed decisions as they work to develop strategies for future growth.

A look at other surveys conducted in late 2011 show that companies across industries plan to maintain or increase their investment in business intelligence spending in 2012.

A new focused BA track for the SBA's MSITM program is a significant new feature. Other program enhancements are just as compelling, and include delivering the SBA's advanced degree program through a combination of online and on-campus courses that can be completed in one year. In addition, all students accepted into the MSITM-BA track program, including full-time foreign students, can take advantage of in-state tuition rates.

Full story

New certificate courses inspire company growth, innovation

Survival mode is over. With the economy inching toward recovery, Michigan companies are adjusting their business goals. They are moving beyond surviving the downturn. Now, they are focusing on reinventing themselves and growing their business.

To help executives kick-start this new business attitude, Oakland University's School of Business Administration is introducing two new two-day certificate programs this May.

The first, Architecting Business Growth: A Practitioners Guide to Achieving Corporate Vision runs May 4-5. Developed to empower participants with the knowledge that their own organizations can and should be prepared to support growth, this certificate course invites executives and managers to explore the idea that growth doesn't just happen, but it's something that companies must engineer.

The following weekend, May 11-12, OU hosts Intrapreneurism: Creating Innovation in Established Corporations. Geared for executives faced with squeezing more than ever out of their organization, this program will help participants explore innovation, corporate change and entrepreneurism inside a corporate setting. Attendees will discuss how others have faced the daunting task of reinventing products, processes, business models and the organizations that enable them.

Full story

MBA alum puts experiences to work for students, community


When SBA students ask guest lecturer Karl Schmidt, '93 MBA, about launching his own company more than 15 years ago, one thing he tells them is self-employment was not his long-term goal. Today however, the president of Consumer Insights Inc. can't imagine a more satisfying path.

"There has been something about building a company culture that's very rewarding," says Schmidt, who also is an SBA adjunct professor and a newly elected member of Troy School District's Board of Education.

His training in OU's MBA program made the difference, Schmidt says. "I got involved in the organizational behavior classes and loved them. These are courses that focus on motivating employees and making sure they're treated fairly. The coursework that helped me the most were the HR classes."

For his role as a consultant, Schmidt credits his MBA group projects for his successes. "When you go in and talk to clients, you have to understand their culture; you have to understand their internal issues," he says. "There will be things driving the research that may not be transparent.

Full story

New mock trial organization builds students' critical-thinking skills

A new student organization in the SBA will help students sharpen their communication, persuasion, critical thinking and decision making skills. The Mock Trial Organization (MTO), launched last fall, gives aspiring business leaders an opportunity to learn what it takes to try a case in court - while having fun and exploring career options.

"It's a great idea for students to enhance critical-thinking skills," says Frederick Hoffman, special instructor, management, who serves as club advisor with the help of Assistant Professor of Management Jennifer Thor.

OU junior Jonathan Huynh was preparing for law school with public speaking and acting courses, when he developed the idea for a mock trial club.

"I wanted to develop my educational experiences outside of the classroom," says Huynh. "I picked mock trials because I enjoy a competitive setting and learning about the legal profession."

Full story

Professor's research offers insights on political correctness


To Professor Howard Schwartz, few topics are as fascinating as the phenomenon of political correctness and its far-reaching impact on society.

"I understood early on that this was a very powerful social movement that nobody understood and whose very existence was acknowledged by almost no one," says Schwartz, professor, organizational behavior in the SBA's Department of Management and Marketing. "I started thinking about it and talking about it, and people responded as if I had stuck their fingers in an electrical socket. Who could not be fascinated? I couldn't imagine that any social scientist could be interested in studying anything else."

Schwartz is widely respected for the thought-provoking writings he has produced on this topic.

"The underlying idea of his work is found in the title of Dr. Schwartz' most recent book, Society Against Itself," says Larry Hirschhorn, a principal at the Center for Applied Research in Philadelphia. "That's a subject no one has addressed but him."

Full story

Celebrating undergraduate student excellence, accomplishments

Throughout the school, across the university and within the community, SBA students are active, involved and successful -- and contributing to a solid reputation for OU and the SBA. These students are recognized for their achievements in a variety of ways including being selected for leadership positions, earning a place of academic honor, receiving scholarships and other undergraduate accomplishments.

To further recognize the contributions and achievements of these hard-working students, the SBA hosted its first Undergraduate Student Recognition Dinner, sponsored by the OU Branch of the MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU).

"We wanted to do something in a cohesive way to bring students who've done really well in the School of Business Administration together and honor them," says Karen Markel, faculty director, strategic initiatives and undergraduate business programs, and associate professor, management. "We wanted to show our appreciation for the work they've done and the contributions they've made."

Full story

Students talk up the SBA 


SBA students believe in the value of their OU SBA education. In this video, a selection of students and faculty take a turn talking about the specific experiences, programs and advantages of the OU SBA education.

From ACHIEVE, Scholars, ATiB, MBA, student organizations and more, students benefit from and appreciate OU's campus, the SBA and its programs and people, as well as the hands-on experiences they have that help them build their resume and create a foundation for success in the business world.

The short video (about six minutes), offers testimonials from students such as: 

"It's offered me the world, I would  not change my college experience."

"There is tremendous opportunity and energy here (at the SBA)."

"There's a community here that wants to help you succeed."

"I could not have asked for a better school."

"There are so many programs and so many people who are willing to help."

"Anyone who wants to have the advantage in the real world .. I would recommend the school."


Hear this and more by watching the full video on OU's YouTube channel here



Spring 2012
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OU Home

April - September
Bulletproof Your Success Lecture Series

April 20
Project Management Certificate Program classes begin

April 20
Grizzly Gala Scholarship Fundraising Auction

Spring Graduation Events
(by invitation)
April 22
ATiB Dinner Celebration

April 27
Executive MBA Graduation

April 28
OU Spring Commencement

Read more

May 5
Personal Financial Planning Certificate Program courses begin

May 4-5
Architecting Business Growth: A Practitioners Guide to Achieving Corporate Vision

May 11-12
Intrapreneurism: Creating Innvoation in Established Corporations

May 12
Executive MBA Information Session

May 13-24
Grizzly Getaway:
Historic Reflections Oceania Cruises

June 6
Prospective Graduate Student Open House

October 31-Nov. 6
Grizzly Getaway: Madrid Spain

School of Business Administration
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