MBA adds new programs

MBA adds 3 concentrations, combined degree program

In just two years, Fairfield University's MBA program, offered by the School of Business, has grown beyond the original timetable and now has 235 students. The climbing interest has prompted the School of Business to add three more faculty members to bring the staff to 35 and expand the curriculum.

The MBA now has concentrations in Finance, Human Resource Management, International Business and Marketing. For the fall, it will introduce concentrations in Accounting, Information Technology and Taxation.

Dean Russell Boisjoly added that an "exciting addition" to the program is a five-year program of study that will lead to both a bachelor of science degree in a major field and a master of business administration in the same or related area. The five-year option will significantly enhance the accounting program, he said, because every student who wishes to obtain a Certified Public Accounting license will need 150 academic hours beginning in the year 2000.

Reviewing the composition of the student body, Associate Dean Walter Ryba said the average age for students pursuing the MBA is 29, and 95 percent of them are employed in the corporate world, primarily in middle management with hopes of major upward movement. He said a review of the students indicated that they chose Fairfield as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations, awareness of the credentials of the faculty who have an average of 10 years business experience; state-of-the-art courses and because of the reputation Fairfield University has developed. Fairfield is just one of the six Connecticut colleges and universities listed in the Fiske and Princeton Review "Guides to the (300) Best Colleges." The others in the state are Connecticut College, the University of Connecticut at Storrs, Trinity, Wesleyan and Yale.

Dr. Ryba explained that although many MBA programs exist across the country, the major corporations are aware of the reputations schools have earned based on their curriculum and student preparation. He added, "Corporations want graduates who can think on their feet and handle challenging assignments."

He said that the MBA students at Fairfield generally have four years of professional experience and a combination score of their GPA (grade point average) multiplied by 200 plus their GMAT (graduate school entrance exam) for a total in excess of 1100.

Dean Boisjoly commented that schools of business cannot be static. "Our vision," he said, "is based on goals in key areas: globalization; racial, ethnic and religious diversity; enhancing both the undergraduate and graduate school curriculum; faculty development and the culture of innovation and seamlessness."

He noted that success today in the corporate sector calls for becoming educated in language and culture immersion programs as well as interaction with students and business leaders from other regions of the world and with world leaders in business, government, and non-profit organizations. According to Dean Boisjoly, students and professionals must prepare for a world of change. "Individuals from the post-World War II period averaged one career with three to four job changes during their professional lives. Individuals from Generation X and their children can expect three to four careers with 8 to 12 job changes."

In addition, stressing the need to prepare for change, he said that forecasts show that by the year 2005, some 50 percent of the U.S. population will have some language other than English as their native language."

Similarly, the issues of diversity are being addressed to increase the international dimension of programs.

He added that a new course Corporate Culture and Diversity Management has been developed by two faculty members, Dr. Carl Scheraga and Dr. Cheryl Tromley, and was offered for the first time starting during the May intersession. Meanwhile, the faculty has also become diversified by race, gender and national origin to build student sensitivity and in recognition that today's corporate workforce is also diversified.

Other key courses include a hands-on leadership course to build teamwork, an ethics class regarded as one of the most important by students in the graduate program, and "Women in the Workplace," developed by Dr. Lucy Katz, attorney, professor of business law and former co-director of Women's Studies at Fairfield.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on September 1, 1996

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