The Colonial Ledger SCHOOL
Two key task forces have been established to accomplish this agenda. The first is the MBA Task Force which is charged with benchmarking our program against our competitors, peer and aspirant schools and the topranked programs in the country and developing an enhanced program along key dimensions. The second is the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Task Force which is charged with developing a strategy for integrating entrepreneurship and innovation into our curricula to give our students the skills necessary to be successful in today’s dynamic global marketplace. We traditionally have been known for preparing our students to be successful in the corporate world. Now, we need to go one step further by preparing students to identify opportunities in the marketplace for new products and services and to develop and grow new innovative businesses. In this rapidly changing and uncertain world, every business school graduate must have an innovative mindset and an entrepreneurial skillset to be successful. In turn, our region, state and nation will be more successful economically over time with our graduates equipped with these skills. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our alumni and constituents for your support. With higher education facing challenging times, it is only possible for our University and its School of Business to continue its positive trajectory with your investment of time, talent and treasure. We look forward to engaging you in our future success. We wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. J O H N M . B E E H L E R , P H . D . , C PA DEAN, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
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With many accomplishments over the past year, the School of Business opened the new academic year with the theme “Continue the Momentum.” Simply put, we need to be committed to continuous improvement, academic excellence and student success – the practices and principles that resulted in our reaffirmation of AACSB accreditation. We also need to implement the key initiatives in our new strategic plan. This includes improving our current curricula and expanding into niche areas that will enhance opportunities for our students.
> Music Man
> Message from the Dean There is always excitement in the air at the beginning of fall semester; however, this year’s sense of excitement was special. The Fall 2014 semester started off with great enthusiasm among our students, faculty and staff who attended our traditional events: New Student Convocation, Faculty Convocation, and the New Business Student Reception in Massey Gardens. This year we also had a special event to celebrate our reaffirmation of AACSB accreditation in the newly-renovated Ferry Room in Massey Hall. Faculty, staff and members of our Board of Visitors attended this celebration.
Dr. Brian O’ Roark, university professor of economics at Robert Morris, is the recipient of the 2014 Undergraduate Teaching Innovation Award from the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration (MAACBA). He earned the award for his project “Incorporating Music into the Economics Classroom” in which he uses popular music, from a variety of eras, in the curriculum for his introductory economics courses. The project started with a survey of the best economics songs of the past 50 years – including Madonna’s “Material Girl” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” – but has taken on a life of its own, as colleagues, friends, and family provide O’Roark a steady stream of ideas for songs he can consider using in his teaching. According to O’Roark, this unique method “helps students to see the economic concepts we are learning in class are not entirely esoteric. They are things that do show up in everyday life. It gives them a different perspective on economics and a different perspective on music.” O’Roark, who has been on the faculty at RMU for 10 years, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Grove City College, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Dean John Beehler admires Dr. O’Roark’s teaching methods, “his efforts to reach the current generation of students studying economics through music are both innovative and exemplary, setting an excellent example for faculty nationwide. In the age where active learning and engagement are critical to the success of students preparing for their future careers, Brian has taken the lead and motivated others to find innovative ways to impact student learning across all disciplines.”