The department of business split from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to become the College of Business on March 19, said Susan Dargan, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and interim dean of the College of Business.
According to an email Dargan sent on March 21, the College of Business was “formally launched” to give faculty “the opportunity to apply a renewed focus to our business-oriented programs.” The College of Business is divided into three departments – accounting, economics and finance; management and business IT; and marketing.
Dargan said the need arose from the high number of business majors at the University. She said according to statistics from October 2017, there are between 800 – 900 business majors – originally all enrolled in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
“They were all under one chair. That’s a lot of work for one chair,” Dargan said. “It’s also a wide range of majors – accounting is very different from marketing. The idea was to break out into different departments in a future business college based on majors.”
Dargan added the “departmental configuration” came as a result of faculty surveys and a review of the structures of different state universities, including Bridgewater State. She said the configuration might change in the future depending on the growth of the college based on numbers of faculty and students.
Dargan said, “There was a plan four or five years ago for five colleges at the University. So, we started off with three – arts and humanities, STEM fields and then social and behavioral sciences. Business was under social and behavioral sciences. Education was going to be the fourth and then business, the fifth.
“We didn’t have the resources to hire a business dean as the initial plan had kind of laid out. We did hire an interim education dean, but we really wanted to get the College of Business off the ground.”
Dargan said the University chose to launch the college on March 19 in order to meet deadlines to find a new dean. The timeframe is set by the guidelines of College of Business’s faculty contract.
Dargan added the process to hire a dean for the new college will start in the 2018-19 academic year and will take more than a year. “The idea is to have someone by July 1, 2019,” she said.
She said the hiring process will include open meetings for students in order to provide them with the opportunity to ask the candidates questions and fill out feedback forms.
Dargan added she anticipates a lot of growth in the College of Business, including a new hospitality major that is under review by the Curriculum Committee.
She said given that the MetroWest area has a lot of tourism but no state university has a full hospitality and tourism major “a hospitality major [at Framingham State] would be a great move.”