June 29, 2017, BY Matt Hughes

An evolution in management education

The 100-plus-year history of management education at Bucknell enters a new era this week as the University's School of Management officially becomes the College of Management.

"The creation of the College of Management is a bold step in our University's evolution that will elevate management education and at the same time enrich the learning experience for all Bucknell students," said Ken Freeman '72, chair of the Bucknell University Board of Trustees. "Deeper connections will be forged between the arts and sciences, engineering and management, enabling Bucknell to provide a transformative education unattainable at traditional liberal arts, engineering or business colleges."

Ken Freeman '72, chair of the Bucknell University Board of Trustees. Photo by Gordon Wenzel

The launch of the college establishes a third academic pillar of Bucknell University, where the vitality and inquisitive spirit of a liberal arts education coexists with and informs top-notch professional programs. Joining the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Engineering, the new College of Management strengthens Bucknell's distinctive interdisciplinary offerings in an undergraduate, residential learning environment, enhancing and building on programs such as the five-year bachelor of management for engineers degree, the arts entrepreneurship minor and the Institute for Leadership in Technology & Management (ILTM).

"Our graduates lead with integrity and work in teams to solve the most pressing global challenges," said Raquel Alexander, the inaugural Kenneth W. Freeman Professor & Dean of Management. "Building their professional education atop a solid liberal arts core provides our students with diverse experiences and a broader outlook to help them confidently take on the key issues confronting our world."

Raquel Alexander, the Kenneth W. Freeman Professor & Dean of the College of Management. Photo by Emily Paine, Division of Communications

As a college, management will have greater autonomy in crafting curriculum and programming that best prepares students for their first jobs and a lifetime of professional and personal success.

"Delivering a specialized education requires leadership with specific expertise," said Bucknell Provost Barbara Altmann. "Having an independent college with a dedicated dean allows for the thoughtful planning and thorough oversight that will best prepare students to thrive in the world after graduation, without drawing away from other areas of the University."

Altmann noted that new resources for the college will be funded through dedicated gifts and outside partnerships, and will not detract from the College of Arts & Sciences. Existing partnerships include longstanding funding from PricewaterhouseCoopers supporting the accounting program, faculty development and scholarships; recent support from GE in support of the ILTM program; a grant from Accenture to support entrepreneurship development; and a grant from the Teagle Foundation supporting connections between management and the liberal arts. The School of Management was formerly housed under the umbrella of the College of Arts & Sciences. Alexander was named dean in December.

Students enrolled in the College of Management will continue to take the same College Core Curriculum as students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. The establishment of the new college will also further increase course offerings for non-management majors. Alexander noted that the preparation offered through these courses is a key asset for Bucknell students, roughly 80 percent of whom will work in the private sector after graduation. Twenty percent of students who enrolled in management courses in the last three years were non-management majors.

Bucknell University Provost Barbara Altmann. Photo by Gordon Wenzel

The transition from school to college will also increase support for signature co-curricular initiatives of the college, such as the Bucknell Business Pitch Competition, a collaboration with Bucknell's Small Business Development Center, and the Student Managed Investment Fund, a portion of the University's endowment that is overseen by students and currently valued at close to $2 million. These hands-on learning opportunities teach through action in ways that can't be simulated in the classroom, and the establishment of the college will provide resources for enhancing these programs and developing new ones.

The transition builds on significant strides made since the 2008 launch of the School of Management, including:

Bucknell University President John Bravman. Photo by Gordon Wenzel

"I believe this is a pivotal moment in Bucknell's storied history, one more than a century in the making" said Bucknell University President John Bravman. "Through the excellence of our three colleges and the points at which they intersect, coupled with our undergraduate residential learning environment, we have forged a truly distinct educational experience that will serve our students for a lifetime."

The establishment of the College of Management was approved by unanimous vote of the board of trustees on Oct. 27, 2015.

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