Business expertise, ethics will be focus of new School of Business at Newman University

Aug 21, 2015

Newman University will create a new School of Business that focuses not only on knowledge and expertise in business, but also ethics, entrepreneurship and socially conscious practices in business. The new school will officially launch in the fall 2016 semester.

Michael Austin, Ph.D.
Michael Austin, Ph.D.

“We’re taking this approach to the new School of Business because we have a lot to offer the local business community and business environment,” said Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D. “The school will be unique in this area because of its Catholic nature and its emphasis on business ethics, social entrepreneurship, and socially conscious business practices. It will be infused with the social justice mission of our sponsors, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, and the urging of Pope Francis to establish a business climate sensitive to the values of the Catholic tradition.”

The new school will bring the university’s existing business-related academic programs under one roof. Currently, programs for business, accounting and computer information systems are offered at the undergraduate level through the Division of Business, one of five divisions in the School of Arts and Sciences, while the Newman MBA program is offered through the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. The new School of Business will combine both the undergraduate and the graduate business offerings in a single school administered by a Dean of Business.

“We believe that the new school structure will give these crucial programs the visibility and the resources that they need to grow and thrive,” Austin added. “I think it will attract more students and better use the potential of our faculty.”

Untitled design (4)There are now seven faculty members in the Division of Business, one of whom is retiring this year. In addition to a Dean of Business, Newman will begin looking for a professor of either accounting or economics this year. The university plans to add more positions to the business school over the next two to four years.

The new Dean of Business will join the existing Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies as the third academic dean at Newman. The university also has schools of nursing and allied health, education, and social work, which are led by either directors or associate deans.

The recommendation to form a School of Business came originally from the business faculty, who believed it would increase the visibility and effectiveness of their programs. The idea was confirmed with a recommendation from the Newman Business Advisory Council, which is led by 1982 Newman graduate Debbie Winter, director of the IT Project Management Office at Wichita State University, and 1983 graduate Bob Simpson, president and owner of Simpson Construction and a member of the Newman Board of Trustees. The council, which includes other Newman alumni and local business leaders, has spent the past year surveying the local business market, speaking with business leaders, and gauging the feasibility of a school of business. In spring 2015, the council made a recommendation to Austin and Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. to establish a school of business.

The first new program to be offered in the Newman School of Business will be an MBA track in non-profit management, which will begin in January 2016. The new track is designed to show students how business practices can be applied to nonprofit agencies to make them more efficient and productive. It was developed after a survey of more than 50 area non-profit agencies showed that 75 percent would prefer an employee to have such a degree over a traditional MBA or Master’s Degree in Leadership. For more information, read the news story here: Newman University to offer MBA with Nonprofit Management focus.

Newman University is now looking to fill the position of Dean of Business. Officials will begin reviewing applicants for the position on Oct. 1. Plans are to have the new dean on board by January 2016, and to officially open the School of Business by the fall semester of 2016. The School of Business will be housed on the first floor of Sacred Heart Hall, the main administration building on the Newman campus.

The Search Committee for the Dean of the School of Business is comprised of:

  • Michael Austin – Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Newman University.
  • Jennifer Gantz – Vice President for Finance and Administration, Newman University.
  • Fr. Joe Gile – Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Adult Education, Newman University.
  • Ron Ryan – Associate Professor of Management, Entrepreneurship and Sports Communication, Newman University.
  • Sandy Hambrick – Associate Professor of Information Technology and Director of On-Line Curriculum and Instructional Technology, Newman University.
  • Bob Simpson – President and owner of Simpson Construction, Newman alumnus, and member of the Newman Board of Trustees.
  • Debbie Winter – Director of the IT Project Management Office at Wichita State University

The Business Advisory Council for Newman University is made up of:

  • Jerry Aaron- Attorney (ret)., and member of the Newman Board of Trustees.
  • Glenn Dugan- Owner, Dugan Truck Lines, Newman alumnus, and member of the Newman Board of Trustees.
  • Melissa Grelinger – Community volunteer and Newman alumna.
  • Debbie Winter Director of the IT Project Management Office at Wichita State University and Newman alumna.
  • Bob Simpson – President and owner of Simpson Construction, Newman alumnus, and member of the Newman Board of Trustees.
  • J.V. Johnston – Vice President for University Advancement, Newman University, and Newman alumnus, and former member and chair of the Newman Board of Trustees.