Business school one of U.S.’s best

Colleen Watson

‘U.S. News’ ranking places Kent State among the top colleges

Kent State’s College of Business welcomes one major accomplishment and two new deans this year.

The college was recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report as having one of the nation’s best undergraduate business programs.

“We’ve been improving our rankings,” said Donald Williams, incoming associate dean of administrative and faculty affairs. “It’s the fourth time in six years that we’ve been in this list.”

Williams said U.S. News and World Report asks deans and faculty members of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, an accreditation society that monitors business schools, to rank schools based on their quality.

Kent State is currently on the list of the 528 institutions accredited through the organization. As the new associate deans, Williams and Frederick Schroath, incoming associate dean of the graduate school of management, are both partially responsible for maintaining that status.

“In 2008, the accreditation team will visit the college to determine whether or not we’ve maintained our accreditation for the next five years,” Williams said.

Williams and Schroath have both been faculty at Kent State for more than 20 years. Both men are returning to the College of Business Administration this fall to serve in new associate dean positions.

Schroath said he discovered his love of teaching when he did a stint in corporate training.

“Being an administrator gives me some of the management I miss from the corporate world,” Schroath said, who spent 12 years in the corporate world. “It really creates a good blend for me because it still allows me to teach.”

Both Schroath and Williams encourage students to keep lines of communication open.

“We introduce ourselves to the students in Professor Greg Hackett’s Exploring Business classes,” Williams said. “Our tradition is to be very open to students. They should feel free to contact us if they’re experiencing any problems or have any success they want to let us know about.”

Schroath agreed.

“We can’t solve a problem we’re not aware of,” he said. “Students shouldn’t allow the formality of a dean-student relationship to prevent them from bringing genuine concerns to our attention.”

Williams and Schroath also encourage their students to travel.

“Study abroad,” Schroath said. “Take a semester or an academic year and go overseas, go to Geneva.”

“That’s excellent advice for any major,” Williams said. “Learn a language. Study abroad.”

As for improvements, communication from students isn’t the only thing the associate deans would like to see.

“I’d like to see the distance learning for our Professional MBA program to be better coordinated and facilitated with all the new technology,” Schroath said.

Williams also hopes the College of Business Administration will establish a connection with the community.

“We need to improve the communication of our accomplishments to the community,” he said.

Contact College of Business Administration reporter Colleen Watson at [email protected].