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University begins faculty approval process for new undergraduate business minor

Sep. 12, 2016, 8:58 AM

The curricular proposal to launch a new trans-institutional undergraduate business minor has been sent to the four undergraduate schools and the Owen Graduate School of Management for review by their governance bodies. If approved, the proposed minor will launch in fall 2017.

The undergraduate business minor is the first minor at Vanderbilt under faculty consideration that is not solely housed in one of the university’s four undergraduate schools. Drawing on the themes of the Academic Strategic Plan, the proposed minor is designed to leverage the disciplinary expertise of the Owen School in addition to each of the four undergraduate schools in order to ground the rigorous study of business theories and practices within Vanderbilt’s strong liberal arts tradition.

Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)
Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)

“The proposed undergraduate business minor is evidence of the collaborative energy, fueled by faculty, staff and students, that furthers our commitment to trans-institutional learning and discovery,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente said. “The result is a uniquely ‘One Vanderbilt’ offering to our undergraduate students that harnesses the renowned expertise of the Owen Graduate School of Management.”

The process of developing the minor began in September 2013 with the formation of the Undergraduate Business Minor Development Committee, chaired by Vice Provost for Learning and Residential Affairs Cynthia J. Cyrus. With direct faculty representation from the Blair School of Music, College of Arts and Science, Peabody College of education and human development, School of Engineering and Owen Graduate School of Management, the committee also consulted broadly with campus constituents to design a minor that would meet student needs, embrace best practices in undergraduate business education, and be sensitive to the distinct academic landscapes of the five contributing schools.

Vice Provost Cynthia J. Cyrus (Vanderbilt University)
Vice Provost Cynthia J. Cyrus (Vanderbilt University)

The proposed minor integrates five required half-semester fundamental courses taught by Owen faculty, with electives provided by the undergraduate schools.

“The committee carefully reviewed the elective courses to encourage a depth of exploration of key business concepts by creating elective groupings called pathways, including entrepreneurship, ethics, finance and accounting, marketing and advertising, organizational effectiveness, operations, and strategy,” Cyrus said. “At the same time, the committee also ensured that students could investigate business through the lens of nontraditional business topics, such as a foreign language, history or music course, echoing the institution’s commitment to the liberal arts.”

Gary Kimball (Vanderbilt University)
Gary Kimball (Vanderbilt University)

As part of the transition prior to the proposed launch of the minor, Gary Kimball, current director of the Program in Managerial Studies and a member of the Business Minor Development Committee, was appointed the acting coordinator of business-related minors. Kimball earned a bachelor of science in economics from Vanderbilt as well as an MBA from the Owen School.

“Gary brings strong leadership to the process of creating and implementing this new business minor given his current role as the director of the Program in Managerial Studies and his dedication to teaching future leaders in business,” Cyrus said.

Members of the university community are encouraged to contact Kimball and Cyrus by email with questions or feedback about the proposed undergraduate business minor.

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