Andy Martin, For The Miami Student

Miami University’s full time accelerated Master of Business Administration program (MBA) for graduate students has been suspended for the time being because of its lack of financial viability.

The final decision was made by the Dean of the Farmer School of Business, Roger Jenkins, but Miami had been wrestling with the decision for months.

In the fall of 2010, a strategic studies taskforce was sent to inspect all programs Miami had to offer to see which ones were most costly for the university.

It was after this that recommendations of the suspension of the full time MBA began to surface.

“Right now, Miami needs to invest in programs that are more financially viable,” said Alan Oak, assistant dean of FSB. “That doesn’t mean the full time MBA is gone for good. However, for the time being, this is our wisest option.”

Even though the full time program is suspended, Miami still offers a professional MBA program located at the Voice of America branch in West Chester. This program is geared toward professionals who are already working full time. The classes are held during the evening.

“With the full time MBA gone, we’re now in the process of planning big growth within the VOA branch,” said MBA Program Director, Brad Bays. “It’s our goal that in the next couple of years the size of enrollment will double from about 75 students to 150 students with the help of a second entry date throughout the year.”

The professional program, started in 2009, just graduated its first class. It’s a program that is doing well and attracting excellent students, Bays said. The program is part time and takes a full two years to complete, whereas the full time MBA took only 14 months.

Students worried the change could make the undergraduate business program slightly less attractive.

“I think this will most likely deter undergraduate students considering Miami because they will have to look at another university for their graduate studies rather than somewhere familiar,” junior Brooke Hess said.

Bays said that graduate students who would have enrolled in either program would already have needed to acquire extensive post-graduate work experience and would not be enrolled right after their undergraduate studies.

Oak said the suspension of the accelerated program will not affect undergraduates or applicants for Miami’s graduate school. Out of 4,000 students enrolled in the business school, only 30 students were part of the accelerated program.

“We seriously regret having to make this decision,” Oak said. “The program was well ranked, but the economy has forced Miami to prioritize, and we think it’s more practical to begin putting more time in VOA’s professional program.”

Sophomore Aubrey Smales said increasing efficiency is a good idea.

“I guess it’s smart that Miami is trying to weed out programs that might not be worth the money,” Smales said. “It gives the university an opportunity to do something new with itself.”

The full time MBA is no longer recruiting for the new class that would have begun in June 2012.

“We are, however, still putting our full support in the students currently enrolled who still have plans to graduate,” Oak said. “We will remain 100 percent behind them.”

To apply for the professional MBA program, one must have a four year baccalaureate degree, must have earned at least a 2.75 GPA, passed the Graduate Management Admissions Test and gained a minimum of three years of post- baccalaureate working experience. To learn more, visit Miami’s MBA website at http://www.fsb.muohio.edu/mba.

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