Strutledge is a small private liberal arts school located within 50 miles of a major urban area in the southeast United States. As with most institutions of higher education, Strutledge’s costs are rising and its enrollments are decreasing. In an effort to expand its student base, build valuable ties with area businesses, and simply survive, the Board of Regents is considering establishing an MBA program.
Currently no undergraduate degree is given in business, although business courses are taught. The dean of the school visualizes the MBA as an interdisciplinary program emphasizing problem solving, communication, and global awareness. Faculty expertise would be supplemented by instructors from local industry. The use of local faculty would better connect the university with the business community and provide opportunities for employment of the program’s graduates.
In terms of competition, a major state-funded university that offers an MBA is located in the adjacent urban area. Strutledge hopes that state budget cutbacks and perceptions of overcrowded classrooms and overworked professors at public institutions will open the door for a new entrant into the market. The Board of Regents also feels that the school’s small size will allow Strutledge to tailor the MBA program more closely to area business needs.
Several members of the Board are concerned about recent reports of the dwindling value of an MBA and are wondering if a better niche could be found with another graduate degree, perhaps a master of science in business analytics or something in the education or healthcare field.
What action would you recommend to the Board of Regents?
How should Strutledge go about making a strategic decision such as this?
This is a formal information/decision support paper that you are developing for the President as she prepares to address the topic to the Board of Regents. Be sure to include a title page and use APA 6th Edition format to include paragraph level headings. References are required.
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