The School of Business at the State University of New York at New Paltz is committed to educating and developing students to be competent business professionals in a global economy. Teaching is our primary mission, which is complemented by our commitments to acquire and apply knowledge through scholarly and professional activities, and to serve our colleagues in the academic and business communities.
The School’s mission statement provides direction for decision making. It is derived from stakeholder input, reviewed each year, revised when necessary, appropriate to higher education for management, consonant with the college’s mission and published.
The School regularly assesses the learning objectives at the undergraduate (critical thinking, oral communication skills, written communication skills, teamwork and ethics) and MBA level (globalization, analytical skills, communication skills, ethics, leadership).
The School of Business is devoting its attention to improving the quality of our students. The School has:
• Increased the GPA necessary to declare a major in business incrementally from 2.5 in May 2005 to 2.75 in May 2010. We will stay at this level for now and, in a year or two, review the results of increasing the GPA requirement and determine the next steps.
• Required business students to achieve a grade of “C-” or better in all of the business core requirements and all of the students' major requirements beginning in 2006.
• Implemented a tighter MBA admission policy starting in Fall 2008.
This last year, our students represented 29 different countries. The School of Business enrolls international students from universities around the world, including Istanbul Technical University, Izmir University of Economics, Middle Eastern Technical University and the Paris Graduate School of Management, as part of dual degree and exchange programs, the Institute for International Business, and regular enrollment.
Through the AACSB process of continuous improvement, the School has taken a number of steps to improve the career services for it students. As such:
• The Career Resource Center hired a Career Counselor, Christine Daly, in January 2008 who is dedicated to the School of Business three days a week.
• The School began requiring all business students to complete the Internship & Career Practicum beginning in Fall 2010. The Practicum focuses students’ attention on their career plan and prepares them for successful entry into the professional business environment. At the completion of this course students will have created an effective resume and cover letter, developed a career plan, attended employer/internship fairs and networking events, and conducted a mock interview and informational interviews with people in the fields in which they would like to pursue.
• The School offers a career session to the "Business Workshop," a required course for all students to become a business major. This session was devoted to introducing the Career Action Plan and eRecruiting. Also at this time, students are asked how we can help them prepare for and find an internship or permanent job, what companies they would like to see on campus, and how they would like to meet employers.
• The School offers a number of networking events and career symposiums to assist students in their internship and job searches.
Business Advisory Council (BAC): The BAC, which includes senior executives from the business community, provides input to the School of Business to ensure that students are taught the skills, knowledge and ethical behaviors required for successful and satisfying business careers. The BAC hosts speakers, such as Frank Surdey, Managing Economist for the New York State Department of Labor, and holds focus groups on issues such as the skills our students need to be successful in the current economy and ways to teach students to be ethical business leaders. In addition, BAC members attend networking events and career and internship fairs, judge the Business Plan Contest, Debate Competition and Investment Competition, present in classes, mentor students and conduct mock interviews.
Business Plan Contest: Students work in teams with a business mentor to research and develop quality business plans that are feasible, profitable and innovative. Teams present their plans to a panel of judges for the chance to win a scholarship. Past participants felt the contest was a great opportunity to be involved in real business team projects and gain experience that cannot be learned in the classroom. They appreciated the opportunity to work with other individuals to create plans that incorporated all fields of business. Students said they learned important skills they will need in their careers, such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and networking skills. The contest began in 2005 and, in 2009, the Entrepreneurship & Business Planning was created to provide some structure to the Business Plan Contest.
Student Debates: Students work on teams to debate ethical topics such as President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, using electronic surveillance at the workplace, and having an international code of business ethics. Business Advisory Council members and business leaders serve as the judges and moderators and provide valuable feedback to the students participating. Students who participate refine their research, presentation and debate skills. Since Fall 2010, Professor Bruce Mather has encouraged students in his Legal Environment course, a course required for all business undergraduates, to participate.
Investment Competition: Students are introduced to real world investing strategy, hear from guest speakers who work in the industry, and use software to create portfolios and actively trade stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in the one-credit "Investment Initiative" course. Students use Stock Trak, a Web-based software package which simulates markets, to create and manage a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Teams present their initial portfolios, objectives and trading strategy, a trading log, the final portfolio, and the results for the semester to a panel of judges consisting of business representatives from the financial industry.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program: Each spring, students participate as volunteer tax preparers providing free income tax preparation to low-wage earners in our community. Students not only apply what they have learned in their tax and accounting classes, but they have the opportunity to practice their communication skills while interacting with clients and provide a valuable service to the community.
Mentor Program: The School revived the mentor program in November 2010 as it is a great program for students to gain knowledge and support and increase their networks. The mentor program links students to alumni and business professionals and helps students achieve their educational and career goals with the help of a mentor. Mentors receive personal and professional satisfaction by contributing to the success and future growth of students, as well as strengthening their ties with the School of Business.
Business Student Associations: The School’s business student associations organize networking events and professional conferences, hold workshops, present guest speakers, attend conferences, and compete nationally and regionally. For example, each fall, the American Marketing Association (AMA) organizes the Business Day Conference, which includes a keynote speaker and workshops on topics such as entrepreneurship, negotiations, presentation skills, advertising, and strategy media, and is attended by more than 100 students from New Paltz and surrounding colleges. The Accounting and Finance Association works with the Career Resource Center to organize the Accounting & Finance Career Symposium, which more than 100 students, as well as local and New York City employers, attend. For the past couple of years, the New Paltz AMA chapter has placed in the top 16 of about 150 colleges at AMA’s Annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.
Trading Room: The Pasternak Family Foundation donated a lead gift of $100,000 in 2007 to create a trading room which prepares students for careers as business leaders by giving them real experience in the financial trading world. The trading room currently contains Stock Trak software that provides students with hands-on knowledge and experience in the areas of trading, markets, research, and analysis. It also has two televisions: one displays Bloomberg TV and the other shows stock quotes, exchange rates and financial headlines.
Leadership Lab: In January 2006, the School of Business received an anonymous $10,000 donation toward the development of a new leadership lab. Equipped with professional video equipment, the lab functions as a simulated business setting, where students give presentations, facilitate meetings and work on team projects – all in front of the camera. Students can review their performance with their professors and quickly sharpen their leadership and team building skills. This lab also houses an extensive library of current literature in the field. The lab is dedicated to student association meetings, leadership activities, presentations and team building. Other time will be dedicated to studying and reading.
Teaching ethics is embedded in the culture of the School as we prepare our students to be future business leaders. The following has been done to raise awareness of the need to be ethical leaders:
• All undergraduate and MBA students who join the School of Business must take the "Business Workshop" course, which consists of computerized ethics learning and testing.
• The School of Business Academic Integrity Statement is attached to every course syllabus and posted in the building and on the School's website.
• The conversations about the principles of ethics have been incorporated into many of business courses.
• The School created a "Fundamentals of Business Integrity" course, which explores the tension between ethical business conduct and the challenges of business competition. The course was first offered in Spring 2010 and will continue to be offered every spring.
• The Student Organization for Business Ethics & Research invited a well-known financial expert to speak about the financial meltdown to more than 400 students, faculty and staff in March 2010.
• The School of Business held an ethics forum in November 2010 at which a prominent speaker reflected on the ethical landscape and what is in store in the days ahead. Similar forums will be offered every year.
• The Business Advisory Council discussed with faculty, staff and students why people act unethically and what the School can do to teach students to be ethical leaders.
The School of Business received a two-year grant (2006-2007) from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $66,000 to strengthen the international business knowledge and teaching capabilities of faculty, and to internationalize the curriculum by infusing international content in selected core and elective courses. Dr. Surinder Tikoo, marketing professor, successfully wrote and oversaw this grant. Through the grant, the School has provided educational seminars on global business issues to our international business community, and has continued to do so even after the grant ended. A panel of experts from the public and private sector discussed programs and strategies to manage financial risks associated with international business. A seminar on doing business in India and another on doing business with the Middle East were held. A speaker discussed product transportation and the risk of loss, the selection of a harmonized system number, and tariff considerations.
In addition, during 2007, three faculty members (Tulin Sener, Shuguang Liu, and Bruce Mather) internationalized one course each.
The School continues to focus on developing leadership abilities of students.
• The Leadership Seminar, which focuses on the development of leadership skills and consists of hands-on exercises and activities designed around the goal of personal leadership growth, was offered in Spring 2010 for the first time.
• The student associations offered an entrepreneurship seminar series and hosted a speaker who discussed the difference between leadership and management.
• The Leadership Institute, established in 2008 and directed by Dr. Kris Backhaus, complements our academic programs in preparing students for higher level decision making responsibilities and provides business professionals with the tools to respond to the changing needs of business. The institute has hosted a motivational speaker and workshops on effective communication, entrepreneurship, and ethics.
The School of Business constantly reviews its curriculum to make sure it is current and, when possible, creates special topic courses to give students the knowledge, skills and practical experience that are necessary to become successful leaders. The following are newly created courses:
• "Leadership Seminar": The Leadership Seminar focuses on the development of leadership skills and consists of hands-on exercises and activities designed around the goal of personal leadership growth.
• "Fundamentals of Business Integrity": This course explores the tension between ethical business conduct and the challenges of business competition. Topics include: identifying ethical duties, principles of business integrity, resolving ethical dilemmas, risks/rewards of integral conduct, and how leadership styles affect integrity.
• "Investment Initiative": Students are introduced to real world investing strategy, hear from guest speakers who work in the industry, and use software to create portfolios and actively trade stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Teams present their portfolios and investment strategy to a panel of judges.
• "Project Management": Students are introduced to the tasks involved in managing projects in this course, including operational, design, personnel, budget, and communication issues. Lectures, labs, in-class exercises, and team projects are incorporated into this course.
• "Entrepreneurship & Business Planning": This course focuses on the skills needed to start a business. Working in teams, students create business plans and present them to a team of judges.
• "The Business of Renewable Energy": This course explores emerging renewable markets from a business perspective. Topics covered include energy supply and energy demand studies, the renewable energy supply chain, carbon trading and renewable energy credits.
Business Support Center: The Business Support Center connects businesses and regional economic development entities with the knowledge, energy and resources of New Paltz and its faculty and students by conducting research and sponsoring conferences and trainings. The Business Institute, which is part of the Business Support Center, renewed its certificate with the NYS Education Department to offer CPE for CPAs courses on a variety of topics including tax, risk management, ethics, accounting, auditing and forensic accounting.
Management Development Program: Professor Surinder Tikoo and Harold King, Executive Director of the Council of Industry of Southeastern New York, developed a management development program on "Business Strategies" for owners/executives of member firms of the Council of Industry. The program was comprised of seven three-hour sessions which were offered during Spring 2009 and Spring 2010. Select faculty members taught this program.