Mon, April 22, 2024

Mondays with Rick: Hull joins other Georgia business schools

Editor’s Note:
In the last year, AU’s Hull College of Business joined six other business schools in the University of Georgia system to offer a shared on-line MBA program. Dr. Richard Franza, Dean of Hull just returned from a conference at Georgia Southern with other deans at the WebMBA program.

((Photo by Angelia Huggins, Managing Director, photographing three award-winning WebMBA professors))

There were six students in the most recent semester from Hull in the WebMBA program and nearly 40 in the MBA classrooms. Dr. Franza is preparing to grow both in the coming semesters.

Dr. Rick Franza, Dean of AU’s Hull College of Business
ABD: How has this shared services program with other schools fit with your original mission?


Rick: When I walked into this job five years ago the first time I met with faculty and staff I told them we are a business school. Take word school off of it, we are. Also a business.

ABD: How does the WebMBA “cottage business” work for the benefit of AU’s Hull College of Business?

Rick: We do our part and earn more money for the University by growing enrollment and teaching courses as time grows.

ABD: What will Hull do with extra revenues?

Rick: Most of it will go back to faculty development either by offering faculty a chance to do summer research programs. Or by recruiting new faculty. We will have more funds for faculty travel conferences and student undergraduate or graduate programming. We will plug funds back into faculty and students.

ABD: Do you worry about the WebMBA program affecting your classroom census?

Rick: No, we are not cannibalizing our campus program at all. For us, it’s about opening new markets to help students who cannot do face to face studies. For instance, we’ll be developing a new Healthcare Management program, which will only be taught in the classroom.

ABD: Who are the type of students who qualify for the program?

Rick: Students must be undergraduates with a degree and at least two years of professional work history.

We have doctors in the program and employees of SRS or Plant Vogtle who do shift work because it is not practical for those students to come to evening class or who are traveling.

ABD: How does the program work?

Rick: Masters students’ take (10) core courses completely online, presented at different times around their schedules. It is a cost of about $22,000 on-line and covers five semesters. At other business schools, it would cost 2 or 3 times that much. Our economies of scale at seven schools allow us to share costs together, while we all recruit on our own.

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