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New dean sets ambitious agenda for College of Management

Release Date: March 5, 2013

Since becoming dean on Aug. 1, Bahman Mirshab has placed the College of Management at Lawrence Technological University on a course of continuous improvement with two major goals to reach – accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the implementation of a new curriculum for the bachelor’s degree program in business administration.

Mirshab has returned to Michigan after serving as dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Houston since 2006. One of his major achievements there was securing initial accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Previously he was dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Detroit-Mercy (UDM) where he spent most of his academic and administrative career.

He received a Ph.D. in economics from Wayne State University, a master’s degree in economics from UDM and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Tehran in Iran, his native country.

Mirshab is an expert in the use of quantitative tools in management decision making, systems thinking, and analysis of social and economic effects of income taxes. He has an active and established record of scholarly activities. He also has served as the AACSB regional program director and vice president of its Mid-Continent East region.

With more than 300 students, the master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is LTU’s largest graduate program, and Mirshab’s plans include further strengthening the already high quality of that program and others.

AASCB has become the premier accrediting agency for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. As of July 2012, only 655 schools of business, or less than 5 percent worldwide, have earned this distinguished hallmark. Today, the AACSB Accreditation Standards are used as the basis to evaluate a business school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas.

The approval process typically takes up to seven years, and Mirshab hopes to have initial accreditation in time for the 2017-2018 academic year. He points out that graduates and current students will benefit even if this higher level of accreditation comes after they have graduated.

Mirshab’s arrival also coincides with another major initiative – the return of the bachelor’s of business administration (BBA) program in the College of Management as a replacement for the bachelor of science in business management (BSBM) program that has been jointly offered with the College of Arts and Sciences. Senior Lecturer Karen Evans, BSHu’03, who has directed the BSBM program for several years, is assisting with the transition to the new BBA program that began in 2012.

“Our market research and industry and student advisory boards told us that this was the perfect time to move from the narrow focus of ‘management’ to the broader offering of ‘business administration,’” Evans said. “A capstone course where business students will work on interdisciplinary projects in an experiential learning setting makes our BBA distinct from business degrees offered elsewhere.”

Mirshab and the faculty are looking at several concentrations or majors for the BBA: general business, IT, finance, accounting, and marketing. Nonprofit management as a major or concentration could be added to build on the success of LTU's Center for Nonprofit Management. An interdisciplinary minor in entrepreneurship open to students from across the university is also under consideration.

Mirshab said the alumni of the College of Management have an important role to play in his plans for both more growth and an enhanced reputation. Alumni are needed to provide valuable advice as members of advisory committees for both accreditation and the BBA program.

This spring, the induction of the first group into the College of Management Hall of Fame will take place. This will be the highest recognition given by the College of Management to business leaders whose careers exemplify both individual excellence and dedication to the success of others. It is designed to honor, preserve, and perpetuate the names and outstanding accomplishments of inductees who have significantly influenced the College of Management.