Laura B. Culp

There has been a lot of news about the University of Akron over the past several months. During these times, it is important not to forget all the positive things going on at the university.

We are members of the Deanís Advancement Council and other advisory boards of the University of Akron College of Business Administration. As a group, we number 270 and represent 190 business and industry leaders from across Northeast Ohio and beyond who are committed to helping advance the success of the business college and its students by volunteering our time and resources on a number of fronts including curriculum recommendations, mentoring students, providing internships, encouraging study abroad and supporting faculty research.

We feel it is imperative to make a special effort to inform the community of the good things about UA, especially in the College of Business Administration. We are quite proud of its recent growth and successes.

The college is a thriving business school. Where many universities showed declines in enrollment in 2015, the business college continues a five-year trend of steady enrollment growth at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The number of new undergraduate students being admitted directly into the business college and the honors program has grown dramatically the past few years.

One enrollment measure used by most universities is student credit hours. This fall semester, student credit hours in the business undergraduate program were up 2 percent over the previous year (up 6 percent over a five-year period), while student credit hours for the graduate program were up 12 percent over the previous year (and up 25 percent over a five-year period).

The graduate programs in business currently have 20 Fulbright students and 10 U.S. Agency for International Development students coming from 15 different countries. The business college has among the largest number of Fulbright students in a graduate business program in Ohio.

The programs in the business college are nationally recognized and consistently ranked among the top business schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and other ranking agencies. The college is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Only 1 percent of more than 16,500 business schools worldwide have earned full AACSB accreditation.

The business college offers majors at both graduate and undergraduate levels that are unique to Northeast Ohio and, in some cases, the United States. State-of-the-art laboratories and institutes in areas such as digital marketing, finance, sales, business analytics and leadership enable the students to achieve hands-on learning and experience in their fields of endeavor.

Individual students and student teams annually place at the top in national student competitions in accounting, management, finance and marketing. Outstanding faculty, who are devoted to teaching and to advancing their fields of research, make the success of our students possible.

This past spring, nearly four out of every five business graduates had employment positions at graduation with a median salary of $47,000.

Finally, the business college is an integral part of Northeast Ohio and, especially, the Akron community. Students are expected to complete at least one internship before graduation. These are normally with businesses and nonprofit organizations in the area.

Local business and community leaders regularly talk to classes and groups about leadership and community service. Students come out of the school with the knowledge, skills and practical experience to be successful business leaders and, as important, active citizens in their communities. More than 450 of business alumni from the university hold C-suite or senior leadership positions in Northeast Ohio.

We are proud to support the students, faculty and staff of the College of Business Administration and the University of Akron and their contributions to the success of Northeast Ohio and national businesses.

Culp is the chairperson of the University of Akron College of Business Administration Advancement Council and a partner in the accounting firm of BCG and Company. The views in this column reflect those of 98 other participants in the University of Akron College of Business Administration Advisory Councils.