Greetings to All in Hull/Jaguar Nation!
As I write this column, it is my 100th day as your Dean of the Hull College of Business. The time has gone by quickly and I have learned much about the Hull College, its faculty, staff, and students, Augusta University and the Metro Augusta area. Everything I have learned has confirmed my initial assessment when I accepted this position: It is a great place with an even greater potential!
I spent much of my first two months meeting with our faculty and staff. Our faculty is committed to providing our students with a stimulating and interactive learning experience while also producing quality research that is valuable both to the academic and business communities. We have a great staff of academic and career advisors and my colleagues in the Dean’s Office, Dr. Mark Thompson and Melissa Furman, have done a tremendous job of positioning the College for continued success.
In addition to meeting with the faculty, I have visited a number of classes, from freshmen level through MBA, to meet our students and get their feedback on our courses and programs. I was struck by the quality of our students, their desire to learn, and their potential as future business leaders. Once I was acclimated with our internal constituencies, I began turning my attention externally. I have met with numerous area business leaders, professional societies, and community organizations to ensure that the Hull College provides our local, state, and national business with the best talent possible. I will use the time of lower internal activity in the Summer to continue to ramp up my interaction with the business community. Finally, the last weekend in April was Alumni Weekend at AU, providing me the opportunity to connect with our great Hull alums (particularly at the Greenjackets game where I threw out the first pitch!).
The future is bright at Hull due to those mentioned above…..faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni, and a supportive local business community. But, we cannot rest on our laurels. In order to be more responsive to national, state, and local business trends and needs, our undergraduate curriculum needs a significant update. We have some initial proposals drafted that will be further vetted by our faculty and most importantly, critiqued by the business community. I think you will find that our new curriculum will be distinctive and highly valued by our main customers….the businesses who hire our students and alumni, increasing the value of a Hull degree. Check back in this space in the Fall for more details on the curricular changes.
As we look forward to the rest of 2017 and beyond, the Hull College will work hand in hand with businesses, being the “Business School for Business”. In addition, to leverage the brand of Augusta University, we will be developing curriculum and programs to provide talent for health care management which is desperately needed locally and throughout the state and nation. We look forward to expanding our student population as we best meet the needs of our business and community partners.
Dr. Rick Franza, Dean, James M. Hull College of Business