Greetings from the Hull College!
There is excitement in the air as we start the new Academic Year in the Hull College! I am thrilled to be here for the start of the school year since arriving last February. The last six months have flown by and while much has happened in that time, we expect even more great things to happen in the coming year. Let me get you caught up on what happened this summer and then fill you in on some of the exciting events we anticipate in the coming months.
A major announcement that took place this summer with Augusta University establishing a new School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. Given the significant investments in Cyber Security by the federal government at Fort Gordon and by the state government at the new Riverfront Campus, it made sense to move the technology and cyber programs out of the Hull College. The move will allow both our business and technology programs to have the attention necessary to both grow and thrive. While the Hull College loses some fine faculty and programs, some of the faculty will remain connected to Hull through joint appointments and Hull will be able to focus its efforts on developing programs and curriculum that best support the local and state business communities. In addition, Hull and the new school will work together to insure we leverage the intersections between technology and business.
In the Dean’s Office, we have reorganized such that Associate Dean Mark Thompson will now focus exclusively on academic, faculty, curricular, operational, and budgetary areas. Mark’s primary focus is to insure that our internal operations continue to work effectively and efficiently. Assistant Dean Melissa Furman will now focus exclusively on external engagement of the College, including engaging the business community, career and internship opportunities, alumni relations, and student recruitment. Melissa’s primary focus will be insuring that we remain connected with all of our external constituencies. We are so fortunate to have these two talented people helping lead the Hull College and now we will be able to play even more to their strengths, making the prospects for the new year even more exciting.
So, let’s get to the new Academic Year! At the end of last year, we drafted a new curriculum that was more responsive to the business community. During the summer, Melissa and I presented the curriculum to many of our local business community partners and the feedback was excellent. Melissa and I will continue engaging the business community concerning the curriculum during the year while the faculty insures the curriculum is academically rigorous and delivers what our students need to have successful business careers. We plan to launch the new curriculum for the start of the 2018-19 Academic Year.
In addition to our new curriculum, we are also kicking off our Strategic Planning Process in September. Our Strategic Planning Committee will consist of faculty, staff, students, alumni, university officials, and business and military community partners; all of the key constituents of the Hull College. By the end of the academic year, we will have strategy in place to successfully compete in our markets.
A critical event in our year will be a “Continuous Improvement Review” conducted by a team assigned by our accreditor, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB, the premier accrediting body of business colleges in the world. Every five years, AACSB visits to review the college to determine if its accreditation will be renewed. Our visit will take place in late February 2018, but our team chair will also come for a pre-visit in September. This insures that the Hull College has the resources and processes in place to deliver a world-class business education. We look forward to a successful visit!
Beyond curriculum development and the accreditation visit, we will continue to focus on the career development of our students and the engagement of our business community. Increased emphasis on internships will continue, which will aid our students’ efforts to attain full-time employment. We are initiating a new program called the “Employer Showcase”, in which our local business partners will introduce students to their companies and present internship and career opportunities. My business columns in the Augusta Chronicle along with various radio and television appearances have been well received. You will see that the College will continue to be very visible in the business community and the community at large. But, more importantly, we will continue to add value by interacting and collaborating with our business partners to advance Augusta and the region.
Be on the lookout as we have some exciting new programs under review that will increase the competitiveness of the Hull College both at the undergraduate and Masters level, along with customized executive education programs for our business partners. So, hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a Hull of a ride!