New plans are in progress for the business department, under the direction of interim dean, Christian Fugar. With a $50 million goal, the new program will include free tuition to all business students with at least a 3.0 GPA, department accreditation, additional faculty members, an MBA program and a new building. Fugar’s mission is to build up the department to become one of the premiere business divisions at an HBCU.
Matthew Barnes, a senior business management major from Jackson, Miss. said, “The new initiative is a great opportunity to advance the business department as well as attract top of the line prospective students.” In order to raise the $50 million, the business department will start a letter campaign, create a revenue generating business, apply for grants, host conferences, and seek to attract corporate sponsors.
“[Earning $50 million] will be a challenging hill to climb and it will take a great initiative,” Barnes said.The other services that Fugar proposed include the creation of a database of student portfolios to send to businesses that want to hire students for jobs and internships. Not all students agree with this initiative.
“A database is a good idea, but it is also babying us, it is not the university’s responsibility to find our jobs or internships… finding your own job is a part of growing up,” said Edrian Brooks, a junior marketing/MIS major from Sugarland, Texas. Brooks further suggested that the department create a job and internship bank so that interested students can take the initiative to apply on their own. Fugar also discussed the creation of several councils including the Student Advisory Council, Alumni Advisory Council, Executive Advisory Council (or Faculty Advisory Council), and Business Advisory Council.
Along with the creation of these new councils, Fugar promises to reemphasize the current business clubs, which are Students In Free Enterprise, National Association of Black Accountants, the Business Economics club, the Marketing club, and the business fraternity Phi Gamma Nu. When asked about the clubs importance Fugar said, “They are useful in promoting networking, and gaining business experience.”
Although most students see that the business department is heading in the right direction, many students have their own suggestions for improvement. “Some faculty have too much responsibility. It would be nice if they hire more professors,” Brooks said.