DeSales MBA Program Aims to Continue Excellence

27 Aug 2010 by Tina Hicks, No Comments »

After 100 days into the new fiscal year, DeSales University’s MBA staff has paused to reflect.  Under the leadership of its new director, Dr. David Gilfoil, the MBA team has been spending time on the basics:  evaluating its programs, recruiting new students and adjunct faculty, and streamlining its business processes.

“Our primary focus,” says Dr. Gilfoil, “is to take a fresh look at our program – and to practice what we teach about business.   We are looking at the program from the perspective of our primary stakeholders – our customers (students), our suppliers (full/part time faculty), our employees (management team,   administrators) and, of course, our “shareholders” (DSU leadership, and board of trustees).  We are reviewing our Business Department mission and ensuring that everything we do is aligned with that mission, key goals and objectives.  The staff meets monthly to review a focused set of key metrics and to drive the right set of programs, plans, and initiatives to improve those metrics.”

Gilfoil continues, “With 600+  active students,  12 full-time and 42 adjunct faculty, and 5 dedicated employees, there’s also tremendous opportunity to get feedback on what we can do better.  We want to get a balanced view of how we’re doing – what our constituents like as well as key opportunities for improvement. “

As part of that process, Dr. Gilfoil is meeting, one-on-one, with our MBA faculty (and students as available).  The objective is to first identify “low hanging fruit” – things that can be quickly fixed or implemented  (i.e. providing campus WiFi access)– and then develop a list of longer term items (i.e. curriculum and learning outcomes validated by current industry experts/market trends) that will keep us highly competitive.

A quick summary analysis of the 2009-2010 MBA program shows:

  1. Continued increase in registrations (~5-10%) over the previous year thus far.
  2. Most of our students (~72%) are focusing their studies in Management, Self-design, Healthcare Systems Management or Project Management concentrations.
  3. An increasing number of students are taking courses online (120+ registrations this session).

According to a recent study by Educational Benchmarking Inc., our MBA graduates are very pleased with our program’s overall effectiveness.  Comparing us to similar institutions, they rate our facilities, computing resources and our support services, significantly better.  They are also happier with course availability, the quality of core course faculty/instruction, as well as the personal attention our program coordinators provide.

DSU’s MBA program continues to cultivate win-win relationships with several area companies, including Pocono Medical Center, Lutron Inc., Merck, and Lehigh Valley Hospital on both formal and informal bases.  And, as part of our global efforts, we continue to monitor and attempt to improve our partnership programs with the Upetrom company in Romania and the Romanian American University.  Two groups of students from Upetrom recently visited the U.S. and had the opportunity to attend classes in person, visit local companies, and tour Philadelphia and New York City.  We are also working on a pilot partnership program with Universidad Peruana Ciensias (UPC) in Lima, Peru, to provide hybrid graduate courses in Project Management beginning in 2010.

“Although the level of competition is increasing”, says Dr. Gilfoil, “We are confident that the DeSales MBA program will continue to grow and prosper.   As long as we keep our focus on the basics and provide what our customers want – affordable, quality instruction taught by real world professionals in a variety of delivery modes and venues – we will win in the marketplace”.   Stay tuned to future articles for more in depth information on the DeSales MBA program.


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