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Dean’s Currency Message Summer 2023

June 21, 2023
Jeff Guan headshot in UofL esssance backdrop

Profound changes in demographics, economy, and technology are transforming higher education, as described in “The Great Upheaval,” by authors Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt. As interim dean of the University of Louisville College of Business and a business professor for over 30 years, I agree that higher education is experiencing significant upheaval. However, the College of Business is well-positioned to take on this challenge and emerge stronger as we continue to embrace innovation, focus on student success, create new knowledge, collaborate with the business community, and enhance diversity and inclusion. 

In this issue of Currency, I would like to share our recent efforts and successes as we partner with the business community to build a greater business school. Recently our most notable academic innovations include the Master of Science in Business Analytics, the Distilled Spirits Certificate, the Franchise Certificate, and the Minor in Real Estate Development and Management. These programs have all been co-developed with industry experts and are or will be co-delivered with our business partners. The Franchise Certificate is also part of our Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence, made possible by a gift from Yum! Brands. The new Minor in Real Estate Development and Management is supported by a gift from LDG Development. As a result, these academic curricula are industry-relevant, reflecting current trends and demands and ensuring our students have tangible “workforce-ready” capabilities. New initiatives partnering with the business community are underway and more information will be shared as these partnerships evolve.

Our student success efforts have focused on better internships, enhanced student engagement, and improved retention rates. Today we are supporting more internships thanks to our business partners. Our new Corporate Partnership Program is rapidly attracting new members. Our Cardinal Flight student engagement program has recently launched. We thank Papa Johns for their support of these important retention and engagement efforts! We are also reaching out to our future students. We recently launched a very successful dual-credit program called the Cardinal Bridge Academy, where high school students can take college classes while still in high school. Many of these students are from underrepresented communities. We are grateful to Yum! Brands for supporting this impactful program. 

While education is our core mission, it is important to realize that our curriculum is also very much informed by our faculty’s research and experience. As a result, our professors can share the latest theoretical and empirical insights in the classroom with practical application. We are also collaborating with our business partners on research. For example, our Marketing Department has been working with Doe-Anderson in starting a very successful annual academic conference focusing on consumer behavior research. Our Equine Department has been working with Kentucky’s iconic horse racing industry to create a database of economic impact studies. 

The College of Business is from Louisville, of Louisville, and for Louisville. By fostering strong connections with the business community, the College of Business can ensure the relevance and effectiveness of our programs, enhance the learning experiences of our students, and contribute to the success and growth of the business community.