After a 2019 review highlighted a few areas for improvement, Interim Dean Eileen Hogan led the college in addressing those points and setting the FCB on a path toward future growth, while continuing to support research and being good stewards of the state, local and private funding the college receives.
“This recognition demonstrates that the Franke College of Business is committed to fulfilling its mission and continuing to improve the educational quality of all degree programs,” NAU President Rita Cheng said. “It affirms the character of this exceptional college and its focus on preparing graduates to join the global business community with strong skills and standards that underpin their success.”
In order to fulfill AACSB expectations, Hogan created a college committee to revise the college’s strategic plan to better align with the mission and address the college’s priorities. Faculty members from each area within the college sat on the committee, which also included a faculty member who served on the prior two strategic planning committees. Franke faculty and the Office of the Provost approved the revised mission and goals.
Hogan and her team also focused on raising the level of qualified faculty in several of the college’s programs; most notably, to alleviate a decrease in tenure-track positions over the years. To improve faculty qualifications, NAU allocated eight tenure-track lines to the business division of the college: four in finance, three in management and one in economics. Through the hard work of faculty search committees, all of those positions, plus an additional position in accounting, have been filled with highly qualified faculty. The college also hired a renowned scholar for the Bilby endowed chair position, which is funded to help raise the research reputation of FCB, mentor and assist other faculty in their research endeavors and organize the annual Bilby Speaker Series that brings well-known speakers to campus.
Looking ahead, the college recently created two task forces comprised of faculty members, both tenure-track and non-tenure-track, to review and revise the college’s definitions of professional and academic qualifications, in line with AACSB standards and NAU’s peer institutions, to ensure future hires and continuing faculty are properly qualified and classified. The college is committed to initiating and growing programs in the areas of certified financial planning, risk management and insurance and business analytics to better align students with market needs.
“The faculty and staff of the W. A. Franke College of Business are to be commended on their hard work and diligence in their achievements during the past year,” Hogan said. “The college continues to be an extremely high-quality institution with great faculty members who care about both their students and their commitment to research excellence. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the individuals who make up the Franke experience, including faculty, staff and students, who made this year both exciting and meaningful.”
Ashok Subramanian, a professor with extensive experience in teaching, research and industry consulting, will join the Franke College of Business as dean on July 13. QCBN