by Rose Brennan, A&E Editor
After miscommunication and misinformation regarding its status propagated Manhattan College this semester, the O’Malley School of Business has reaffirmed its intention to maintain its global business program.
While the global business program will not be discontinued, as many were led to believe, it will be undergoing reevaluation. For the time being, the program will convert from a dual major to a minor until the reevaluation process is complete.
Uncertainty surrounding the status of the global business program was brought to the attention of Kerry Cavanagh, student vice president of academic affairs, earlier this semester when she was shown an Instagram post made by a global business student. The post was made by a student under the assumption that the program was ending altogether, and this concern spread across the student population.
“I was basically in charge of finding out, ‘Okay, what happened? Is it a lack of communication, like what was happening?” Cavanagh said. “We got to speaking to a few global business students. It seemed it was definitely an issue.”
“However, I did bring it up at the … Educational Affairs Committee, and Provost Clyde had followed up with it, and I had met with the chairperson for global business, and it seems as though it was a big miscommunication,” she said.
Global business is unique among the majors offered at Manhattan College because of its designation as a “co-major.” If students enrolled in the O’Malley School of Business wanted to major in global business, they also had to choose an additional major offered within the school, such as management or marketing.
Senior Diego Miguens is a dual major in the program, and will graduate in 2019 with a degree in global business and finance.
“To obtain the degree, you need to complete an international course in marketing, management, finance and economics,” he said. “You also have to complete a travel abroad course where you shadow various businesses in a different country
The decision to end the dual major aspect of the global business program was not the college’s to make. According to Donald Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the O’Malley School of Business, New York State made the decision to end co-major programs, and global business was therefore converted from a dual major to a minor in April 2018.
“The program is not discontinued,” Gibson said. “The global business program was a co-major, which New York State did not want to continue that designation.”
This conversion meant that students already enrolled in the dual major could continue on with their studies and graduate with the previous dual major designation. The incoming class of 2022, however, would not be able to embark on this same path of study. Should they still wish to take part in the global business program following the change, they would be have to pursue it as a minor rather than as a dual major.
“From what I gathered in my conversations with the chairperson and assistant dean, it seemed as though freshmen had one-on-one interviews with the dean in order to figure out … how can they move forward,” Cavanagh said. “I definitely would encourage [the freshmen], and the dean and the chairperson from global business have said, reach out to them and make sure any concerns are heard. And they’re very willing to meet with students, if they are concerned.”
Part of the reevaluation process is already taking place. Steps are being taken by several members of the O’Malley School of Business’ faculty to improve the program at this time.
“Professors have been sent to conferences to see what other schools are doing, how are they incorporating study abroad, because study abroad is a big portion of it and to really enhance the program,” Cavanagh said.
Though global business is now a minor for the time being, there is a possibility that its status could change for the better.
“We’re looking at the possibility of developing it into a [standalone] major,” Gibson said. “And this would be happening quickly. This has been a popular program. So Professor Grishma Shah has been looking at how to develop this program best,” Gibson said.
“I’m a little hesitant, only because we haven’t had these discussions quite yet, but Professor Shah has written a report about what some of the competition is doing, and some of her ideas about what to do. So we’re going to meet and determine what the next steps are.
Miguens agrees that the global business dual major should become a standalone major.
“This could benefit students who want to have the international and global factor to their degree, and will also save them money because the business school can select specific courses to obtain the major,” Miguens said.
According to Cavanagh, the O’Malley School of Business hopes to complete the evaluation process in two years. However, there are a number of factors involved in the process to make global business a standalone major.
“On campus alone, it has to go through a number of different committees: the college-wide curriculum committee, it has to go through the [Educational Affairs Committee], but then it also does have to get approved by New York State, which takes time,” she said. “And so I think that’s where…it’s not guaranteed in two years. I think that’s their target timeline. But there are external reviews that do need to be done of the curriculum.”
While the extent of the global business program will remain as a minor for now, this designation is not necessarily permanent. More importantly, the program will continue to be offered by the O’Malley School of Business.
“The global business program will definitely exist going forward. We just have to determine: minor, major, between those two options,” Gibson said.