Changing of the Guard: The Move from a Part-Time, Evening MBA to an Internet-Based Distance Program

By Bob Wood, Robert Niebuhr and Mark Stephens.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Tennessee Tech University College of Business MBA reached a crossroads in 2001. The student universe that filled the traditional campus-based, evening MBA had eroded due to numerous manufacturing plant closings in the area. The loss of enrollment was further exacerbated by increasing competition from Internet-based MBA programs. The college faced several challenges entering the market: (1) initial administration reluctance to support the change in the program, (2) skepticism from the administration and faculty as to the program’s chance of success, (3) development and integration of the technology necessary to make the change, and (4) recruitment of a student population for the non-traditional program. Despite initial wariness on the part of administration, faculty, and students, the move to the Internet-based program was made. Now in its fifth year, the Tennessee Tech MBA has record enrollment in the program. In addition, the program was cited by AACSB as one of the outstanding assets of the College during their recent reaffirmation visit.

Keywords: Distance Education, Internet, MBA

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.141-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 551.364KB).

Dr. Bob Wood

Heidtke Professor of Finance and Assistant Dean, College of Business, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN, USA

Dr. Wood currently serves the Tennessee Tech University College of Business as Associate Dean and Heidtke Professor of Finance. As Associate Dean, Dr. Wood has been an integral part of the development and growth of the Internet-based Distance MBA program. He has published extensively with research interests in international finance and dividend policy. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Wood is active in consulting in the public and private sector. Before beginning his academic career, Dr. Wood worked in the investment banking and pharmaceutical industries.

Dr. Robert Niebuhr

Dean and Professor of Management, College of Business, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, USA

Dr. Niebuhr currently serves the Florida Institute of Technology as Dean of the College of Business. Prior to joining Florida Tech, he served the Tennessee Tech University College of Business as Dean. He served the Auburn University College of Business in a number of positions before joining Tennessee Tech. Dr. Niebuhr has an extensive research and consulting background, having published numerous articles dealing with a variety of management and leadership topics. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Niebuhr worked as a metallurgical engineer for ten years.

Dr. Mark Stephens

Interim Dean, College of Business, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN, USA

Dr. Stephens currently serves Tennessee Tech University as Associate Vice President of Academics. Prior to assuming this position, he served Tennessee Tech as Professor of Economics. He holds the Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tennessee and has 27 years of university teaching experience in the areas of international economics and economic development. His primary research areas of interest are in the relationship of structural adjustment policies of the IMF and economic performance of developing countries with a special emphasis on Latin America. He has also written on various aspects of Brazilian industrialization policies and the Brazil automotive industry. He lived in Brazil for 2 ½ years and has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia, and Australia.


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