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University to offer MBA in Manhattan

Recruitment is under way to enroll students in a fast track professional MBA program offered by the School of Management to begin in January 2006. The program will be similar to one already offered, but it won’t be based on the Bing-hamton campus. “We’ve had an ongoing initiative to establish an EMBA program in Manhattan,” said Upinder Dhillon, dean of the school. “We’re leasing space from the SUNY State College of Optometry on West 42nd Street to offer classes on Saturdays to those who wish to pursue a degree.

“This program exemplifies an extension of the central vision of the University and the School of Management consistent with the strategic plan to be more entrepreneurial,” Dhillon said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us and we’re making a significant investment to establish our presence there.”

The one-year program will primarily target the major accounting firms, Dhillon added. “We have about 250 to 300 alumni at each of the major firms, so we can play to our strengths. Essentially, what this means is that students complete their four-year degree at Binghamton and find employment,” he said. “Then, they can pursue their MBA in one year while they are working full time.” Binghamton’s program will fill a niche, Dhillon said, because it will allow students to earn their MBA in one year, rather than the normal two.

“In effect, we’re offering a fast-track MBA program similar to the one we offer here on campus,” said George Bobinski, associate dean. “It will be modified somewhat. We’ll choose the electives and build in leadership, finance and business law components that are appropriate for the market down there. We want to position ourselves as a premium product and we’ll be a unique product down there.”

“We view this initiative as creating significant resources in terms of faculty, students and alumni support,” he said. “We believe it will allow us to recruit more faculty; anyone from an accredited business school will be eligible, not just our alumni.” Dhillon hopes to enroll 50 students for the first class and expects 80 percent of classes to be taught by Binghamton faculty members, with the remaining 20 percent to be taught by alumni and others with strong experience in finance, law and accounting. National trends indicate the time is right for the program, Dhillon said. “Students are typically working for about three years after graduation and beginning to earn a good salary,” he said. “Then they quit to go to school full time. That’s a minimum impact of $120,000 or $130,000 to up to $300,000 for two years for the student.

“Students give up so much income when they go to school full time, and from the firm’s perspective, they’re paying them top dollar and then they leave,” he said. “The trend is toward firms recruiting business undergraduates, having them prove them-selves and sending them for an EMBA as they’re working.” Studies indicate that part-time programs are the least satisfying for students because they are seldom part of a cohort and it’s hard for linkages to be as strong as for full-time students. Binghamton’s Manhattan program will be crafted to avoid that pitfall and to build relationships among students.

“In this program, students will be immersed with their colleagues, experiencing the same challenges in terms of their work schedules,” Bobinski said. “The focus of our program is leadership development and team building and we’re going to continue to formulate that for our program in Manhattan.”

New requirements at the state level should help recruitment efforts. The state is changing its require-ments for those pursuing certified public accountants (CPA) certification. “By August of 2009, anyone who wants CPA certification in accounting will be required to complete five years of formal education,” Dhillon said. “It’s a national trend that New York is now adopting.”

There are several advantages to running a Manhattan program, according to Dhillon. “It gives us the ability to gain more national attention in a large, populated environ-ment, and that’s one objective for advancing the school,” he said. “It’s a strategic move to raise our reputation, even as it helps us connect with alumni. We’ll be able to develop additional relationships and partnerships with alumni and firms in the metro area. We’ll have more events there, and enhance all that we do in the metro area.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08