UM follows a shared governance model whereby faculty approve all curriculum proposals for new or revised courses and programs. Curriculum proposals are informed by the UM and SoBA strategic plans, best professional practices in business fields, advisory boards, program assessment results, employment potential, and AACSB standards. Because BSBA courses are taught out of academic departments, undergraduate proposals must be sponsored by one or more departments. After department approval, the proposal is considered by the SoBA Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC). The UCC vets department proposals and approves moving the proposal forward for a SoBA-wide faculty vote. Graduate proposals are sponsored by either the MBA or MAcct Curriculum, Admissions, and Assessment Committee (and a department, if the proposal involves individual course changes) and are forwarded directly to faculty for a SoBA-wide vote. Once approved at the School level, the proposal is considered by one of two UM Faculty Senate committees: the Academic Standards and Curriculum Review Committee (ASCRC, for undergraduate proposals) or Graduate Council (for graduate proposals). The full Faculty Senate then votes on all proposals moved forward by the Faculty Senate committees. In addition, the MUS Board of Regents must approve Level I changes, which are changes to existing programs, and Level II changes. Level II proposals address substantive changes such as new degrees, changed degrees names, new majors, changes in governance or organization (such as departments, names of academic units), and certificates and minors that are not affiliated with a major.
Because of this lengthy curriculum change process, proposals for all changes are due to Faculty Senate in late September in order to be effective the following academic year. To meet this UM deadline, SoBA strives to have all proposals considered by the UCC or applicable graduate committee, with a first reading at a SoBA faculty meeting, no later than the end of spring semester prior to the September deadline. A flowchart of the curriculum management process follows:
Figure 1: Curriculum Approval Process
SoBA grants three different degrees: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy (MAcct), and Master of Business Analytics (MS-BA).
Within the BSBA, students choose at least one of six majors: accounting, finance, international business, management, management information systems, and marketing. The international business major is the only major that must be paired with at least one other business major. SoBA offers three certificates to undergraduate business majors (Accounting Information Systems, Digital Marketing, and Entrepreneurship & Small Business) and three certificates for majors and non-majors (Entertainment Management, Sustainable Business Strategy, and Big Data Analytics). A student earning a BSBA with one major and no certificates completes 120 credits. The addition of majors and certificates can increase the number of credits beyond 120. Non-business majors can complete a minor in Business Administration.
The MBA is a 32-credit program delivered in two formats, during the daytime in Missoula and in the evenings via videoconference to various cities in Montana. Completion time is as short as one year for the daytime delivery and two years or more for the evening delivery, depending on the academic background of the student. SoBA also offers graduate certificates in Entrepreneurship and Entertainment Management, which require additional credits.
The MAcct is a 30-credit program offered during the daytime in Missoula. Completion time ranges from one to three years, depending on the academic background of the student.
The MS-BA is a 32-credit program offered primarily during the daytime in Missoula.
BSBA degree requirements are outlined below.
Common to All BSBA Majors
• 11 lower core courses (7 primary and 4 secondary - freshman, sophomore level)
• 5 upper core courses (junior, senior level)
• Capstone course (taken after upper core)
Unique to Each BSBA Major
• 8 courses in the major (usually junior, senior level)
All UM undergrad students must complete a specified number of General Education (Gen Ed) courses, with Gen Ed courses divided into different “groups”, formerly called “perspectives.” Some of the upper and lower core courses that all SoBA students take also satisfy Gen Ed requirements. Students will also be allowed free electives to round out their 120 credits. SoBA students must earn at least 60 of the 120 credits from courses taught outside SoBA (and excluding HHP activity classes). All courses fulfilling Gen Ed, major, minor, or certificate requirements must be completed with at least a C- or better (some courses require a higher grade to advance to another course). Each major’s advising checksheet reflects lower core, upper core, capstone, major, and gen ed requirements. These checksheets are great summaries of the BSBA catalog degree requirements.
SoBA has checkpoints that are strictly followed. The first and most significant checkpoint is that the primary lower core must be completed with a 2.0 GPA or better in the 7 courses prior to being admitted to a business major. Students must also have a 2.0 GPA overall and 60 credits (counting what they are enrolled in) upon application to declare a business major. Along with this, students may not take most upper division business classes until they are accepted into a business major. This means that students cannot have any primary lower core courses remaining and simultaneously be enrolled in most of the upper division business course. This helps ensure that all students in your upper division classes will have mastered the lower core body of knowledge at least at a “C” level.
The second significant checkpoint is in the student’s final year. Students cannot enroll in the capstone course until they have earned a C- or better in the four secondary lower core and five upper core courses. So students cannot be concurrently enrolled in any upper core course with the capstone courses. The capstone courses strive to integrate the various upper and lower core knowledge, so pre-mastery of the individual core courses is key.
The final checkpoint is meeting a number of GPA requirements. Students must have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA overall, in business courses, and in the selected business major. See the current BSBA catalog requirements for more details.
Course prerequisites and co-requisites are published in the catalog course description. The terminology used in the catalog for a hypothetical “Course B” is defined as:
Prerequisite: Course A must be completed successfully (meeting any stated grade requirement) prior to taking Course B
Co-Requisite: Course A and Course B must be taken together
Prerequisite or Co-requisite: Course A may be taken at the same time as Course B or before course B, but not after Course B
Banner, the UM system that manages student records, electronically enforces prerequisites and co-requisites. Where Course B lists Course A as a prerequisite, the system functions as follows. During pre-registration, a student can enroll in Course B for the next semester if the student is currently enrolled in Course A (or has already completed Course A). The system will later automatically drop the student from Course B if the student does not successfully complete Course A prior to Course B commencing. While there is an administrative mechanism for waiving course prerequisites or co-requisites, SoBA uses this only to correct system quirks (e.g., a transferred course is not showing as equivalent to Course A, so the system locks the student out of Course B). The SoBA Advising Office manages the prerequisite/co-requisite waiver process. It is not used to allow prerequisite or co-requisite requirements to be dismissed.
Students are limited in the number of credits they may transfer in from other institutions towards their degree. A certain number and type of credits must be taken at University of Montana – Missoula (including online credits). Some of these requirements are dictated by regional or AACSB accreditation and apply at the UM, SoBA, and major levels in many cases. Please refer students to the SoBA Advising Office and the catalog for more information on residency requirements.
The Gianchetta Student Success Center (GSSC) in the GBB lower level houses the umbrella of comprehensive SoBA student services for advising, internships, career development, and graduate program support. The GSSC reception desk is the initial touch-point for all students. Students needing any general help with advising, internships, career development, or grad programs should be directed to the GSSC reception desk.
SoBA’s Advising Office serves all pre-business majors and declared business majors. Once a student is accepted into a specific business major, he is also assigned a faculty advisor. At this point, the student can seek out the faculty advisor or the SoBA Advising Office for advice. Each fall and spring, departments offer group advising sessions that new majors are required to attend prior to receiving their registration number. At these group advising sessions, faculty communicate a common set of information and answer group or individual questions, signing off on each student’s schedule. An alternative advising model is the Four Bear program. Four Bear is a UM advising program that students may opt into. Four Bear students are required to attend a one-on-one advising session each semester (among other requirements) in exchange for a UM guarantee of a four-year graduation path. Each major has a faculty member designated as a Four Bear advisor for declared majors. The SoBA Advising Director advises all Four Bear pre-business students who have not yet declared a business major.
Graduate student advising is handled by either the graduate program’s director or program manager. All students, including undergraduate students, interested in business graduate programs should be referred to the appropriate graduate advisor for advising. Because the graduate programs are relatively short, it is imperative that graduate course advising be accomplished through these representatives. Faculty are wonderful resources for career advising for graduate students. Students with any interest in education leading to CPA licensure should be directed to the MAcct program director, because CPA licensure requirements can be complicated.
Internships are formal experiential learning arrangements with organizations and may or may not be completed for academic credit. Internships completed for academic credit should have a designated supervisor at the organization and have a clear learning component just like any other course (i.e., learning objectives, assessment). SoBA’s Internship Director coordinates and grades all internships taken for SoBA academic credit. Employers do not issue grades. For a variety of reasons, it is preferable for internships to be paid, but this is not required. Each department and graduate program establishes approval criteria that the Internship Director applies in approving internships for academic credit. Internships are taken for a letter grade during the semester in which the internship is completed, with the number of credits varying with the number of hours worked. UM caps total internship credits counting towards an undergraduate degree at six credits. Most undergraduate SoBA majors cap the total internship credits counting towards the major requirements at three credits. Each graduate program also has caps on internship credits.
SoBA is fortunate to have a robust Career Development program administered internally. The Career Development program provides workshops, practice interviews, resume critiques, employer panels, networking events, mentors, and dissemination of endless career launch resources. The Director of Career Development assembles a comprehensive curriculum starting in the sophomore year, and this curriculum is embedded in select core courses. If you are teaching a core course, you may be asked to consider motivating students to participate in Career Development activities through optional extra credit or required course points. Doing so is at the discretion of the instructor, but it is important that all students are exposed to the Career Development curriculum at all stages of their education and that all students complete the same curriculum. Career Development tracks and reports all attendance at Career Development events and completion of Career Development assignments embedded within these core SoBA courses. If you are teaching a course with a Career Development component, you will receive the attendance/completion data to consider within the grading scheme for your course.
Students have many opportunities for support for their academic, physical, and emotional well-being. Discussed below are those you are most likely to refer students to in your role as a faculty member.
Office for Student Success (OSS) – OSS runs the Undergraduate Advising Center, The Writing Center, and The Peer Connection Network. OSS also operates Study Jams, which is a free group tutoring service offered two evenings per week in the University Center. Study Jams are typically offered for several core classes, including ACTG 201 and 202, BFIN 322, BMGT 322, BMIS 270, STAT 216, and ECNS 201 and 202.
Career Services – Career Services runs the online Griz eRecruiting system and on-campus interviews. They also provide workshops and other career counseling resources.
Disability Services for Students (DSS) – DSS provides disability certification/support for students.
Curry Health Center (Health Center) – The Health Center provides on-campus health and dental services, including counseling for students. If you encounter a student in distress or otherwise ill, you may encourage them to visit the Health Center (or in urgent cases, walk them across the street to the Health Center). The Health Center also houses the Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC), which provides 24-hour confidential support for those affected by discrimination, sexual violence, and interpersonal violence.
SoBA offers a number of opportunities for faculty to engage in professional growth and development, as well as opportunities to engage with the professional business community.
Summer Grants – The Dean funds competitive grants for research or curriculum development. The call for grants comes from the SoBA Research & Grants Committee in early spring, with grant proposals typically being due right before or after spring break. The call for proposals includes several requirements, including the requirement to have submitted a proposal for non-SoBA funding sometime within the last three years.
Brown Bags – The SoBA Brown Bag Series is held most Fridays, with an emphasis on SoBA faculty research presentations. Faculty who receive competitive or non-competitive SoBA summer grants are required to present their project at a Brown Bag the following year. Two Browns Bags per semester are “Administrative Forums” providing faculty and staff the opportunity to ask the Dean anything.
Seminars and Professional Events –The Byrnes Accounting & Finance Research Seminar Series and other research presentations by invited guests occur periodically. These are typically on Fridays. The Harold and Priscilla Gilkey Executive Lecture Series brings distinguished executives to SoBA for student and faculty engagement. The Pioneer in Industry Award (PIIA) is presented periodically to pioneers and innovators who have been recognized as leaders in their industry. Recipients also demonstrate a sense of social responsibility through positive contributions they make to the communities in which they live. The PIIA brings the recipient to campus for full day of interactive presentations. The John Ruffatto Business Start-up Challenge is held each spring, typically during final exam week, and attracts many business professionals to the finalists’ presentations, which is judged by a distinguished panel of business leaders.
Advisory Boards – The Dean’s Business Advisory Council, the three Departments’ Advisory Board, and BBER’s Advisory Board meet once each semester on the same day. Faculty are expected to attend their department’s advisory board meetings and are invited to other events. The meeting pattern is:
• Fall semester: Griz/Cat weekend, when in Missoula, otherwise Homecoming Weekend (these alternate every other year)
• Spring semester: Last Friday of regular class
Donor Recognition and Scholarship Banquet – This event is held every spring the evening of or before advisory board meetings. Faculty are expected to attend and are assigned seats at tables with donors and scholarship recipients. SoBA faculty awards are announced at this banquet. In 2016, SoBA granted 144 scholarships totaling $360,000.
There are a number of UM-sponsored programs that benefit faculty. Though there are too many to list all of them here, the primary ones are listed below (SoBA faculty have participated in all of these programs as well as the committees that select recipients):
University Grant Program (UGP) – The UGP funds research projects for all faculty members. This program is very competitive and allocates awards up to $5,000. A campus committee selects recipients. The call for proposals typically comes out in the late fall, with a submission deadline in February.
Faculty Exchange Program – This program is open to tenured and tenure-track faculty, with preference for those having at least three years of service with no overseas assignments during the last three years. Exchanges take place during the academic year, and time on exchange counts toward the tenure period for probationary faculty. A campus committee selects recipients. Applications are due near the end of October each year. Funding awarded may be applied to replacement faculty during the exchange and/or travel.
Other International Funding – The Global Engagement Office has a program separate from the Faculty Exchange Program that provides opportunity for support for overseas research collaborations, research conferences, and similar activities. The current maximum amount awarded is $1,500, and funds are allocated based on a peer review selection process each semester.
Faculty Professional Enhancement Program – Four different types of opportunities are included in this program. The call for proposals historically happens twice a year, pending funding. Each program has very specific requirements, and funding is limited to $1,500 per award. A campus committee selects recipients.
• Instructional Development Program – grants to develop new courses or pedagogical skills
• Mini-Sabbatical Program – travel off-campus to acquire new skills for a period of at least five days
• Visiting Scholar Program – brings distinguished scholars to campus to present workshops, seminars, lectures, etc.
• Short-Term Academic Enrichment Program – assists long-term faculty in research on or off campus where the project does not fit into one of the above three programs.
Sabbatical Assignments – Faculty sabbatical leave eligibility and the selection process is governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), with a campus committee evaluating proposals. Currently, faculty are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave if they will be tenured and have completed six years of satisfactory service at UM at the time of their initial sabbatical leave. Subsequent sabbatical leaves may be granted after twelve terms (six years) of full-time service has passed since the last sabbatical leave. The CBA defines sabbatical leave pay. Currently, sabbatical leaves for a full academic year are paid at 75 percent, and sabbatical leaves for a fall or spring only are paid at 100 percent. Deadline for application to the Dean is October 30 each year.
Green Thread – This is a two-day workshop to assist faculty in incorporating sustainability in the curriculum. It is held shortly after the end of spring semester. Though there is an application process to manage capacity, it is not competitive.
Faculty Development Office – This is an arm of the Provost’s office that provides development programs such as new faculty orientation and workshops/resources on a variety of topics ranging from pedagogy to advising to service learning.