The University of Montana pursues academic excellence as demonstrated by the quality of curriculum and instruction, student performance, and faculty professional accomplishments. The University accomplishes this mission, in part, by providing unique educational experiences through the integration of the liberal arts, graduate study, and professional training with international and interdisciplinary emphases. The University also educates competent and humane professionals and informed, ethical, and engaged citizens of local and global communities; and provides basic and applied research, technology transfer, cultural outreach, and service benefiting the local community, region, state, nation and the world.
The University of Montana will lead as a globally focused public research university that serves the state, nation and world. Intrinsic to this mission are the underlying values of leadership, engagement, diversity and sustainability. These essential values underpin our preparation of graduates and our contributions to society in the 21st century through high-impact teaching, research, creative scholarship and service. The University of Montana will be recognized as a place of opportunity for those who study and work in a dynamic learning environment. It will be a place of vitality through its academic, cultural and athletic performance. We will realize our mission and vision through continuous, intentional integration of planning, budgeting, implementation and assessment. The University of Montana will drive economic, cultural and social development of Montana and the Northern Rockies.
The University of Montana (UM) is a multi-campus university serving the western portion of the state of Montana. UM's main campus, located in Missoula, was founded in 1893. Within UM-Missoula is Missoula College, a unit offering only associate degrees. UM affiliate campuses outside of Missoula and their highest degrees, excluding joint programs, are:
- Helena College (associate),
- Montana Tech (Butte) (master)
- UM Western (Dillon) (baccalaureate)
UM is part of the Montana University System (MUS). As a state institution, UM operates on a biennial (2-year) basis. Decisions made by the Montana State Legislature and the MUS Board of Regents (BOR) have a direct bearing on our institution, and UM is accountable to taxpayers concerning our use of state resources. UM’s fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. UM’s academic year is based on three semesters (autumn, spring, summer) and a three-week wintersession between autumn and spring semesters. See UM’s Strategic Plan, UM 2020: Building a University for the Global Century.
Learn, Apply, Thrive – Prepare for Life.
The University of Montana’s School of Business Administration enhances lives and benefits society by providing a world-class business education in a supportive, collegial environment.
We accomplish this mission by acting on our shared core values of creating significant experiences, building relationships, teaching and researching relevant topics, behaving ethically, and inspiring individuals to thrive.
Create Significant Experiences
We are dynamic, innovative teachers.
We engage and we care.
We do what matters and do it well.
Act Ethically and With Integrity
We do the right things.
Inspire Individuals to Thrive
We encourage and stimulate personal and professional growth.
The School of Business Administration traces its origin to 1914 when a “Department of Commerce” was established as a branch of the Department of Economics. Classrooms were provided on the top floor of Main Hall and approximately 40 students enrolled for courses in accounting, money and banking, credits and collections, shorthand, and typing. Two years later, five students were the first to receive bachelor’s degrees in commerce (students used their credits from other areas in the University combined with their commerce credits).
In 1917, the Department of Commerce became the Department of Business Administration, and a number of new courses were added, including commercial law, American business methods, business organization and management, salesmanship, real estate, insurance, business for women, and additional accounting courses.
In 1918, the State Board of Education authorized the organization of a School of Business Administration, and in the fall of 1919, Shirley J. Coon (M.A., Ohio State University) became the first dean. A two-year course for juniors and seniors was offered, and the new school was given offices and classrooms in the basement of Main Hall. By 1920, 31 juniors and seniors were majoring in business administration and 160 freshman and sophomores listed it as their intended major. The total of 191 students gave the School the largest enrollment on campus.
Dean Coon resigned at the close of 1926-27 school year and was replaced by Robert C. Line (M.A., Harvard). By 1929, the business curriculum had been extended to include courses in corporation finance, marketing, foreign trade, labor problems, and public utilities.
Enrollment continued to grow throughout the 1930’s, declined sharply during World War II, and then increased significantly during the post war era. In 1949, the undergraduate business program was accredited by AACBS(Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International), making it one of the first 50 U.S. business schools to receive AACSB accreditation.
By 1964, the School had grown large enough that Dean James L. Athearn created four departments: Accounting, Management, Business Education and Office Administration, and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The Bureau had been initially created in 1948.
With respect to graduate business education, a Master of Science in Business Administration degree was authorized as early as 1922, but lack of money resulted in extremely slow progress in developing the necessary graduate courses. Finally, all business graduate education was suspended in 1950. Efforts to offer graduate education resumed in the early 1960’s and in 1965, the School was granted authority to offer the Master of Business Administration degree. The first MBA degrees were awarded in 1967. The program remained relatively stable in enrollment figures until the mid-1990’s when expansion to off-campus locations throughout the state began. The Master of Accountancy (MAcct) Program has been offered by The University of Montana in Missoula since 1992. Since its inception, this graduate program has been accredited as part of the School of Business Administration. In 2001, the MAcct was also granted separate AACSB accounting accreditation. The Master of Science in Business Analytics was launchedin fall 2016.
In 1996, the SoBA moved into a new state-of-the art building, the $15.5 million Gallagher Business Building. This 111,000 square foot, four-level facility has classroom seating (in various configurations ranging from small seminar rooms to a 250-seat tiered classroom) for approximately 1,200 people. It also contains all SoBA faculty and staff offices, office complexes for affiliated business units, two major computer labs, several student lounges and study areas, numerous conference rooms, and an Executive Board Room. All business classes are taught within the Gallagher Business Building (GBB). The Harold & Priscilla Gilkey Building is adjacent to GBB, and it houses SoBA's Center for Enterprise and Executive Development.
Today, the school serves approximately 1,300 undergraduate students in six majors: accounting, finance, management information systems, international business, management, and marketing. In addition, it provides graduate education to nearly 200 graduate students.
SoBA has held continuous AACSB accreditation for its undergraduate and graduate programs since 1949. As of July 2015, 777 institutions hold AACSB business accreditation. In 2001, SoBA received separate AACSB accounting accreditation, the only business field in which a separate AACSB accreditation is offered. Only 185 accounting programs in the world hold AACSB accounting accreditation. UM is one of three Montana institutions that hold AACSB business accreditation and is the only institution in Montana to hold AACSB accounting accreditation.
AACSB accreditation standards impact much of what SoBA does, including faculty qualifications upon hire, faculty research productivity expectations, assignment of faculty to courses, content and form of degree programs, continuous program assessment, and much more. The standards are very mission-centric. Every five years, SoBA reports to AACSB and receives a site visit where a team examines our programs, faculty, staff, finances, and strategic direction in some detail. Every one to two years, faculty attend a retreat to provide a concentrated opportunity for discussions, including updates on accreditation standards.
The SoBA organizational chart is available for faculty to reference, as is the UM organizational chart. The SoBA includes three academic departments: Accounting & Finance (A&F), Management & Marketing (M&M), and Management Information Systems (MIS). Two centers are formally affiliated with SoBA, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and the Montana Small Business Institute (SBI). SoBA also houses and/or has affiliations various other centers or organizations, which are discussed more fully in “The People” section of this handbook. Five professional advisory boards are active in SoBA: one for each academic department, one for BBER, and the Dean’s Business Advisory Council. These advisory boards meet once each semester. In addition, the Dean’s Student Advisory Council meets once or twice a semester and includes representatives from student groups and other at-large members.