The longtime member of the nursing faculty will succeed Dr. Gail Poirrier. Poirrier has served as dean for 17 years, and will retire July 1.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration will offer an online MBA program beginning in the fall.
The Louisiana Board of Regents approved the delivery of UL Lafayette’s existing MBA program in an accelerated online format in April.
The online delivery complements professional and executive MBA programs the University already offers in a traditional classroom setting, said Dr. Gwen Fontenot, interim dean of the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
“The online MBA program will provide an opportunity for people outside the Acadiana area or those with other constraints to obtain the same quality education as our professional students who complete the program here at UL Lafayette,” Fontenot said.
The program will emphasize nine areas – health care administration, human resources, finance, project management, global management, entrepreneurship, sales leadership, general business and hospitality management.
The college selected these concentrations after an 11-month market analysis of a six-state region revealed a steadily growing need among employers for professionals whose business skills align with these areas. The study concluded that an online, accelerated MBA program would satisfy that demand while meeting the needs of professionals who want to pursue an advanced degree but who have to balance work and personal obligations.
“Market research indicated growth in a number of vacant positions requiring an MBA,” said Dr. Luke Dowden, director of the UL Lafayette Office of Distance Learning, which sponsored the study. “The online MBA positions the University to be competitive in the online learning market while supporting economic and workforce development.”
The program’s courses will be offered in five, eight-week terms; a traditional semester lasts 16 weeks. Students can enter the program at the start of any of the five terms and can take up to two courses per term.
All students will complete a set of core business courses that include topics such as accounting, economics and finance. Additional topics will be customized for each concentration.
For more information, call (877) 588-2429 or visit www.degree.louisiana.edu Prospective students will be able to apply for admission starting May 10.
The new online degree program comes at the end of a busy academic year for the Moody College.
In April, it announced a $2.5 million gift from Lafayette businessman Michael P. Maraist to establish the Maraist Financial Services Lab. The new lab will add a 1,000-square-foot, high-tech learning environment in F.G. Mouton Hall.
CEO Magazine cited the MBA program among the top 68 in North America, the second year in a row the college made the international business publication’s list. The MBA program also was included in the 2016 edition of Princeton Review’s “Best 295 Business Schools.”
In April, University President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie announced the appointment of Dr. J. Bret Becton as the college’s new dean. Becton is associate dean for operations and accreditation for the University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business. His appointment is effective July 1.
“This is an exciting time for the college,” Fontenot said. “With the new online MBA program, we are poised to provide high-quality graduate education at an affordable price that will help a large number of professionals elevate their careers.”
Photo: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette