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May 12, 2000

Master's of Management Newest UW-RF Program

An innovative masterıs of management program geared toward adult learners in business, government and non-profit organizations was recently approved for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents OKıd the new major, which will be taught by faculty in the UW-RF School of Business & Economics.

The masterıs program will appeal to a wide variety of people in business, public administration or non-profit administration, and those who want to acquire academic credentials to enter those professions. Students with undergraduate degrees in business or any other major can use the masterıs of management for advancement, job changes or career changes.

Individual courses within the masterıs program can be taken by students who want a subset of competencies rather than the entire degree.

According to Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau, the new major is a direct response to the exceptional growth within the Universityıs service area of the St. Croix Valley and to an extensive market survey revealing a demand for such training due to the regionıs vibrant economy.

"It is absolutely appropriate for us to focus on market needs external to the University based on a market analysis that showed the need for this program," Thibodeau said.

"We are focusing on the needs of our service area, and this program is a harbinger of the future. We will continue to partner to meet the needs of business, industry and non-profit organizations and provide them with the learning experiences that they desire. We will rely on a variety of new delivery techniques, such as asynchronous (web-based) learning. That will allow us to provide the education that is needed by those who canıt access education in the traditional manner since they are adults who are working full-time when traditional day-time classes are scheduled.

"The time has come for us to offer this program, and we believe it will be enthusiastically received. The program is absolutely on target to the needs of our region," Thibodeau said.

The program will be launched next fall and offer three evening courses totaling eight credits: Organizational Theory & Behavior; Business Law, exploring both contract and human resources; and Human Resource Management, offered respectively on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

According to SBE associate directors Professors Glenn Potts and Jacque Foust, "This is an evening program for working adults. So there will be many steps taken to make it convenient for them, including the times that courses are scheduled, and even how they enroll and obtain their books."

According to Potts, a student will be able to enroll in four courses per semester and three summer courses and complete the program in 12 months. Two courses per semester would lead to completion in 2.5 years. However, he and Foust noted that they expect many students to enroll in only one course per semester because of competing demands from their professional and family responsibilities.

The program is planned in such a manner so that the courses will be offered sequentially. As a result, a masterıs candidate can enter the program at any time and complete the course cycle in a timely manner.

Another convenience for adult learners is that the program will marry traditional classroom courses with web-based and web-enhanced courses. By the Fall of 2001 up to four courses will be offered completely on the Internet to provide students the convenience of taking them either at home or at their business as their daily schedule allows. The program is built around 80 management competencies that are divided among 11 required courses. A unique feature of the program is that students may be able to demonstrate that they already possess the competencies covered in up to 15 credits of coursework and receive credit for those courses.

When the program launches next fall, some 50 persons are expected to be enrolled. Within a few years, up to 250 students will participate, with about 40-50 earning a masterıs in management degree each year.

More can be learned on line about the masterıs of management program at, or by e-mailing

For enrollment information, contact Ellen Schultz at 715/425-3398, fax at 715/425-0707, or write to the School of Business & Economics at 410 S. Third St., 315 North Hall, UW-RF, River Falls, WI 54022.

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