The Education of American Businessmen: A Study of University-College Programs in Business Administration

By Frank C. Pierson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9 UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDIES

There is considerable evidence that the business curriculum
has expanded beyond justifiable limits at most undergraduate
business schools. There is need for a general tightening of
standards in terms of the scope of the core studies, the variety
of majors, the number of courses that can be taken in a major,
and the kind of electives students can choose. If students were
obliged to concentrate on basic aspects of the business subjects,
the way would be cleared for them to devote more attention
to certain subjects in the liberal arts area.

Unlike the courses discussed in the last chapter, the student's work in business and economics is largely a matter for the business schools to handle as they choose.1 Subject to budgetary limitations and, in a more general sense, to presidential participation in faculty appointments and promotions, the schools are for the most part free to change majors, add or eliminate courses, and tighten or loosen requirements in the businesseconomics part of the program. On occasion, a proposed change may clearly raise the issue of a duplication of offerings, and the university's top administration may then be drawn into the matter, but usually such issues are sufficiently blurred to avoid presidential intervention. As long as no direct duplication is involved, business schools, like other instructional units, are largely free to work out their own destinies.

An analogous relation exists between a business school and its own departments although there is considerably greater variation in practice. In some institutions the departments have a great deal of latitude in developing courses as they see fit, but in others, rather close control is exercised. The budget, however, puts a pretty effective check on the individual department in many situations. For example, any revision of a department's offerings is likely to involve additions to staff, thus involv-

____________________
1
Where economics is in the liberal arts school, this, of course, would only be true of the business subjects. Since the work in economics and business is closely interwoven in many institutions, they are dealt with together in this discussion.

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