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Investing in Students and Supporting Research Are Chief Goals for Business College Dean Says

At his recent State of the College address, Dean Gilbert R. Yochum spoke of an Old Dominion University College of Business and Public Administration growing rapidly, achieving research and student successes, and focused on the future.

Yochum said the college has pledged to invest in research output and establish itself as a key cog in ODU's strategic plan to position the university as a top metropolitan research institution.

"The president laid down his challenge in his State of the University address. We want to think about how we can fit into that challenge," said Yochum, who was named dean of the CBPA in March 2011 after serving eight months as interim dean.

Among its roles in helping ODU achieve national recognition as an engaged, metropolitan research university, Yochum said the college will continue to enhance initiatives such as the Maritime Institute, State of the Region report and Economic Forecasting Project, Center for Real Estate and Economic Development, and the Economics Club of Hampton Roads, and work cooperatively with the ODU Business Gateway.

The dean said the college's core mission will be to invest in its students, particularly in the quality of students ODU attracts and graduates.

In his 45-minute presentation, Yochum said one of the challenges the college faces is continuing to excel in research - "We are really moving forward as a research college" - while still serving its undergraduate students, who make up the bulk of CBPA enrollment.

"They are the heart and soul of our college. They help us generate revenue. As a business school, this is something we've got to pay very close attention to in our really important work toward fiscal sustainability," said Yochum.

The college's undergraduate student population has increased by more than 10 percent since the last formal review of the its operations in 2006. Although this growth has not been matched by an equal percentage growth in full-time faculty, the dean said the college has added three full-time faculty members for the fall 2011 semester.

Yochum said that, by objective markers, the college is making significant progress. Research by faculty members was published in more than 100 peer-reviewed journals in 2010-11, CBPA faculty are associate editors or serve on the editorial boards of more than 40 peer-reviewed journals and the college hosts five international journals.

Also highlighted in the address were increasing financial support for students (four new endowments were established in 2010-11) and increasing external funding awarded to faculty (approximately $672,000 was awarded during the past academic year).

Yochum noted that the average GRE and GMAT scores of students admitted to CBPA graduate programs are the highest they've ever been. "That is a specific objective: to raise the quality of our students as the quality of our faculty increases as well," he said.

The dean concluded his presentation by singling out the achievement of a group of students enrolled in the Master of Science in Accounting program, led by Sara Crabtree, along with their faculty advisers, for taking first place in the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) 2011 Graduate-Level Government Finance Case Challenge.

Yochum said successes like the AGA competition victory, and the ongoing achievement of the college's interns working at prestigious companies and organizations around the region, demonstrated that ODU's business and public administration students can compete with students from any program in the commonwealth.

"Probably the most important aspect of this is seeing Old Dominion University students perform," the dean said. "When we get feedback from these organizations, here's what they tell us: our students perform every bit as well, if not better, when compared to other Virginia universities."

This article was posted on: September 7, 2011

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