07/11/12 mb/ks local, statewide
HAYS, Kan. -- Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, has announced that the college that houses the Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting, the Department of Informatics, and the Department of Management and Marketing has been renamed the "College of Business and Entrepreneurship."
The college was previously named the "College of Business and Leadership." The Kansas Board of Regents approved the name change at its monthly meeting in June.
The president explained why the name change was needed. "The Department of Leadership Studies was moved from the business college in 2008 to the College of Arts and Sciences," he said. "Therefore, 'leadership' as a program was no longer relevant to the name of this academic unit. The term 'leadership' in the title caused confusion among students, international partners, and even faculty and staff on campus. While important as a business concept, leadership has less relevance to the name of this college."
He continued: "State governmental leaders have asked Fort Hays State University to focus on entrepreneurship. Regional economic development leaders have asked FHSU to assist with entrepreneurship in the region and have asked FHSU to partner with them. We believe that the economic future of western Kansas and of Kansas as a whole depends on entrepreneurship."
He noted that FHSU had very important existing initiatives in entrepreneurship. "Both the Kansas Small Development Center and Network Kansas are part of Fort Hays State University," he said. "These entities support entrepreneurs and existing businesses across Kansas. The FHSU SBDC, which is part of our university, was recently named the outstanding Small Business Development Center in Kansas."
President Hammond said FHSU needed a distinctive identity for its college of business, and the change was a perfect fit because the university had established a reputation across the globe for being entrepreneurial. "This is part of who we are and what we are known for," he emphasized.
Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the college, said, "Many of our students are interested in owning their own businesses or being part of a start-up businesses. Entrepreneurship is an area of study and expertise that can be shared with students across the institution regardless of major. Students in the sciences, agriculture, health care and even the humanities can benefit from the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, in addition to students in our college. It is a natural that this college take the lead in providing entrepreneurship education."
Bannister said that in the short-term the college would update its minor in entrepreneurship, develop certificates and non-credit efforts in entrepreneurship for non-majors, and would develop an emphasis in entrepreneurship for Bachelor of Business Administration students that would tie in with multiple majors in the college.
"In the longer term, the college will thread entrepreneurship throughout the business administration and informatics program cores," Bannister said. "For nearly 15 years, the media and technology students in the informatics program, formerly the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications, regularly created business plans as part of their degree work. Multiple students have actually started businesses based on these plans." He cited Tech Junkies and Wasinger Technology as two examples.
"We have external organizations that are interested in partnering with FHSU for exciting activities, such as start-up weekends, business plan competitions, scholarships for students and business incubation," he said. "Some state leaders have discussed the idea of FHSU creating a high school honors program similar to the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science that focuses on entrepreneurship. We can take only so many steps at a time, but these may be part of the college’s future."
President Hammond concluded the announcement of the name change by stating, "Finally, the name of the college is in alignment with the university’s tagline -- Forward thinking. World ready. The College of Business and Entrepreneurship, in both name and purpose, now exemplifies one of the five key principles -- innovation that drives solutions -- that serve as the foundation for the FHSU's new mission and strategic direction."