EMU’s college of business ranks as one of country’s best for ninth year

The Princeton Review has ranked Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business as one of the best in the country for the ninth year in a row.

The survey, involving 19,000 students and nearly 300 colleges around the world, concluded that EMU had the one of the 10 best business schools in the Midwest and ranked 50th out of 296 schools nationally.

Michael Tidwell, dean of the College of Business, credits his predecessor Dave Mielke for the business school’s long standing success.

“He did a great job with the college in terms of his vision, his programs and ultimately [the school’s] direction,” Tidwell said.

Tidwell’s strategy to maintain the level of quality of EMU’s business school has been to give the faculty the resources they need to do their jobs properly. Tidwell also plans on allowing members of the faculty time to serve the community as well as research their fields.

Tidwell also intends to make sure there are enough teachers. In the computer information systems course for example, there is one instructor per 15 students.

“That’s like a private school,” he said.

Tidwell did stress the faculty to student ratio is different from department to department and may be much higher in other courses. For example, management courses are about 35 to 1.

Tidwell said the success of the business school is about students. He said the school tries to give students resources, including computer labs and tutoring options, instead of just lectures.

Tidwell also said there is a noticeable drop in state funding to education. Private and corporate donations are going to provide a greater percentage of funding for the foreseeable future. Keeping the business school competitive in the long term is one of Tidwell’s biggest concerns.

With the rising cost of education and student debt ballooning at an alarming rate, many students are opting for community college, rather than a traditional university like EMU. Tidwell was quick to point out the community college experience is extremely limited.

Unlike a community college, EMU provides bachelors and graduate level education. Additionally, at EMU the instructors and professors in the business school (and other departments) often have a Ph.D., a level of knowledge and experience students may not see at the community college level.

EMU’s business school is also staffed with instructors who have real world experience, which may be less likely to be found at a community college or other state colleges. Tidwell also credits EMU’s tuition restraint as part of the school’s success.

“I’ve seen some private schools up as much as double digits,” Tidwell said.

While there are many career options at any college, Tidwell suggested EMU’s College of Business is a good choice because it is an indispensable part of the economy where there will always be a need.

“Because we have such a strong accounting program, they’re going to understand how to do accounting in various areas. It doesn’t matter how you slice it or dice it, whether you’re selling candy or televisions or leather jackets, eighty percent of what you do will still be the same,” he said.

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