MBA program ranked 67th

U.S. News & World Report ranked Butler University’s part-time Master of Business Administration program as the 67th-best graduate school in the nation in its 2014 edition.
This ranking is a two-step rise from the program’s former highest ranking of 69th.
“There’s increased awareness of Butler in general, as well as increased awareness of the quality of our programs,” College of Business Dean Chuck Williams said.
Williams said the rank increase comes from the increasing prominence of the program’s heavy emphasis on experiential education.
Being a part-time graduate program, the MBA program focuses on cultivating students from within the workplace and fosters the ideal of hands-on experience.
“Throughout the program, students are involved in many ‘Real Life, Real Business’ applications,” said Roberto Curci, associate dean of research and graduate programs. “We work with many businesses in the local community to connect our programs to the reality in the marketplace.”
A core focus of the MBA program is the development of leadership skills that prepare students for high-responsibility, post-graduate jobs. Williams said while skills such as marketing and financing are important foci of the program, the college’s main goal is to train leaders.
“We’ve linked what’s going on in our curriculum to focus on leadership,” Williams said. “An MBA is a leadership degree. You get an MBA, then someone’s going to hire you and put you in charge.”
Williams said much of the program’s success stems from the experience and professionalism of MBA professors.
“Our faculty comes from top institutions where Ph.D. students are trained,” Williams said. “Two-thirds of them have work experience. They’re not (from the) ‘ivory tower.’ They’ve lived in the real world.”
The MBA program is looking at expanding to adopt new courses, offering a greater variety of opportunities in hopes of garnering higher-caliber students and an even greater reputation.
“The quality of the students attending our programs has increased in the past several years,” Curci said. “Our programming is very appreciated in the marketplace because we do a good job combining theory and application. We expect that more students will be interested in the program in the future.”
Already offering complementing courses that foster broader world business perspectives, the program is also looking to specialize further specific course offerings and even take the program virtual.
“We are working to develop some new graduate programs that are likely to be more specialized,” Curci said. “We are also in the process of evaluating our potential for us to offer graduate programs online.”
Butler’s program is the top-ranked private school MBA program in the state. Williams said the desired future of Butler’s MBA program will be to bring the Indianapolis business experience to a world stage, producing preeminent business people to lead future markets.
“We’re trying to become a world-class business school,” he said. “For every city the size of Indianapolis, you can say, ‘Wow, there’s a great business school there.’ Here in Indianapolis, that business school is going to be Butler’s College of Business.”