Ozarks adds international business major

Release Date: 5/9/2013

A new international business degree has been added to the University of the Ozarks' curriculum.

The University's Board of Trustees approved the new major during its annual Spring meeting in April. The bachelor of arts in international business degree will be added to the course catalog for the 2013-2014 academic year.

According to the University's academic catalog, "The international business major combines studying cultural, political, and economic environments with experiencing an international component.  The program's aims are (1) to prepare students for a career in international business whether or not they eventually work for an organization within or outside the United States, and (2) to prepare students for graduate study."

Provost Dr. Daniel Taddie said the new major is a good fit for Ozarks, which has a strong business program and a large number of international students. Most of the more than 70 current international students at Ozarks come from Central America through the Walton International Scholarship Program.

"Today, business and commerce are more global than ever," Taddie said. "So I am excited about Ozarks' new major in international business, which builds upon our traditional strengths in the various business majors and our network of international contacts and alumni. Add to these assets Dr. Rickey Casey's current research in the international business arena, and the result is a powerful program that will meet the needs and interests of current and prospective students."

Casey, professor of management and business, has led the University's Walton Scholar's program since 1986. He has also conducted several scholarly research projects throughout Central America, primarily in the areas of management and job motivation.

"I think this program will help students develop an understanding of culture, country differences, cross-border trade and investment, the global money system and how you compete in a global marketplace," Casey said. "Students will develop an understanding of the importance of uncompromised ethical values and leadership skills as a key foundation to be successful in global business today."

Casey said he is excited about the new major and how it can help connect alumni throughout Central America with current students. With close to 400 Walton Scholar alumni scattered throughout Central America, Casey said he envisions students in the international business program having numerous options for doing internships with Ozarks alumni.

"We have alumni in all types of business-related fields and professions throughout Central America and Mexico and this program will provide students with unique opportunities to participate in international internships that will allow them to interact with leaders in the field of business through our extensive alumni network," Casey said. "Students in the new program can also learn from our current international students. Our international students can share with our international business majors a 'first hand' understanding of culture and unique characteristics of these cultures that are not found in textbooks."

Dr. Robert Hilton, chair of the Division of Business, Communications and Government, said he will be meeting with business faculty over the summer to develop the strategic plan rubric that will help students in the major identify fields of interest in international business as well as specific upper-level courses to help customize their degree.  Two new courses --- international accounting and global advertising --- have already been added to the division's curriculum.

"These courses will be added to our business core as well as a study abroad or internship component and other courses to prepare our student for success in the global environment," Hilton said.

The new program will also utilize other courses throughout the University.

"In additional to the business core and internships, students will also be taking courses in history or literature, the international political economy of development, human geography, a foreign language, and other international courses to develop a skill set necessary to be successful in the very competitive global business market," Casey said.