During time of challenge and transition, Eastern Michigan University College of Business receives numerous honors and continues strong support of students

Kenneth Lord, Dean of the College of Business
Kenneth Lord, Dean of the College of Business (EMU file photo by Camren Clouthier)

YPSILANTI – The 2020-2021 academic year is proving to be a time of historic transitions and achievements for Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business. 

In the face of an unprecedented world health crisis, the college has found new ways to serve its students and community effectively and safely while moving to central campus and implementing public-health protocols.

“We have moved out of our longstanding residence on Michigan Avenue, taking up residence in Hill Hall on EMU’s Ypsilanti campus – a change that will allow better integration of the College of Business with the other academic units and deeper engagement for students, faculty, and staff with the dynamic activities of the University,” said Kenneth Lord, Dean of the College of Business.

“Meanwhile, external recognition in the form of top rankings, awards, and professional engagement have advanced at an accelerated pace.  We are proud to be an integral part of Southeastern Michigan economy and contributors to a bright future.”

That recognition for the College of Business includes the following acknowledgments:

National and global rankings

  • The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine announced in November that the college’s MBA specialization in entrepreneurship is listed among the Top Schools for Graduate Entrepreneurship Studies of 2021. The ranking list identifies the 50 undergraduate and 50 graduate schools that the Princeton Review has concluded offer the best programs in entrepreneurship studies based on its survey of more than 300 institutions offering such programs.  Eastern is one of only two universities in Michigan to make the graduate list, which is based on such criteria as outstanding faculty, mentoring, networking, robust experiential learning, and success of graduates.   
  • The college’s Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program not only held onto its long-standing US News & World Report ranking among the top non-MBA graduate programs in business, but the program rose six spots, to number 60 in the nation. With that distinction, EMU is one of only five Michigan universities in the top 100 and second only to Michigan State University.
  • The Human Resource Management concentration in the Bachelor of Business Administration Program in Management and the Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development both walked away with grand prize honors at HR.com’s annual LEAD Awards Ceremony. They were recognized as the top Degree Diploma Program with an Emphasis on HR and Master’s Program with an Emphasis on HR.  The awards “salute the world’s top leadership practitioners and programs and highlight their roles in developing their most important asset – their people.”

Faculty Achievements

  • Last fall, the Association of Business Communication (ABC) presented its prestigious Award of Merit in Memory of Francis Weeks to David Victor, a professor of management. In its quest “to recognize outstanding achievement in the discipline of business communication through a singular accomplishment or a series of accomplishments,” the ABC selected Victor for his global leadership in the business-communication discipline, which has spanned some three decades.  Along with his t role in shaping the trajectory of business communication as an academic discipline through the conferences he has organized and the journal he edits, Victor has created opportunities in global business for numerous Eastern students and built relationships with leading firms and executives across the globe.
  • The Michigan Association of CPAs named full-time lecturer Anthony Kurek recipient of its 2020 Accounting Teaching Excellence Award at the Association’s Awards Dinner in Novi last fall. Mr. Bob Doyle, president and CEO of the Association, praised Kurek for instilling in his students “the value of being a well-rounded and ‘all-in’ student in order to become a contributing member of the profession.” 
  • Susan Schanne, an EMU Business Writing Center consultant and lecturer of management, was named recipient of the Association of Business Communication’s 2020 Rising Star Award, presented for meaningful contributions to the Association and to the business-communication field at large, with specific commendation for her inspiring work as a conference chair.

Student Organizations

  • The college’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter was again recognized with that organization’s Superior Merit Award. This distinction has come to the student chapter every year since 1996.  Chapters are recognized based on chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human-resource profession, and SHRM engagement.  
  • The Eastern Michigan University chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting honors organization with a strong emphasis on community service, was recognized internationally as a superior chapter for the 21st consecutive year. In a letter announcing the honor, Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Services Manager Lisa Wicker praised the club’s efforts during a difficult year. “You and your students should be proud of this achievement during this especially challenging year,” Wicker said. “We thank you for all your efforts and look forward to another great year for your chapter.”

Virtual Events

  • At the annual Alumni Business Conference, held virtually for the first time on November 5, 18 executives from regional and national firms as diverse as Sol de Naples Marketing, Menlo Innovations, Mitel, and the New York Stock Exchange shared career insights with Eastern students.
  • The EMU Center for Digital Engagement’s annual Digital Marketing Workshop went virtual for the first time in November, attracting 1000 registrants and an accumulated audience of more than 2000 viewers by the end of the year.  Called “2021, Next Steps,” the week-long event, offered free of charge, exposed students and professionals to organizations that are not only surviving but thriving in today’s troubled marketplace and the strategies that are propelling their success. Dynamic speakers and panelists came from Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Zoo, Digital Lead Gen, Facebook, Fausone-Bohn, Google, The Henry Ford Museum, Human Element, iProspect, Jottful, Lease Magnets, Main Street Digital, Michigan Fields, Overflow Marketing, Skidmore Studio, and other creative enterprises. 
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) Speaker Series got off to a great start for the 2020-21 academic year with dynamic presentations to large virtual audiences by Kylee Guenther (Pivot Materials) and Chris Kaufman (StockX).  The CFE’s annual Elevator Pitch Competition took place virtually on December, with the presentation of visionary new-venture proposals submitted by the ten finalists, who were selected from 50 applicants and given expert coaching by the center prior to the event.  An elite group of judges selected winners of the Pardeep Chowdhry Award of Excellence, second and third prizes, and a Social Impact Award. 

Relocation plans

All of the above activity occurred as the college relocated to central campus, a move that will enhance learning opportunities for students and facilitate faculty collaboration.

The move includes the selling of the Gary Owen Building, former home of the college, to River Caddis Development for $2.7 million.

Plans are currently under development for a highly visible, open and welcoming academic building to serve as the primary location for College of Business operations in the years ahead. In the interim, business classes are being held at locations around Eastern’s central campus, with faculty and other offices in Hill Hall.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

February 24, 2021

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom