Looking forward and reflecting on the positive contributions that the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business has made to the students, the university, and the panhandle, it is a suitable occasion to emphasize that the college is a voice in a chorus among the colleges, programs, and offices on campus that serve the stakeholders of West Texas A&M University.
As a fervent collaborator in pursuit of the success of the University and its comprehensive strategic plan, WT125: From the Panhandle to the World, the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business is poised to contribute to the successful realization of the principles and aspirations of WT125:
Servant Leadership: The College of Business instills in each faculty, staff, and administrator an imperative to focus on and serve the students and their journey i. The college has a demonstrated track record in leadership that keeps the student at the “peak of the decision-making pyramid.”
Learner-Centrism: Particularly with the growth of online programs, the college has invested in Media Minds, a student group that produces videos, and related facilities, to ensure that online students feel connected and cared for as they navigate the potentially impersonal aspects of asynchronous and distant education. Further, student organizations in the college are co-curricular in nature and provide reinforcement.
Core Programs, Distinctive Competencies and Interdependence: The college has a history of supporting sister programs across campus that contributes significantly to student success. This is a source of pride and honor for the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. Further, the college has focused on new offerings (MS CISBA) and the diversification of existing programs (Law and Economics) in a manner that contributes to the overall competitiveness of the University.
Quality as a Cornerstone: AACSB accreditation serves as an organizing gravity to create and maintain a focus on continuous improvement and innovation in pursuit of quality. All of the college’s accomplishments in the last 15 years have been in service to the increase and maintenance of quality.
Serving Texas: Fundraising, new programs, and student organizations (Enactus in particular) have each served to connect college programs to the community and to maintain a dialog with the community.
Agile and Shared Governance: The college reorganized its internal structures of governance in 2013 to better respond to emerging stakeholder needs and the concomitant allocation of resources. Further, the college maintains multiple venues to seek and prioritize student, faculty and staff input on operational and strategic matters. The college is poised to share in the spirit of shared governance and responsibility as these principles proliferate throughout the university.
Risk-Friendly Environments: The college is familiar with the risks and rewards of bold action as is evidenced in AACSB accreditation, a commitment to online education, governance reorganization, and the embrace of the local business community in the acquisition of gifts and funds to support the growth and maturity of the college. Bold action, while risky, can bring great rewards when pursued as a team.
Facilities and People: The College frequently uses its acumen in fundraising to reinvest in people and facilities to make the academic environment collegial, productive, and open to ideas and initiative.
The Future: The future for West Texas A&M University is bright and WT125 provides a framework to proceed successfully into that future. The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business is poised to contribute to the successful realization of the principles of WT125 that will lead us into the future.
As I reflect on where we started, it is almost unbelievable to see how far we have come as a college and university. AACSB accreditation was the spark this college needed in order to create a culture of continuous improvement. Looking to the future, we embrace our success and will use it as inspiration for continued success. Building on the financial generosity of the Engler Foundation, combined with our tradition of faculty and staff dedication to our students, alumni, and regional community, I am excited for the road ahead that will include the continued advancement of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and West Texas A&M University.