April 26, 2004


TO:                  Robert Hoar, Chair

                        Faculty Senate


FROM:            Bruce Osterby, Chair

                        Academic Planning Committee

RE:                   UW Graduate Business Consortium Degree


The Academic Planning Committee met on April 16 to discuss the proposal "UW Graduate Business Consortium MBA Degree".  Besides the La Crosse campus, the consortium includes Eau Claire, Oshkosh, and Parkside.  This MBA degree program is offered as an "online MBA".  The committee notes that this is currently being done but the degree is offered from UW-Eau Claire.


APC recommends approval of the program (5-0-0) but does have the following concerns.


·        How will the integrity of the examination process be protected?

·        There is no clear indication on how workloads across the four campuses will be distributed. Further, there is concern that workloads might be impacted should one or more of the consortia members opt to withdraw from the partnership.

·        The use of ad hoc staff to replace faculty who elect to teach the online courses.


The Entitlement to Plan and the Authorization to Implement a UW Graduate Business Consortium MBA Degree are being presented simultaneously because of the unique nature of the partnering that exists across four campuses and with UW Extension’s Learning Innovations. The committee would also like to point out the following:


  • The consortium seeks to award the degree, have oversight over curricular changes, and conduct programmatic assessment. Curricular changes will not pass through the individual campuses as it will be too time-consuming and confusing to try and obtain agreement across four campuses simultaneously.
  • UWS supports this innovative approach because it pays for itself by using a service-based pricing model; meets the needs of place-bound students and captures an untapped international market.
  • Class size will be limited to 25 and is not intended to replace the residential MBA program.
  • There is a strong market for an online MBA degree.


UW Extension’s Learning Innovations will oversee enrollment, transcript production and other administrative aspects of course.  Faculty of the CBA approved the proposal by a 2/3 vote.