ASHLAND — As it wrestles with a $4 million shortfall that is requiring serious cutbacks in its academic programs, Southern Oregon University is bringing its MBA program back to Southern Oregon.
To save money, the 5,000-student university plans to combine its schools of sciences, social sciences, and arts and letters into one college of arts and sciences. President Mary Cullinan, who took over from outgoing president Elisabeth Zinser in September, is also looking at a number of staff and faculty position cuts and the elimination of geography, geology and German majors. The final budget plan will be released March 5.
“It’s not a final plan for who we are as a university and what we want to be,” says Cullinan. “We need to look at our curriculum and our strategies. That’s not a fast conversation, but it’s an exciting conversation.”
SOU isn’t waiting to restart its MBA program, which has been dormant for about a decade. “Medford in particular was crying out for an MBA program,” Cullinan says.
“It’s a completely different MBA now,” says Dave Harris, dean of SOU’s business school. “We’re really targeting this market.”
The Saturday program, designed with working professionals in mind, will start with about 35 students this fall.
— Christina Williams
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