Niagara University's MBA programs are among the best in the world, according to CEO Magazine.
In its April issue, the British-based magazine listed NU's MBA program in its Top Tier of North American institutions, a distinction earned by only 20 colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The rankings were created from data gathered from past and present student responses to a 2012-13 survey conducted by the International Graduate Forum, CEO Magazine's parent company.
Results were based on the quality of an institution's in-class experience and teaching faculty, which took into account metrics such as smaller class sizes, student work experience, international diversity within the classroom, faculty-to-student ratios and faculty qualifications - both academic and professional.
"The IGF's aim is to strip away elements such as salary increases, career progression, international/gender diversity in academic boards, number of doctoral graduates from the school (and how many then return to teach at said school) and so on," wrote Alexandra Skinner, the publication's editor-in-chief. "We want to keep the IGF MBA rankings simple and look at what's offered to the student once they get to the business school of their choice. Some 'lesser-known' schools, which would often otherwise be marginalized, are very well positioned to service postgraduates, and our aim is to highlight this level of quality and value for future students."
Within the magazine's four-page spread on Niagara University, MBA director Dr. Paul Richardson was asked about the value that NU delivers to its students.
"My most important responsibility is to provide an exceptional learning experience and superior professional outcomes for our students," he responded. "(Niagara's) MBA faculty are not only world-class scholars, but also seasoned executives who understand how to create value on a global basis. Classes blend the most advanced theory with best practices to create impactful and relevant learning opportunities."
Meanwhile, Dr. Shawn Daly was one of only eight deans invited to lend perspective on what they saw as emerging trends in the evolving landscape of business education. Daly, dean of Niagara's College of Business Administration, pointed to certification systems, the changing MBA student demographic and technology-enhanced hybrid courses.
"At Niagara University, our advisory board has recommended four board categories of skills - leadership, people and teamwork, technical competencies, and client acquisition," Daly said. "We're working to operationalize such an assessment and reward system beginning in 2013-14. In addition, Niagara University will be aligning the curriculum for students to achieve major certifications in the various business fields."
Niagara University's AACSB International-accredited College of Business Administration currently offers MBA concentrations in accounting, finance, general management, health care administration, human resources, international management, strategic management and strategic marketing management. The program has witnessed a 75.7 percent increase in student enrollment since 2008-09, and a 98.3 percent jump in credit hours during the same time period.
"With competition between business schools continuing to increase, it is important for colleges and universities to understand what students really want," stated Dr. Tim Downs, NU's vice president for academic affairs. "It is our intent to offer our students a well-rounded program that prepares them for personal and professional success, while remaining faithful to our mission of serving the less fortunate. I believe that we have done an admirable job at fulfilling these objectives, and we will continue to strengthen our programs to ensure that we are doing so moving forward."