When someone is asked the first thought that comes to mind when Bradley University is mentioned, Bradley Braves basketball probably comes first, followed by the school being recognized as a very strong Midwestern university and an excellent engineering school.
Bradley has another gem starting to get some well-deserved recognition: the Foster College of Business Administration (FCBA), led by Dean Robert Baer. The business community should make it a priority to become intimately familiar with the FCBA and utilize its resources and talents as the greater Peoria area begins its trek into the 21st century knowledge economy.
What has the FCBA done recently?
How many people know the FCBA ranks among the top 5 percent of all business schools in the United States? That it’s one of only 14 business schools in the country that has both a major in risk management and actuarial science? That it’s one of the first schools in the country to offer an undergraduate degree in international business? That FCBA recently won a national award for innovative curriculum with its new Executive MBA program?
There are five Centers of Excellence at the FCBA (also referred to as the Business Assistance Centers):
- Turner Center for Entrepreneurship—starts up or assists small businesses in creating a plan that minimizes risk.
- Leadership Development Center—strives to enhance and interpersonal effectiveness of managers, executives, other professionals, and teams.
- Center for Executive and Professional Development—provides quality education for business professionals.
- Center for Business and Economic Research—facilitates business research and consultation projects by members of FCBA.
- Center for Economic Education—increases knowledge of economics and business in central Illinois with an emphasis on teaching students and teachers.
Did you know faculty research at the FCBA has doubled in the past 10 years? In the new knowledge economy, research is a key driver. In fact, the Journal of Business Research rated the FCBA as one of the top 40 business schools in the country studying research. This is quite an accomplishment when you consider Bradley isn’t a Ph.D—granting institution (yet).
The FCBA faculty is equally impressive. They’ve written textbooks that are used at leading universities around the world, regularly published in the top tier journals in their disciplines, serve on various editorial boards, and receive national awards for outstanding research.
The essence of any great university is its ability to interact with the community surrounding it. Through Mayor Ransburg’s greater Peoria area visioning process, many of you are likely interacting with Aaron Buchko, Ph.D., associate professor of Management, and Larry Weinzimmer, Ph.D., associate professor of Strategic Management, who are facilitating two key aspects of the vision. The business community in the greater Peoria area should reach out and connect to the FCBA.
As we move into the knowledge economy and become a world class city, let’s utilize the talents and resources of the FCBA that can help take us there. For more information, check out their Web site at www.bradley.edu/fcba/. IBI