JMU Launches New MBA Program

From: Public Affairs

Jan. 13, 2009

James Madison University is kicking off the new year by introducing a new Master of Business Administration program.

The JMU College of Business will begin offering the new Innovation MBA, or iMBA, this fall. The curriculum will feature many new courses designed around the program’s theme, “Leading through Innovation with Technology and People.”

“Innovation is the primary source of competitive advantage for many firms, especially those that operate in business environments that are becoming more complex and dynamic,” said Paul E. Bierly III, JMU’s new MBA director. “Managers must have a thorough understanding of the innovation process so that they can become leaders of change and creativity within their organizations and effectively manage the organization’s technology information and resources.”

The program is designed for working professionals with at least two years of workplace experience. It will include a Leadership Development Program, where each student will be assigned his or her own mentor and will develop an individualized leadership enrichment plan. Guest instructors will present workshops on contemporary business issues periodically. The program will conclude with a two-week international trip.

The two-year program will use a “blended” teaching format in which students meet in class in Harrisonburg, Va., once every three weeks and meet online during the interim weeks. Instructors will incorporate the latest technology in-class and online, including synchronous online instruction, simulations and presentation of multimedia cases. This type of program maximizes teaching efficiency and effectiveness, while maintaining student flexibility, said Bierly.

Bierly, JMU's Zane Showker Professor of Entrepreneurship, will lead the program. He is a distinguished scholar in the area of innovation and management of technology and was recently recognized as one of the top 50 authors in this area over the last five years, which places him within the top 1 percent of all researchers in the field, according to The International Association for Management of Technology.

JMU will continue to offer the Information Security MBA program, also offered in a blended format. Students meet face-to-face in Reston, Va., on Saturdays once every eight weeks and meet online during interim weeks. Both programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The nationally ranked Infosec MBA is also a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, certified by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

For more information about JMU’s MBA program, visit http://www.jmu.edu/mba or contact Toni Mehling, communication director in JMU’s College of Business, at (540) 568-5169 or mehlintd@jmu.edu.

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