by Rawls College of Business News - Jan 17, 2012
January 14, 2012
It’s easy to forget, after roaming around inside the Loop, that Lubbock is very much in the middle of some very wide open spaces.
And yet, there are reminders of how “non-metro” Lubbock is — traffic signals that switch from standard cycle to flashing red/yellow, Tommy Tuberville’s quips about flying football recruits in at night. In my first months on the job at The A-J, many nights had so little criminal activity police officers occasionally kept the radio warm by discussing where they’d taken their dinner breaks. Radio traffic’s still pretty slow on most nights when I’m working late, although someone’s tightened up on transmission discipline.
Lubbockites are a little past John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” line about “still hayseed enough to say ‘Look who’s in the big town.’ ”
But not by a lot. Folks here still seem to measure things locally by whether it’s something that would make sense in Dallas; quite a few of the newer chain eateries that have arrived recently are investing in Lubbock because Tech students from the state’s major metro markets are familiar with and maybe are a little wistful for the brands.
One institution that seems exempt from the Dallas yardstick is Texas Tech’s Rawls College of Business.
I suspect that even before the new business college building opened last week, there were folks in Dallas wishing some campus down there had programs as innovative.
But you do what you’ve gotta do if you want to have a successful, thriving business college in a place that casts a pretty small corporate shadow.
And for the folks at Rawls, innovative programming is the light in the window telling someone looking for a deeper business education, “check us out, we’re not Just Another Business School.”
One takeaway from a chat last week with Debbie Laverie is to look at the Rawls College and think merely of undergrads getting that first degree underestimates the college’s mission and strategy.
Laverie is senior associate dean of the college and a professor of marketing.
One such program is Tech’s executive-level MBA program, a one-weekend-per-month gathering that has gotten a lot of interest from more populated parts of the state because it’s more convenient to come up here from Dallas than to spend three or four nights stalking a parking place to make it to class at campuses in the Metroplex while working on a graduate degree there.
The program tends to attract people in upper-middle management positions reaching for the upper echelons — a situation creating a win-win symbiosis with business faculty members who teach the weekend sessions, because those students bring real world problems and challenges to class discussions the faculty can adapt to their regular weekday courses.
And then there are programs through the college’s Center for Energy Commerce, which produces graduates with skills specific to oil, gas and other energy sectors.
The program boasts a 100 percent post-graduation job placement rate, with starting salaries averaging $80,000 a year.
In addition to degrees in energy commerce management, the program offers specialization certificates for majors in accounting, management and other degree fields.
The Rawls College is also a partner in Tech’s joint MBA/MD degree program, which is designed for medical students who are planning to go into private practice and want a deeper knowledge of the business side of managing the practice.
The other big plan is an effort to recruit more graduate students, especially an expansion of the Ph.D. program, Laverie said.
Read the rest of the article here.