(Lander, Wyo.) – The Dean of the University of Wyoming College of Business Wednesday morning told Lander business leaders the UW business school is one of the most accomplished in the country and that it’s Ph.D. program in economics is a world leader. Brent Hathaway said graduates have consistently scored in the 95th percentile in a standardized exit exam that is a benchmark for business schools. “And we’ve been at that percentile for 10 years, our graduates are highly sought after.”
Hathaway was brought to town by the LEADER Corp., Lander’s economic development organization. Some two dozen community leaders attended the morning breakfast session at the Oxbow Restaurant.
The UW Business School is located in a new 112,000 square foot LEED Gold certified complex on the Laramie campus that for the first time houses all business disciplines under one roof. The facility features state of the art wired and wireless technology and classrooms and an atrium where students gather to discuss projects as well as socialize. The largest classroom in the facility is the Scarlett Auditorium, named after former Lander businessman Dick Scarlett who made a significant financial contribution to the school. Hathaway also noted that current Lander businessman Jess Hinkle’s name is on the schools donor honor wall, having made a contribution in honor of his late father Dave.
One of the key features of the new building is a trading floor where actual stock market trades are managed using a $1-million fund. “The students are aware they are trading with real dollars and it makes it real for them,” Hathaway said. “They take it seriously.” The new facility also houses a behavioral research laboratory, an executive boardroom, a multi-media lab, a career center, video conferencing and a wall-length stock ticker in the atrium.
Since 1960 when the old $1-million College of Commerce and Industry was built at UW to house 460 students, the program has expanded to 1,300 students today in a $50 million facility.
Hathaway said the Business School has five areas of distinction, including Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Business Ethics, Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business Practices and Energy. He said the school will launch a Wyoming Business Hall of Fame in the fall of 2013, “to recognize Wyoming business leaders who have made significant contributions to not only the state, but the nation and world.”
Hathaway said the school was just reaccredited by the Association to Advance College Schools of Business, a distinction held by only five percent of business schools worldwide and by only 15 percent of schools in the United States.
He said the school has just started a new Ph.D. program in Marketing and Sustainable Business Practices, it has adopted the Code of the West, a new MBA program was established to serve site-bound students across the state and he said the school is just launching “an MBA program on one of the most powerful economic engines in Wyoming, energy.” Hathaway said Wyoming provides “the best laboratory in the country for natural resources.”
He said graduates of the UW School of Business are successful in finding jobs statewide, from a low of 45 percent over the years to a high of 70 percent or more. “We find that our top students who take jobs with major firms outside of the state come back once they begin raising a family,” he said. In answer to a question, he said the percentage of UW grads “staying home” exceeds those of neighboring states. “I think Colorado and CSU are around 40 percent and Montana a little higher. As far as students staying in the state where they are educated, I think we are as high as anybody in the country.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: In an upcoming post of Hathaway’s Lander presentation, County1o.com will review why he said he believes in and promotes the Code of the West for both personal and business practices.