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College of Business

History of College of Business

College of Business Deans:
1984 to 1992 – Dr. Dale Atwood
1992 to 1994 – Dr. Earl Robinson
1994 to 2002 - Dr. Robert Sando
2002 to 2005 - Dr. Roderic Hewlett
2005 to 2006 – Dr. Gary Ross, Interim
2006 to 2013 – Dr. JoAnn Linrud
2013 to 2014 – Dr. Jacek Mrozik, Interim
2014 to 2017 – Dr. Jacek Mrozik

The College of Business at Minot State University was organized into a separate academic unit in 1927. Prior to that time (from 1913 to 1927), it existed as an academic area offering special certificates in commercial studies. In 1919, the list of certificates expanded to include typewriting and school accounting, both for students in teacher preparation programs. During the early 1920s, the curriculum was enhanced to include penmanship, spelling, shorthand, and accounting.

In 1927, the Commercial Club, Minot State University’s first business student organization, was founded with eighteen members. In that same year, Paul Seaman was appointed as Department Chair.

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, added to the curriculum were business mathematics, business English, elementary accounting, commercial law, office practice, and salesmanship. In the early 1940s, the curriculum was again expanded to include retail merchandising and insurance.

In 1941, formal recognition was given the Department of Commerce as one of the eight academic departments. In that same year, the Department offered technical business training in shorthand, accounting, and office practice to assist in the efforts of World War II. In 1942, J. Bernard Busse was appointed as Department Chair.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration was offered for the first time in 1946. The major for this degree required 64 quarter hours. In 1960, the Business Administration program expanded with additional course offerings in three areas: management, accounting, and executive secretarial.

In 1962, Dr. Dale Atwood was appointed as Department Chair. In 1967, the Business Teacher program was expanded to include vocational office teacher and, in 1972, two-year programs were added, including legal secretarial. In 1974, Associate of Arts degrees were offered in accounting, mid-management, and secretarial studies. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, three additional business student organizations were formed, including Pi Omega Pi, the Business Administration Club, and Phi Beta Lambda. In 1970, the Business Teacher program was expanded to include three options: vocational office education, accounting and basic business, and secretarial science.

In 1977, the facilities used by the Department (i.e., third and fourth floors of Old Main) were renovated to include seven modern classrooms, fourteen faculty offices, three office machine laboratories, two student reception areas, a seminar room, a word-processing laboratory, a shorthand-dictation laboratory, a reprographics laboratory, and a faculty lounge. In 1979, through the generosity of faculty member Dr. Doris Slaaten, the west end of the third floor became the Slaaten Office Learning Center.

In 1981, the Bachelor of Science in Accounting program was approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.

The most significant organizational change occurred in the Fall of 1984. The Division of Business was renamed and restructured as the School of Business (shortly thereafter, it was again renamed as the College of Business). The School/College of Business consisted of the following academic departments: Accounting and Business Law, Office Administration and Business Education, and Business Administration. While those departments remain to this day, two of them have modified their names slightly. The Accounting and Business Law Department is now the Department of Accounting and Finance; the Office Administration and Business Education Department is now the Department of Business Information Technology. These minor name changes occurred in the early 2000s. Dr. Dale Atwood was appointed as the first Dean of the School of Business in 1984.

Also, in 1984, the Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration was expanded to provide options in management, marketing, finance, human resource/office management, and information management. In 1986, approval was granted to offer an Associates of Science degree in information processing.

In 1991, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education decided to discontinue all two-year programs at Minot State University. This was accomplished in order to align MSU’s academic programs with its mission as a four-year/master’s granting institution. This impacted the College of Business which offered several two-year programs. These programs were phased out over a period of several years and no longer exist.

In 1992, Dr. Earl Robinson was appointed as Dean of the College of Business. He was replaced in 1994 by Dr. Robert Sando.

In 1995, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education authorized the College of Business to offer its first graduate program: the Master of Science in Management degree. This program required students to select one of two options: organization studies or management information systems. Also, in 1995, the Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration (with its several options) was replaced by separate Bachelor of Science degrees in finance, management, marketing, and information systems management. At about this same time, the Slaaten Office Learning Center was converted to a computer lab, to address technological advances and changes business education practices.

In 2001, a specialized version of the Master of Science in Management degree was established pursuant to earmark legislative funding from the federal government. This was entitled the Job Corps Executive Management Program (JCEMP) and was offered to professional Job Corps employees nationwide.

In 2002, Dr. Roderic Hewlett was appointed as Dean of the College of Business. In that same year, the College moved back into the newly remodeled Old Main building which it had vacated for several months to accommodate a major renovation. The new facilities provided updated pace for four faculty office suites, five classrooms, a dean’s office suite, a conference room, and a mail/work room on the third floor, and three classrooms on the fourth floor.

In 2004, the North Dakota State Board of Education authorized the College to offer a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) degree. This approval also entailed a restructuring of the Master of Science in Management (MSM) program which no longer included the option in information systems. The MSM degree would focus on management theory and practice. Beginning in the Fall of 2004, the MSM degree would be offered exclusively online. This decision was made in response to local demographics, to ensure a viable market for this program. The on-campus version of the MSM would be phased out over the next two years. Also, in 2004, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education authorized the College to offer a minor in Fraud Examination. This was in direct response to recent scandals in the accounting profession. In addition, in order to satisfy the need to transact business “virtually,” the College was authorized to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Virtual Business.

In 2005, Dr. Gary Ross was appointed as Interim Dean of the College and a search was launched by Minot State University for a new Dean. In the summer of 2005, the College hosted an initial accreditation validation site visit from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

In 2006, Dr. JoAnn Linrud was appointed as Dean of the College of Business. During that year, the College reactivated its International Business major (placed on “inactive” status three years prior) to be offered again in the fall of 2007. The Department of Business Information Systems also significantly revised its majors in MIS and Virtual Business to better accommodate market needs.

Further enhancing the college’s international emphasis, an MSM Intercultural Cohort was begun in the 2007-2008 academic year, forged through a partnership with Sias International University (China). Over the next several years, additional university partnerships resulted in undergraduate study abroad opportunities with Telemark University College (Norway), Kristianstad University College (Sweden), Kader Has University (Turkey), Pai Chai University (South Korea), and Lethbridge College (Canada). At the graduate level, other universities with which we are exploring partnerships include National Economics University (Vietnam) and Shanxi University Business College (China).

To address student development in a non-curricular format, the college initiated the APEX (Aspirations for Professional Excellence) program in which graduating seniors assessed and developed their personal and professional readiness for the workplace.

In 2009, the College of Business responded to a growing demand for energy business analysts by offering a major in Energy Economics and Finance as a multi-disciplinary major consisting of courses in geology, economics, and finance.

In February of 2010, the College of Business announced a first-of-its-kind $1 million gift from Clinton Severson (class of 1973) and his wife Conni Ahart to establish the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy. In October of 2010, the college announced the largest gift from a single donor, Dr. Doris Slaaten, to renovate the Slaaten Learning Center, enhance student development, supplement scholarships, and provide for on-going support. The renovation would repurpose rooms 316 and 313 to include a fully video-conferenced board room, a financial trading lab, a conference room for student meetings, and an informal study space. Also in 2010, a gift of $100,000 from Roger Looyenga (class of 1969) provided an endowment for a leadership emphasis.

In February 2016, the College of Business announced a milestone gift of $2 million from alumnus Clint Severson and Conni Ahart.  This is the largest gift in Minot State's history and will endow the entrepreneurship program.  The state matched the gift with a nearly $1 million grant from the ND Challenge Grant.