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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Business students voice opinions, suggestions for McCombs’ undergraduate curriculum

Thomas Allison

Eva Agoulnik, finance senior in the business honors program, asks a question during the Curriculum Review Town Hall meeting in the McCombs School of Business Tuesday afternoon.

Ethical business on a global level and skills-based courses are important issues to students in the McCombs School of Business.

The Undergraduate Business Council hosted the McCombs Curriculum Review Town Hall Meeting Tuesday in partnership with the Undergraduate Programs Committee to learn about students’ perspective on possible changes to the school’s undergraduate curriculum.

The four potential areas of improvement presented by the committee were curriculum core integration, business citizenship, higher emphasis on analytical thinking and higher emphasis on global perspectives.

Andrew Gershoff, committee member and marketing professor, coined the business citizenship idea and said it is important for students to gain a better understanding of the effect of business on the community, government and society as a whole.

“Understanding of this allows for better informed decisions that lead to better societies and not just short-term profitability,” he said.

Most students agreed that the need for an increased global perspective is necessary to focus on businesses in the sense of the social and global environment.

Katie Chapman, international business and Hispanic studies senior, said obtaining a global perspective of the business world while in college is beneficial to students.

“These benefits may not be very tangible or evident right out of school, but having the experience of studying abroad or taking a specialization course about the business culture of a country impresses employers,” she said. “It’s important to know how ethics vary across borders.”

Among other concerns, students also talked about creating sequences for majors, tools used by professors and advising opportunities from professionals. Various students also said they would like a synchronization between core and upper-division courses so that quantitative skills, like Microsoft Excel, did not need to be revisited.

“We are looking for better teaching processes through standardization; where concepts are pulled from the core curriculum and taught upon in upper-division courses,” said Leanna Swain, finance and business honors senior. “Instead of memorizing vocabulary words, we want to be pushed critically to solidify the concepts we are being taught.”

McCombs currently offers 10 majors including a business honors degree and an accounting program, which maintained its No. 1 rank for best program in the nation for the seventh year in a row.

The Undergraduate Programs Committee identified the potential areas for improvement during its four-month-long surveying of faculty, alumni and leadership in McCombs. The committee hoped to gain the student perspective at the town hall meeting, said committee member Bhargav Srinivasan, a finance and business honors senior.

“Our committee hopes to provide a more cross-sectional and integrated understanding of business concepts and how it operates in society,” Srinivasan said. “This will allow our students to take what they learn in school and apply it to being ethical and well-rounded managers.”

Beverly Hadaway, associate professor in the Department of Finance and faculty chair of the committee, said she was happy to see so many students at the town hall meeting.

“We are in the continuing process of trying to get input from various constituents of the college,” she said. “But our most important constituents are, of course, the students.”

There is currently no set time line for the implementation of a new curriculum, but the council will present a recommendation report to the deans by the end of the year.

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Business students voice opinions, suggestions for McCombs’ undergraduate curriculum