ISB Strategic Plan Update
Home » Academics » International School of Business » ISB Strategic Plan Update

Please enter a search term to begin your search.

International School of Business (ISB)


Strategic Plan Update – Spring 2013

Terry Monson, ISB Dean, April 2010 – April 2013


President Johnson asked me to write a strategic plan for the ISB when I arrived on campus in April 2010.  This plan covered the period 2010-2013.  The ISB will revisit the plan in Fall 2013 under the leadership of Interim Dean Kevin Manninen.  The following discussion reviews some of our accomplishments of the past three years.

ISB Overview

The ISB was formally instituted as a four year program in 1996.  Enrollment increased during the early 2000s, trended downward through 2009, and rebounded beginning in fall 2009 (fall 2012 enrollment was 93 versus 59 in fall 2009).  The ISB expects further enrollment growth as prospective students find its liberal-arts based business curriculum attractive, as new programs are fully implemented, as programmatic assessment occurs, and student placement improves.

Our vision is simple-The ISB aims to become the best liberal arts business program in the upper Midwest.  Achieving this vision is a long term goal that will take time, effort, planning, and continuous improvement of our programs.

2010 Mission Statement:
The ISB provides liberal-arts based practice-oriented business education to students from the upper Midwest and to others throughout the US and abroad attracted by the University’s Finnish and Lutheran heritages.  Its faculty emphasizes teaching excellence through uncommon, individual attention to students and application of current technology.  It works collaboratively with other programs at Finlandia and with the local community to establish networks of knowledge and resources, to promote successful business and entrepreneurial ventures, and to support the University mission.

Suggested 2013 Simplified Mission Statement:
We offer a
liberal-arts based, entrepreneurial focused, practice-oriented business education with committed teachers and uncommon attention to students.

Accomplishments During The Past Three Years

New Programs:
Since 2009-10, the ISB added four new degree options, reinstated three others and introduced five business minors. 

·         The traditional four year BBA program added BBA concentrations in Arts Management (2011) and Healthcare Management (2012) and re-instated concentrations in international business in 2010.

·         We re-instated the 2+2 BBA in Applied Management in 2010.  This program is aimed mainly at PTA students and others with professional associate degrees who want to deepen their business education in preparation for management-related careers.

·         In conjunction with the College of Health Sciences, the ISB introduced a new 2+2 BBA in Healthcare Management designed for students with associate degrees in medical assisting.

·         In 2011, we added a second BBA degree option for Finlandia and other students already possessing a bachelor’s degree in another field.

·         In Fall 2013, five business minors (General Business, Entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing, and Sports Management) were added for non-BBA seeking Finlandia students to acquire business backgrounds related to their major field of study.

Curricular Changes
The ISB continuously upgrades its BBA curriculum to incorporate new courses, re-design existing courses, and rework its BBA Core (required of all BBA students) and concentration requirements. 

·         The BBA curriculum was loosened to allow more free electives via reductions in BBA Core and concentration requirements.  Students now have 12-18 free electives to pursue other interests or deepen their business backgrounds. Most BBA concentrations also have more electives to allow them to more closely align their concentration coursework to their career objectives.

·         We will implement an average 2.50 GPA requirement in BBA concentration courses for new entering students in fall 2013.

·         The following new courses were added to the curriculum:

o   BUS 200 Fundamentals of Accounting (3 credits) is aimed at non ISB students pursuing minors or wanting to learn basic accounting skills.  It is also offered to community members on an audit basis

o   BUS 205 Accounting Systems (3 credits) and BUS 206 Accounting Systems Lab (1) were added to accounting concentration requirements.  BUS 206 is also offered to community members on an audit basis.

o   BUS 222 Business Computing Applications replaced CIS 202 Intermediate Computer Applications as a BBA Core requirement.  It focuses more on business software (especially excel).

o   BUS 348 Relationship Sales (3 credits) is now part of Marketing concentration requirements.

o   BUS 384-5, BUS 484-5 Entrepreneurial Learning I, II, III, and IV:  These courses give students one and two credits for participation in FUEL Studio (see below) management and operations.

o   BUS 395 Project Management (3 credits) was added to Management concentration requirements.

·         The following courses were reworked to eliminate redundancy with other courses or to deepen their coverage of relevant issues:

o   BUS 240 eBusiness was renumbered eMarketing and its content upgraded.

o   BUS 388 International Business was re-titled BUS Global Entrepreneurship and its content changed to avoid duplication with ECN 331 Global Economy and to focus on international entrepreneurial skills.

o   BUS 481 Quantitative Methods for Business Decision-Making was retitled BUS 481 Research Skills for Business Decision-Making and its content changed to focus upon business survey research methods.

Assurance of Learning
In 2010-11, ISB faculty developed learning objectives for BBA Core courses.  Core competencies include computer and digital literacy, business communication, c
ritical thinking and creative problem solving, values awareness, quantitative reasoning. business comportment and specific knowledge expectations in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing.

·         Graduating seniors are now required to take a senior exit test covering BBA Core material.  Results will be used to identify gaps in Core course contents

·         Beginning Fall 2013, BBA Core courses will incorporate exercises to evaluate student acquisition of knowledge in course related Core competencies.

·         The ISB will track results of internship papers and presentations more carefully to identify improvements over time.


·         Finlandia installed seven computer stations, an overhead projection unit, and a printer in a small computer lab for certain ISB courses and by ISB students when otherwise unused. 

·         Faculty and staff computing equipment were renewed in the summer of 2012.

·         A new copier with capabilities for scanning, faxing, and printing will be acquired in the summer of 2013.


·         A new Assistant Professor of Sports Management (Steve Nordstrom) will join the ISB faculty in fall 2013 to cover courses in the sports management concentration, to advise all sports management majors and to explore internship and employment opportunities for sports management students.

·         Two faculty left the ISB and were replaced by Kevin Manninen, an Associate Professor of Management and Marketing in Spring 2012, and Angela Price, Assistant Professor of Accounting, in Fall 2012.  Kevin earned his MBA at Eastern Michigan University and brings extensive experience in a Finnish university, knowledge of Finnish business practices, and contacts with Finnish industry to the ISB.  Angela earned her Masters of Accountancy from the University of Florida, has a CPA, and brings extensive experience with Price Waterhouse and Red Hat Inc.  to the ISB.

·         A cadre of six experienced adjunct faculty members provides instruction in areas where faculty expertise is thin.


·         Grants: The ISB received small grants from the Bauervic Foundation to finance acquisition of computing equipment for the FUEL Studio and from the Michigan Campus Compact to encourage student involvement (projects, internships, consulting with local governmental and non-profit agencies.

·         Advisory Board: we formed an Advisory Board in 2011 to provide local business input into our programs and curriculum.

·         Articulation Agreements:  Finlandia and the ISB have articulation agreements with Bay de Noc Community College and Gogebic Community College that facilitate that allow easy transfer of courses from these institutions to our programs and with Jeffers High School that allow its students to receive credit for CIS 102 and BUS 138 if they pass similar courses at Jeffers with grades of A

·         Coleman Fellows:  Three ISB faculty were named Coleman grant fellows, which led to establishment of a chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization, and, in conjunction with Finlandia’s Jutila Center and its International School of Art and Design, to the establishment of the FUEL (Finlandia University Entrepreneurial Learning) Studio – a retail establishment managed and operated by Finlandia students that markets products of ISAD faculty and students, as well as other local artists and craftspeople.