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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Eller opens new facility in Scottsdale

    The UA is taking care of business north of Tucson with the opening of an Eller College of Management facility in Scottsdale.

    The program will offer executive and evening Masters of Business Administration programs at a price and schedule competitive to Arizona State University’s business program.

    Eller College launched the 14-month executive M.B.A. program in Phoenix last year, said Linda Herrick, Eller’s public relations coordinator, although it just recently found permanent housing.

    Students in the program, which was designed for industry professionals, previously attended classes at the Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale and then stayed there overnight every other weekend, she said.

    “”It was decided that we needed a permanent facility,”” Herrick said. “”The students, when they come in, still reside at the McDowell Mountain Marriott because that’s one of the focuses of the program – that residential feature that allows students to get to know each other very well and work together better.””

    The new facility, located just off Loop 101 in the McDowell Mountain Business Park, is a two-minute drive from the
    McDowell Mountain Marriott, according to the Eller E.M.B.A. program Web site.

    “”We’re also introducing an evening M.B.A. program,”” Herrick said. The accelerated 18-month program will begin in January and feature a different style of instruction through integrated modules, or student learning groups.

    “”You might have two of three different professors teaching one module,”” Herrick said.

    There may be marketing, finance and accounting taught to one module, as opposed to a semester devoted to each subject, she said.

    “”For example, the first module (topic) that the students have is leadership,”” Herrick said. “”There would be two or three different professors teaching perhaps marketing and entrepreneurship and something else.””

    The executive M.B.A. program is identical to the one offered in Tucson, Herrick said, as the faculty commutes to Phoenix to teach at the new facility.

    “”Because it’s not all the time, they can still teach their load here and they go up there to teach those weekend programs,”” she said.

    The executive M.B.A. program is targeted toward mid-career business professionals, Herrick said, whereas the evening M.B.A. program is geared towards “”a younger audience, someone maybe three years out in the business world.””

    Opening M.B.A. programs in Phoenix put Eller in direct competition with ASU’s business college, the W.P. Carey School of Business.

    “”We compete for students, we compete for faculty,”” said Gerry Keim, Carey associate dean. “”I have a lot of respect for the other school and the dean there. I have a lot of respect for them, but they’re definitely competitors.””

    Compared to the executive M.B.A. program offered by the Carey School, Eller’s program is shorter and less expensive, Keim said. The Carey program lasts for 22 months and costs about $65,000, according to the school’s web site.

    The Eller executive M.B.A. program lasts for 14 months and costs about $50,000, according to the Eller M.B.A. Web site.

    “”This kind of education is an investment,”” Keim said. “”What you get out of it is a function of what you put into it.””

    Eller’s executive M.B.A. program was unranked last year, while the Carey program was ranked No. 43 worldwide, according to the Financial Times Web site.

    The site ranked Eller College’s regular M.B.A. program 34th worldwide for 2007, compared to a No. 57 ranking for Carey’s M.B.A. program, which ranked 57. The rankings are based on criteria such as alumni satisfaction, salary increase and gender diversity.

    The Carey program also differs in curriculum style.

    “”We use integrated courses,”” Keim said. “”We do not use modules. We’ve talked with our students about that, and they prefer the approach that we use. It’s a very interactive approach – it’s very much focused on discussion learning.””

    “”In a state like this, with two strong state universities, there are very strong allegiances to those universities by the alums,”” Keim added. “”But I think the real competition in the long term is the large number of people moving to Arizona who don’t have an affiliation with either of these universities. We’ll see how we fare in that competition.””

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