It is a great honor and privilege to welcome you to the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. There is no better time to be a student at UVU than now. We are going through some exciting changes as we emerge as a leading university.
The business programs recently had the distinction of being accredited by AACSB International, which is the largest and most prestigious accrediting body for business programs across the world. Less than one-third of the business programs in the United States and only about fifteen percent of the business programs in the world hold this accreditation.
The Woodbury School of Business is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to the generosity of community businesses, alumni and donors. We are indeed grateful to the Woodbury family and their generous gift of $20 million. Their gift and the gifts of others will help ensure the future growth of the business programs.
The new MBA program reflects the university's commitment to engaged learning as our students will take an active part in community development projects as a part of their capstone course. Students will also become engaged in all aspects of management, including accounting, leadership, marketing, economics, ethics, and social responsibility.
Through all the changes, the Woodbury School of Business has been committed to excellence in education. We extend an invitation to all students who desire an excellent education and a successful future to apply. Please contact our advising office at (801) 863-8032 for information about our courses and degree programs.
We’ve had the distinct privilege of working with and some of the world’s finest entrepreneurs located right here in Utah. This year, the UVU Entrepreneurship Institute has gathered 14 of Utah’s most brilliant entrepreneurs to share their successes, failures, and unique business journeys with the public at the Silicon Slopes Lecture Series -- 14 lectures, 14 hours, 14 ways to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.
The lectures offer inspiration, networking, team building and challenges, as well as what it took for these successful entrepreneurs to establish their businesses. Whether you already have an idea or have started your own business, this is your chance to meet and learn from those who have made it. Topics have included how to evaluate a business idea and develop a business model, and how to build a good customer experience and a solid sales organization.
From making a better mouse trap or starting UBER, the process of creating a business from scratch offers unlimited potential for both success and failure. These 14 successful entrepreneurs speak to the tenacity, patience and determination that entrepreneurs need to “run the race.” The Lecture Series kicked off in January and speakers so far have pulled from the lineup of million-dollar companies dotting the Wasatch Front. In January attendees heard from Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure; Ryan Caldwell, CEO of MX; and Cydni Tetro, president of the Women’s Tech Council. February featured Carine Clark, Silicon Slopes executive board member; Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight; Dave Elkington, CEO of InsideSales; and Greg Warnock, co-founder and managing director of Mercat. These are business leaders from companies that are pushing the envelope on innovation. For small, or even established businesses, these leaders approach old and new problems with new ideas.
Clint Betts, executive director of Silicon Slopes, said partnering together with UVU was a natural fit, because of both organizations’ focus on engaging the community in meaningful. We are definitely looking at making this a regular series for both fall and spring semesters. Entrepreneur students receive credit for attending the current series, but the presentations are open to all students on campus and local community members. The Feedback has been exceptionally positive, and to have the direct interaction and networking opportunities has been a real positive for our students.
Great things continue to happen here at your Woodbury School of Business. Not only are we one of the fastest growing and largest business schools in the state of Utah, we are also one of the most community invested and engaged programs, producing graduates who are prepared for career progression and "shovel-ready" to make contributions to the community.
Among many recent accomplishments allow me to just highlight one that reflects the preparation our Woodbury students receive in preparing to add value to their communities now and upon graduation. This semester our students scored first in the world in the Capstone strategy simulation competition. UVU produced over 25% of all of the top teams. We had 53 teams place in the top 10% followed by Curtin University in Australia with 17 teams and Temple University's, Fox School with 13. Additionally, four of our students scored in the top 1% of all participating students. One of the satisfying aspects of our growth has involved faculty reaching out to you to create hands-on learning experiences for our students. You, our Utah business community as well as many beyond the state borders, have reached right back providing us with projects, internships, jobs, guest speakers, and financial support. We enjoy partnering with you to make Utah and surrounding areas a better place to work and live for all of us.
This significant accomplishment, which has been repeated year after year, demonstrates our commitment to helping students integrate and apply knowledge that will help them make a contribution to your organizations upon graduation.
As this and other accomplishments suggest, Woodbury School of Business faculty challenge our students to go beyond what many of them think they can do so that they leave UVU with an enhanced ability to add value to the organizations and communities they join upon graduation. Our Woodbury students are expected to work hard during their time with us but they are rewarded with personal and professional growth as well as an AACSB accredited degree that signals workforce excellence and thoughtful leadership.
As graduation draws near at the Woodbury School of Business, it is an opportune time to reflect on the progress and achievements of our students this past academic year. As I do so, I am pleased to see the many external validations that are accruing to our dedicated students supported by our faculty, staff, and community partners.
An example of this dedication can be found in Dr. Bernd Kupka, an assistant professor in our Management Department. Bernd has been tapped to receive the Civically Engaged Scholar Award from Utah Campus Compact. He’ll be recognized for his work in partnering with 22 local businesses including, Zion’s Bank, 1-800 Contacts and Sundance Resort to create consultative learning opportunities for WSB students. Bernd, like many of our faculty, provides students with engaged, learning opportunities by teaming them with local business in a way that builds the students’ human capital while adding value to local companies. This partnership between our local business community and the Woodbury School of Business is a critical component of our approach to preparing students for meaningful careers.
Preparing our graduates to enter the workforce ready to add value to their employers is a foundational goal that accompanies our approach to education. I am pleased to announce that two of our MBA students have successfully completed all four sections of the CPA exam. Two more MBA students are anxiously awaiting their results with a high expectation of success. This certification will open new career pathways for these students and is an outcome of the solid training they are receiving from our Accounting faculty.
Another external acknowledgement of program quality came earlier this year when the UVU chapter of the Golden Key Honour Society was awarded the gold standard of excellence. Ms. Silvia Lobendahn, our Management Department Administrative Assistant, heads Golden Key. Silvia volunteered for this assignment and has, obviously, performed extraordinarily well. The gold standard is given to chapters that are in the top 25% of the more than 400 chapters nationwide. As a result of Silvia’s efforts three Woodbury School students received $5,000 scholarships in recognition of their dedication to academics and community involvement.
Finally, the efforts of our students are being recognized in a variety of national and international competitions. Our personal financial planning students, for example, continue to have success having reached the finalist level in the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants international college financial plan competition. Stay tuned to see if these terrific students coached by Dr. Jerry Mason and Dr. Jacob Sybrowsky, are able to come out on top.