The University of Maryland will propose a major overhaul of its College of Business and Management today in an attempt to avoid probation by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.
Dean Rudolph Lamone, at a meeting in St. Louis, will present a program calculated to enable Maryland to meet the AACSB's minimum standards for funding, student-teacher ratios and the number of full-time doctorally qualified professors. The AACSB notified Maryland last fall that it would be placed on probation - a prelude to losing accreditation - if the school did not take "significant steps" to remedy the situation.
Maryland is the only business school in the Washington metropolitan area whose undergraduate as well as graduate programs are accredited. Accreditation is vital because, without it, the institution cannot attract qualified teachers and corporation are reluctant to send recruiters to the campuses to interview students for jobs.
What happened to Maryland is typical of what is happening to many American business schools today as a result of the tremendous increase in business students in the part five years. The AACSB fears that the value of the degree awarded (primarily the Master in Business Administration) will be diluted unless strict academic standards are maintained.
On the other hand, there is a temptation on the part of some schools to ease their standards in exchange for the financial bonanza that higher enrollment brings.
There are now about 5,000 students at Maryland's B-school. Undergraduate enrollment rose by more than 70 percent in three years and the average class size has more than doubled over the past four years.
More women and minorities have been attracted than in the past due to the popularity of the course, the comparatively low tuition ($395 for state residents and $1080 for out-of-staters). The school's low entrance requirements also have helped attract new students.
A memo prepared at the request of the university's chancellor, Dr. Robert Gluckstern, declared that budgetary support had increased by only 20 percent between fall 1974 and fall 1977.
he memo continued that in the fall of 1977 only 27 percent of total undergraduate credit hours were taught by full-time Ph.D.s. The AACSB requires that 40 percent of the student body be taughts by instructors with doctorates.
Partly, as a result of what college officials termed a "deteriorating" quality of education, three teachers left last year and more were reported contemplating departure before the school's overhaul was announced.
This calls for a 29 per cent reduction in enrollment over the next five years. No students will be accepted before junior year for the business school. To qualify they must have a 2.3 (out of 4) academic average. Five percent of the available slots for business majors will be reserved for those who do not otherwise qualify academically as well as affirmative action cases.
This would set up higher entrance requirements than for any other college at the university and is seen by some faculty members as a percent to limiting enrollment in other campus programs. Therefore it will be instituted on a six year trial basis.
The college plans to combine sections of lower level courses to meet the AACSB 40 percent Ph.D. requirement. In addition new funds have been promised to hire more faculty with doctorates. The B-school budget will be increased by 75 percent over the next five years. The State Board of Education has yet to approve this action.