The School of Business at Baldwin Wallace University will be absorbing the sport management major starting next semester.
The major will be leaving the School of Heath, Physical Education and Sport Sciences (HPESS), and Provost Dr. Steven Stahl said the move was made in conjunction with the debut of a new major.
“This is also a part of the development of a new curriculum, the hospitality management program.” Stahl said. “Expanding the hospitality management and the sport management by placing it where we have other management courses seems to make sense.”
Dr. Frank Braun, Dean of the School of Business, mentioned that the program was developed by the sport business faculty and the management of the school.
“There’s already a joint effort and between the sport management and business programs,” Braun said. “I see more of these things with the integration of entrepreneurship, marketing, digital marketing all with sport management and tourism and hospitality.”
The move wasn’t one made with all parties in agreement, though, Braun said.
“If you look at the domain of sport, and you’re losing one of your children,” said Braun. “You want one of your entities to prosper but maybe that involves joining a different group. It’s more from the domain that they are operating which is the sports area. I mean, would you like it if you had one less of something?”
He also said that while there was some opposition, there was no pushing or pulling, and all parties recognized that the move made sense.
Stahl agreed, saying that changes cause people to think about things they normally wouldn’t in an effort to minimize unforeseen circumstances.
Braun also said the move was sparked by something University President Bob Helmer said in a speech in August.
“The president, in his convocation address, talked about ways to find more collaboration and efficiency,” Braun said. “So when you have an effectively business program not in the school of business, they were almost on an island.”
He added that efficiency and collaborations create an opportunity of growth, and the ability to market the programs together.
“If you look at how sports teams market their venues.” Braun said, “They’re marketing them digitally, and we have a new digital marketing degree. Wouldn’t it be good to have that cross-pollination of digital marketing students, sport management students and faculty alike?”
Stahl added that the integration of hospitality, sports and business classes will create better flexibility in each of the programs and allow students to expand beyond their initial interests.
“It gives students the opportunity to try something out for a few years,” Stahl said. “If the dream job is working for a Minor League Baseball team somewhere, and then you realize you don’t see opportunities to advance there, it allows students to move sideways into a different part of business. You may be going from a Minor League team to a Fortune 500 company.”
Both Stahl and Braun mentioned that this move also opens the gateway to Baldwin Wallace’s one-year Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program.
“The notion of spending one more year in school with even more internships and then an MBA should really jump them in the front of the class in the positions they want,” Stahl said.
Braun said that the possibility of multiple start times for the MBA is being discussed in order to benefit sports management students.
“You can start in May, or start in January, and there could be ramp up classes that make the transition smoother,” Braun said. “We’re going to look at it many ways, so that folks in the sport management program have a seamless path to achieve a graduate degree.”
Braun said that, though the move may seem sudden to students, he hopes that students understand and can adapt to it easily. He said that the goal of the relocation is for students to gain a “deeper and broader” experience, and that they are aiming to enhance the program through the relocation.