The dean of the University of Dayton School of Business Administration, Paul M. Bobrowski, plans to revamp the undergraduate curriculum, offer more opportunities for students in China and develop a new strategy for the MBA program.
Bobrowski, who was selected in a national search and began his job at UD in July 2012, now leads the largest private business school in Ohio. The school’s nine bachelor’s degree programs enroll nearly 20 percent of the university’s undergraduate students. And the school employs about 95 faculty and staff.
“We want to essentially move the academic reputation needle of this school,” Bobrowski said. “To do that, obviously, you need to continue to attract top-notch faculty. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: Good faculty, good students, great reputation. More good faculty, more good students and on and on.”
Bobrowski, 62, said the school is already working to revise its undergraduate curriculum. “This is something that I think is probably overdue,” he said.
The school admits students as freshmen, but traditionally has not offered them business courses until their junior or senior year, he said.
“If we don’t have curriculum that embraces them in the business school at the freshmen level, we tend to waste a lot of enthusiasm the students have,” he said. “I would like to see us essentially move some of our curriculum into the freshmen year so they have a more meaningful experience.”
The school will also need to rethink its strategy for the MBA program, Bobrowski said.
“The MBA program has been a very, very success program,” he said. “However, things have changed. We now have different kinds of students that we are bringing into the MBA program. The days when NCR, Mead and General Motors were big in Dayton and contributing lots of part-time students to the MBA program are long gone.”
Today, the school attracts more international students and it must compete with online programs, for-profit institutions and unaccredited schools, he said.
It also faces increased competition and a bidding war for faculty, as many baby boomers retire, he said.
“We would like to have some things that are distinctive and make us different,” said Bobrowski, a Cleveland native whose work experience includes three years as a performance engineer at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from 1972 to 1975.
One opportunity, he said, will be the year-old University of Dayton China Institute.
He said the business school is looking into developing semester-long programs that could expose students to the politics, culture and people of China — the United State’s second-largest trading partner.
The university said Bobrowski has the experience and the skills needed to lead the changes.
In his previous role leading the Auburn University College of Business, he oversaw an increase in faculty research, attracted the school’s largest single gift of $5 million and introduced new academic programs.
“In a very short period of time, Dean Bobrowski has demonstrated a deep understanding and unwavering commitment to our Catholic and Marianist mission through his engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,” said Provost Joseph Saliba.
Paul M. Bobrowski
Education: Ph.D. in operations management from Indiana University; master’s degree in management from Purdue University; bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Family: Wife, Paula; four children; and seven grandchildren.
Work history: Dean of the College of Business at Auburn University, 2004 to 2010; associate dean of the MBA and MS programs at the School of Management at Syracuse University, 2001 to 2004; director of the executive MBA program at Syracuse, 1996 to 2001; director of the Syracuse University Summer Internship Program in Singapore, 1994 to 1995; U.S. Air Force 1972 to 1981.