UAF College Of Business And Security Management: Envisioning Transformative Higher Education Experiences For Future Leaders

By Dr. Cameron Carlson, Dean
UAF College Of Business And Security Management: Envisioning Transformative Higher Education Experiences For Future Leaders
Dr. Cameron Carlson,Dean Management courses in the USA have evolved to encompass a broad spectrum of specializations and interdisciplinary studies. Several universities and colleges across the country are offering diverse management programs tailored to meet the demands of contemporary business environments. Promising excellence through transformative experiences, the inception of a business administration degree at UAF College of Business and Security Management dates back to 1924 when the initial focus was on general business, accounting, and secretarial science. By 1959, this degree broadened its scope to encompass majors in accounting, business education, management, marketing, and secretarial science.

Subsequently, by 1975, the establishment of the School of Management (SOM) as one of UAF's five professional schools took place. Achieving accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 1988, SOM became Alaska's pioneer AACSB-accredited business school, and in 2021, the University of Alaska Board of Regents sanctioned the transition of the School of Management into the College of Business and Security Management (CBSM), symbolizing its growth and diverse range of academic programs.

Today, students at CBSM engage in numerous hands-on activities, emphasizing experiential learning. These activities involve organizing events like the Arctic Innovation Competition and Business Leader of the Year. The Accounting program facilitates placements for many students in esteemed internship programs offered by prominent firms such as KPMG and BDO. Additionally, CBSM offers an exceptional Applied Management program, enabling students to enhance their professional skills through specialized courses focusing on career and professional development. Complementing these offerings is the Professionally Polished program, providing guidance to students in etiquette and networking skills.

Equipping Students for Industry Needs
The University of Alaska Fairbanks' College of Business and Security Management is devoted to fostering the upcoming cohort of leaders and trailblazers. Through its dedication to pioneering programs and emphasis on high-quality teaching, CBSM stands out as a symbol of superior education in the Last Frontier, serving as an inspiration for aspiring future leaders.
“We provide courses providing students with practical, real-world exposure. As an example, our MBA program enables students to engage in startup investments. Both our graduate and undergraduate students can actively contribute to the management and expansion of the Student Investment Fund (SIF).

Initiated in 1991 with a $100,000 USD endowment, the SIF has burgeoned to $2.2 Million through student management, supporting student scholarships under the guidance of faculty mentors”, says Dr. Cameron Carlson, Dean.

Here's a testimonial by Peter Freymueller, BBA in Business Administration, 2019, SIF President, 2018-19 regarding their involvement in the SIF. “I chose to enroll in the SIF course because I was interested in investment as a career path. In addition, the course is considered one of the most challenging courses at the College of Business and Security Management and I wanted to challenge myself. Without a doubt, I have learned more in SIF than I have in any of my courses at UAF.

It has been invaluable to my education as it has dramatically enhanced my analytical and interpersonal skills, as well as my knowledge in the fields of finance and economics. The opportunity to participate in trips and competitions like these connects our Alaskan institution to the rest of the world and proves that students from UAF are just as competitive as those from the rest of the U.S. Being able to talk directly to world-renowned professionals during these experiences is something that really helped to broaden my horizons.

Being a part of the Student Investment Fund has allowed me to explore my passion and pass it on to other students, taking on leadership roles and offering me job opportunities both within and outside the state. I firmly believe the Student Investment Fund course allows students to comprehensively build upon their own education and gives them numerous opportunities to progress in careers on a national and international platform.”

Backed by Industry Experts
The College of Business and Security Management takes pride in its faculty, consisting of numerous industry practitioners. This blend of academic and practitioner expertise, combined with strong connections to the business and community sectors, enables CBSM to offer experiential learning opportunities aligned with contemporary industry demands.

The faculty members at CBSM adhere to the stringent academic, research, and service criteria set by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Presently, CBSM holds dual accreditation in Business and Accounting from AACSB, a distinction attained by only 1.5 percent of business schools globally.
Preaching Practical Learning
CBSM emphasizes the significance of aligning its curricula with industry standards as a pivotal element contributing to its success. Recognizing this as imperative for adequately preparing students for their professional journeys, CBSM actively engages in public-private partnerships.

These collaborations involve experts and organizations, offering valuable insights that cater to current industry requisites. Such partnerships play a crucial role in shaping curriculum content and teaching methodologies, ensuring direct relevance of students' learning experiences to the demands of the real-world job market.

Furthermore, regular review and updates to the curriculum and teaching approaches are instrumental in meeting the evolving needs of sectors like accounting, finance, and particularly security and emergency management. The ever-changing workplace landscape necessitates dynamic programs that remain adaptable and promptly reflect the latest advancements.

Integrating practical experiences such as internships, real-world projects, and capstone initiatives enables students to apply theoretical knowledge in solving genuine workplace challenges.

"CBSM emphasizes the significance of aligning its curricula with industry standards as a pivotal element contributing to its success"

Future Vision
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, set against the backdrop of Alaska's natural beauty, hosts the College of Business and Security Management (CBSM), known for its commitment to academic excellence and innovation. CBSM continually enhances its education quality and has recently introduced pioneering programs. Notably, the Master's in Healthcare Management and Leadership responds to the healthcare sector's demand for adept professionals, providing expertise in navigating its complexities.

The revamped MBA program now offers concentrations in Business Analytics, Cybersecurity Management, and STEM, crucial for today's data-driven world. These concentrations equip students with specialized knowledge to thrive in competitive business environments.

Moreover, the Bachelor of Applied Management program's expansion includes new logistics classes, addressing the rising need for logistics experts in industries like transportation and supply chain management. CBSM's initiatives reflect a dedication to preparing graduates with the skills needed in evolving industries, securing their success in dynamic professional landscapes.
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