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Merrick School of Business Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020

(Approved by the Merrick School Faculty Senate and the Dean’s Advisory Council, November 2016)

Image of the Merrick School of Business


The Merrick School of Business’ mission is to use our urban education hub to offer practical, career-minded and globally engaged business education that inspires professional and entrepreneurial growth.

University of Baltimore MBA students


We will be known for serving students from deeply diverse backgrounds who become successful entrepreneurs and professionals.

Summary of How We Want to Be Positioned

  • As a professional school of business we will be:

    • Regionally recognized (region is defined as greater Mid-Atlantic – southern Pennsylvania through Northern Virginia)
    • Among top two choices in region for both undergraduate and graduates who target non-elite cost effective business education
    • Both our undergraduate and graduate programs will be ranked by at least U.S. News and World Report.
  • From the perspective of the business community MSB will be:

    Engaged │ Relevant │ Impactful

    Our program offerings to employers are particularly relevant. We prepare students from widely diverse backgrounds. Our track-record in taking students and offering paths to social mobility matches with more and more employers’ desire to recruit students of promise not necessarily polish. Diversity and opportunity are seen as key issues for the management of talent in corporate America. Merrick School should be recognized as a solution to that issue.

    In addition, our scholarship and knowledge creation will make a contribution particularly but not exclusively in these areas:

    • Risk, Resilience and Cyber Security
    • Engaged Business Learning and Education
    • Emerging Themes in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • Ethics, Regulation, Licensing, Governance, and Compliance
    • Technology, Digital Transformation and Business Intelligence
    • Economic Development and Growth
    • Behavior in Markets, Operations, and Organization

    From the perspective of the university we will be seen as dynamic and growing. This is reflected in our enrollment goals discussed below.

    From the perspective of students:

    • MSB contributed to meeting career aspirations
    • Gave meaningful career opportunities
    • Made a significant impact on their learning

Develop a coherent value proposition

Merrick School’s business plan is executed in the context of University of Baltimore’s business plan. A key issue is ensuring that each school has distinctive value propositions that are coherent with the University of Baltimore value proposition. To that end MSB’s proposition will be evaluated and refined.  MSB’s starting proposition is:

  • To the Undergraduate Student:

    • If you have a desire/drive, UB/MSB will give you the opportunity (even a second chance at higher education)
    • In a small and personalized setting
    • With faculty who are researching cutting edge issues
    • In a curriculum that is highly experiential
    • Rigorous and current
    • One of the highest returns on investment in the nation based on Department of Education employment data
  • To the Graduate Student:

    • Best value among AACSB accredited regional powerhouses
    • Knowledgeable and experienced faculty
    • Choose career track most appropriate for you: corporate or entrepreneurial or both
    • Multidisciplinary skill-based specializations
    • Choice – you can even define your own specialization and use curriculum from across University of Baltimore
    • Flexibility of online and face-to-face
  • The Strategy Map

    Following from this MSB’s strategy is focused around three fundamental pillars:

    • Ensure student success
    • Increase enrollment
    • Intensify engagement with key stakeholders

    The Strategic Map (.pdf) describes the basic projects supporting the strategy. The strategic map shows the key deliverables to stakeholders, financial drivers, supporting processes that need to be in place and processes for learning that will ensure and enhance results.

Building on Student Success by 2020

  • Meaningful Career Paths

    1. 80 percent satisfied or 20 percent improvement over 2017 survey whichever is higher1
    2. 90 percent of employers satisfied2
    3. Broader satisfaction compared to population3
    1 Custom MSB survey extending analysis of existing data
    2 Custom MSB survey
    3 Based on meta-analysis of existing population data
  • Significant Increase in Persistence Rates

      2016-17 2017-18 2018-2019 2020-21
    UG 78% 83% 88% 90%
    GRAD 85% 87% 89% 90%
  •  Key Projects for Student Success:

    To accomplish this we will institute some key projects to ensure the processes to underlie these results are in place:

    1. Improve use of Career Center data on careers to build metrics to ensure right interventions
    2. Launch satisfaction survey around careers for graduates and employers
    3. Increase number of internships from 40 to 100
    4. Build predictive analytics around both career success and also overall persistence
    5. Pilot ways of linking academic and career advising

Increase Enrollment

By 2020 we will have increased enrollment. 

  • The driving assumptions behind these numbers are:

    • MSB market share in community colleges in Maryland can increase moderately
    • Trends in 4-year enrollment at UB
    • Targeted concentrations (for example, entrepreneurship, accounting) will underpin growth
    • International partnerships bring a new base of international students
    • University-supported international strategies for recruitment yields significant growth
    • Further segmentation of MBA stabilizes base graduate numbers
  • We will do this by:

    1. Building simpler and clearer pathways for undergraduates and particularly for transfer, military and veteran students and executing supporting marketing activities around these  
    2. Building clear pathways for specialized graduate degrees around a formula where courses lead to certificates lead to degrees  
    3. Marketing MBA in international markets with a target of recruiting 100 full- time overseas students by 2019 
    4. Marketing MBA in alternative versions while making minimum of academic changes (for example, International MBA, Cyber MBA, Accelerated MBA)  
    5. Executing best practices for MBA marketing
      1. Developing one-to-one relationships with candidates
      2. Connecting prospects with current students and alumni
      3. Partnering with companies
      4. Using current students and alumni as referrals

    To ensure our brand promise we will focus improving our teaching evaluation process to encourage continuous improvement and seek to set benchmarks for best practice in online education.

    We will establish renewal and learning in this domain by having quarterly sessions where we discuss innovative pedagogy and also what we are learning about potentially new markets for students.

Intensify Engagement

  • Business Relationships

    By 2020 we will have established concrete relationships with key segments of the business and policy community. A concrete relationship is defined by a regular flow of at least one of these activities:

    • Hiring graduates
    • Offering internship
    • Sponsoring class activity
    • Participating in classes or speaking events with students
    • Sponsoring students (scholarships)
    • Sponsoring a research center
    • Purchasing research
    • Purchasing customized program, professional or executive education
  • Target Industries

    Accounting 30/50 top firms in MD; 100 percent of Top 8
    Real Estate 30/50 firms in MD; 100 percent of top 4
    Cyber Security and Risk Management 10 influential firms
    Financial Services 30/50 top firms in Mid-Atlantic
    Distinctive Maryland Firms 100 percent
    Mid-Cap Maryland Firms 50
  • Increase Foundation Funds

    By 2020 we will also have significantly increased our foundation funds and annual giving to dean’s fund.

      New Endowments Annual Gifts- Unrestricted Annual Gifts-Restricted
    2016    $61,369 $142,479
    2017 $500,000  $70,000  $150,000
    2018  $1,000,000   $80,000   $170,000
    2019 $2,000,000  $120,000  $200,000
    2020 $5,000,000  $150,000  $250,000


  •  Knowledge Creation

    We will also have ensured that our knowledge creation is contributing to key themes that advance scholarly understanding and also influence business or policy.

    We will do this by building a systematic process for relationship building that deans, faculty and staff who have engagement with business and policy makers participate in.

    We will continue to learn and renew in this area by annually assessing “impact” of scholarship, teaching and engagement and regular seminars to discuss and disseminate new knowledge from faculty and visiting scholars and practitioners.

Develop a Supportive Environment to Underpin this Plan

There are two key areas that need focus in order to support this plan:

  • Staffing

    The staffing plan particularly for faculty will

    • Reflect the goals in 5-year enrollment plan developed with Enrollment Management
    • Hiring must:
      • Ensure MSB meets AACSB faculty sufficiency and faculty qualifications thresholds
      • Reflect disciplines necessary to support curriculum priorities
      • Reflect disciplines and disciplinary foci that are consistent with faculty initiated research themes that are active and making a contribution
      • Balance scholarly active and practitioner inputs in line with disciplinary and curriculum needs
  • Culture

    MSB faculty have a strong commitment to the mission and vision of the school. To support these goals specific changes in culture need to take place over the next 4 years:

    • Faculty driven processes that enable colleagues to excel at teaching both in the classroom and online
    • Practices to support faculty in making intellectual contributions that have an impact on scholarship and practice
    • Improve overall communication so that every faculty and staff members understand how they add values and feel motivated to contribute to other colleagues efforts

Concluding Challenge

The Merrick School of Business must be:

If the University of Baltimore is also the University FOR  Baltimore, then Merrick School must be the business school FOR  the Baltimore business community. That business community will recognize it as “their” school and when business schools and Baltimore are added together anywhere the Merrick School of Business will be the first association in prospective student, prospective faculty and prospective employers’ minds.