Academic Tuesdays: Feb. 28, 2023

Cameron Carlson, dean of the College of Business and Security Management
Cameron Carlson, dean of the College of Business and Security Management.

–by Cameron Carlson, dean of the College of Business and Security Management

The College of Business and Security Management continues to evolve as a business school here in Alaska as we look to new and innovative ways in which to meet the needs of our students and the industries we serve. In recent years, the college has seen an increase in the number of students (9.5% enrollment growth from AY 2021 to 2022) entering our programs to study accounting, applied management, business, security as well as emergency management. Our students have been eager to put their knowledge and skills to work in the diverse economy of Alaska, and beyond. To that end, many of our programs have received national recognition for their quality, affordability, and the unique education provided.

Name change
While we had long been known as the School of Management or SOM, our transition to become the College of Business and Security Management was undertaken to better reflect the diversity of our programs, the interdisciplinary nature of our faculty and their scholarship, and to ensure we maintained a meaningful way in which to contribute to UAF. Our new name underscores the traditional focus we have had on Business, Management and Accounting, while simultaneously acknowledging the growing significance of Security and Emergency Management in our region if not internationally. The renaming process itself brought stakeholders together from our community, students, faculty, and staff in order to not only reach consensus as to the name, but the way in which we would introduce the new college in light of its strong and well-known branding as SOM. We will continue to offer traditional program offerings related to business, accounting, and applied management as instruction in human and climate security, emergency management and human resources serve to become more advantageous to the future of our students.

New academic program
Moving forward, we are in the process of creating a new graduate program in Healthcare Management and Leadership to address the needs of healthcare organizations both here in Alaska and the Lower 48. Our goal in developing this program is to build an integrated management and leadership curriculum as a stand-alone graduate degree, graduate certificate, and concentration within our MBA. This allows us to offer the program in multiple formats, supporting student interests and needs. While the program is still undergoing review, our hopes are to have the program approved and prepared for delivery beginning in the fall of 2023.

Business Leader of the Year committee co-chair Ashley Plys, recipient Joe Usibelli Jr. and committee co-chair Gavin Meggert pose at the BLOY event on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
Photo by Gabriel King
Business Leader of the Year committee co-chair Ashley Plys, recipient Joe Usibelli Jr. and committee co-chair Gavin Meggert pose at the BLOY event on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

Business Leader of the Year
Support from our local community and our annual Business Leader of the Year (BLOY) event has likewise proven to be a key component in helping our college to expand and better support our students. This high-profile event dating back to 1977 honors business leaders here locally and provides students an avenue in which to play a significant role in planning and executing the event. It also serves as a celebration for the entire community, allowing CBSM, our students, and local business owners to interact and help one another.

Arctic Innovation Competition
Another pivotal event CBSM has hosted since 2009 is the UAF Arctic Innovation Competition (AIC). The AIC recognizes innovative ideas and encourages economic development both here in Alaska and beyond. The competition awards individuals and teams for their ideas that have the potential to create positive change. There are three age divisions, and many K-12 teachers often integrate AIC into their curriculum. The competition also provides resources and support to help innovators bring their ideas to life. By awarding innovative ideas, the competition hopes to inspire more competitors to create meaningful solutions for their communities. As the presenting sponsor, Usibelli Coal Mine exhibits its commitment to innovation by providing cash prizes, volunteers and program support.

The Center for Arctic Security and Resilience
The Center for Arctic Security and Resilience (CASR) serves as CBSM's lead for strategic and operational Arctic-related national security and resilience-related endeavors. Led by Troy Bouffard as the CASR director, numerous accomplishments have been achieved over the past few years which have not only contributed to UAF’s but CBSM’s reputation as the preeminent leader in Arctic security studies and research activities. Significant to the center, the Arctic Security Forces Roundtable (ASFR) as a major defense forum for the Circumpolar North was conducted here on campus this past year. Other ongoing initiatives such as the Arctic eTalk series, the NATO Strategic Communications project and the numerous other ongoing initiatives involving individuals from across our campus and beyond signal an increased relevance for the center.

We look forward to future collaborations from across the university and appreciate the relationships and support we receive from the community. We will work to ensure that CBSM’s future will continue to be one which is collaborative and focused on our local and extended communities and partnerships.