TAMIU Ph.D. in International Business Administration Ready for Approval in 2004

TAMIU Ph.D. in International Business Administration Ready for Approval

In the near future, Texas A&M International University will experience a quantum shift when it becomes a Ph.D.-granting institution.

The doctorate in International Business Administration, the University's first stand-alone Ph.D, is pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, scheduled to render its decision this April. When approved, it will change the University's landscape as much as the crush of new buildings that typify the 300-acre campus.

University president Dr. Ray Keck said the change will redefine the University.

"We will be redefined as an institution, as a part of the higher education community and in how we continue to deliver our mission here. For the first time, qualified students will have the option of joining scholars from all around the world in completing a Ph.D. program in a city and setting that defines international business," Dr. Keck said.

He said the impact on the communities the University serves will be formidable.

"The Ph.D. Program in International Business Administration is a major new initiative which will not only take the University to a higher level of excellence, but will also have a major qualitative impact on the community. The Laredo business community is strongly supportive and looks forward to taking advantage of this great new opportunity to become globally competitive. The larger community of international business scholars, too, will benefit from this addition to the cadre of specialists trained at Texas A&M International University," he explained.

Dr. J. Michael Patrick, interim dean of the TAMIU College of Business Administration, said the Ph.D. program is considered bi-pillar, combining coursework, research and a functional area of business administration.

"Coursework and research in International Business Administration will be combined with coursework and research in one of the following areas: accounting, economics, finance, management and strategy, management information systems, or marketing. It is designed to produce scholars who can make significant contributions - through research, teaching and service - to the growing area of International Business and associated fields," Dr. Patrick said.

He explained that the University and College of Business Administration have been working steadily for several years to introduce the comprehensive doctorate in International Business Administration. The University and The Texas A&M University System's Board of Regents have already approved it.

"This is a major step for the University and one that will take this relatively young, but dynamic institution to the level and quality of the more selective doctoral-granting universities in the country. It comes shortly after the College of Business has received accreditation from AACSB International, the accreditation body for business schools and program. With this first doctoral degree, the University will be in an even better position to respond to the needs of Laredo and the surrounding communities, as well as the many prospective candidates from around the globe who aspire to receive the highest academic degree in this dynamic and important field of study," he said.

Patrick explained that international business is of crucial importance to Laredo and its study at the crossroads of trade and business will upgrade community and regional knowledge bases.

"International business, in all its forms - from exports and imports to foreign direct investment, financial management, accounting, information systems management, technology transfer, outsourcing and strategic management - is of crucial importance to Texas, and in particular to Laredo, given its globally strategic location. Sitting at the crossroads of a major international trade and business route, the Gateway City has long felt the need to upgrade the skill and knowledge base of its community leaders and educators," he said.

Professor Tagi Sagafi-nejad, Radcliffe Killam Distinguished Professor of International Business and Ph.D. program director, noted that it is fitting that the program will be global in scope and draw on applicants from around the world to help address a coming shortage of PhDs.

"Of course, the Ph.D. program will be global in scope, and will draw on a significant pool of applicants from around the world, but particularly from Laredo, South Texas, and Mexico. Qualified applicants will be provided with financial assistance. The United States continues to face a shortage in the number of PhDs for the foreseeable future. The TAMIU program will make a contribution to alleviating this shortage," Dr. Sagafi-nejad said.

He noted that in addition to its strong cadre of world class TAMIU faculty scholars and planned additions to the faculty, the Ph.D. program will benefit from the involvement of a Global Advisory Board of eminent scholars from the international business academic community.

"The Global Advisory Board includes current as well as three of the past presidents of the Academy of International Business, the academic association of the field. The Board also includes senior scholars from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the United Nations (Geneva), Indiana University, University of Miami, Rutgers University, Reading University (UK), Georgia Tech University, The University of Memphis, Texas A&M University, and the University of Southern New Hampshire. They represent the field of International Business as well as various associated disciplines, including Economics, Finance and Strategic Management," he said.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tagi Sagafi-nejad at Texas A&M International University, 5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, Texas 78041; phone (956) 326-2512, e-mail: IB-PhD@TAMIU.edu or click on http://www.tamiu.edu/coba/phd

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu