Marietta College announces merger of B&E with Leadership Program

McDonough Center building

As part of Marietta College’s ongoing commitment to adapt and innovate amid a changing higher education landscape, the Office of Academic Affairs announced today the College’s plan to merge the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business with the Department of Business & Economics to create a new department that better prepares students to succeed in both the non-profit and the for-profit business world.

The combined departments will maintain the name McDonough Center for Leadership and Business.

“The combining of these two programs makes sense as we work to ensure the courses and majors within this combined program meets the expanding needs of today’s business world and for leadership challenges of the future,” said Marietta College President Bill Ruud. “This reorganization makes a strong statement about our commitment to enhancing our academic areas to ensure greater opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff.”

Dr. Janet Bland, Marietta College’s Provost, said she is looking forward to the new program continuing to be a crossroads for educating Marietta’s students to lead and succeed in the for-profit, public sector and non-profit world. She said this also allows the College to continue its commitment to an education of depth and breadth, where academic major content is complemented by integrated and interdisciplinary learning.

“The integration of these two programs opens up the door to growing both programs, and also capitalizes on our strengths to provide a value proposition that helps distinguish our graduates in a world that is always changing,” Bland said. “It allows us to bring together the talents and expertise of the faculty and staff to enhance what we already have and also create new opportunities for student learning.”

The College will begin a national search for a dean of the new program soon and this individual will be in place before the two programs are officially one department starting on July 1, 2022.

Marietta’s Office of Academic Affairs took the lead more than a year ago to review the potential merger. That research resulted in finding alumni from each program who had positive experiences and are excited for potential growth, as well as faculty who are encouraged about the possibilities and looking forward to forging new partnerships.

“Everyone involved in this merger has worked hard to get to this point, and we are excited by the potential for the new program,” Bland said. “We also can’t wait to have a leader in place who will work closely with key stakeholders — faculty, staff, students and alumni — to develop a shared vision that strengthens the overall purpose and vision of the program.”

Currently, the B&E program offers 11 majors in Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, International Business, Land & Energy Management, Management, Marketing, Public Accounting, Sport Management and Supply Chain Management. Marietta also offers a minor in Business, which is an appealing option for students in the liberal arts majors.

Since the McDonough Leadership Program welcomed its first cohort of students in 1987, the curriculum has emphasized strong leader development locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. With the merger, the College plans to seize on an opportunity to present leadership in a broader scope that will be appealing to all majors at Marietta College. 

While the majority of Leadership students graduate with a certificate in the program, McDonough also offers a major in Global Leadership. Students can also minor in Leadership Studies. The Leadership Program is also known for embedding multiple service opportunities into its curriculum that translate into students completing thousands of volunteer hours in the greater Marietta community. Bland said that component of the program will grow even more through the merger.

Students currently enrolled in majors, minors or certificate programs in either area will not see their degree programs impacted by the merger.