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Celebrating 50 Years: MBA History

The UNL MBA program recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Throughout the years, the program evolved to offer courses online as well as on campus, and both programs are highly ranked in the nation.

The on-campus program first emerged in the years following World War II, as there was a growing demand for managerial personnel. Under the direction of Dean Charles S. Miller with funding from the Cooper Foundation, the College of Business Administration received permission to establish an MBA program directed at those with undergraduate degrees other than business in 1964. Soon after, the program expanded to meet the needs of business graduates as well.

Key changes to the MBA program happened due to a relationship with military personnel at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Gordie Karels, professor emeritus and past associate dean of research and graduate programs, served as the MBA faculty director when the decision was made to change the course schedule and the delivery method.

“After 9/11, when our military students were deployed and couldn’t tell us where they were going, the decision was made to follow them by offering online courses. We were one of the first online programs. The program is primarily civilian, but its roots were in serving the military,” Karels said.

Today, the MBA program is a leader in providing students with flexible options to complete their degree.

“The recognition of our MBA programs is significant and it’s been fantastic to watch our programs be consistently ranked among the best. Both our MBA online and on-campus students are part of the same quality program, taught by the same worldrenowned professors,” said Dean Donde Plowman.

First UNL distance MBA degree presented to Jack Copsey

First UNL distance MBA degree presented to Jack Copsey

Published: February 12, 2015