SAU Business responds to industry needs

Ronnie Watson, assistant professor of management, helps student Sarah Clayton in SAU’s first SAP ERP course offered this spring.

Ronnie Watson, assistant professor of management, helps student Sarah Clayton in SAU’s first SAP ERP course offered this spring.

The addition of the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning system into Southern Arkansas University’s College of Business curriculum is just one of many exciting additions for this upcoming school year.

The SAU College of Business has a strong tradition of success and is accredited by AACSB International, making it among the top five percent of business schools worldwide. Yet thanks to alumni in the field and industry partners in the region, many programs have been modified or added to meet the changing needs of the economy.

According to SAU College of Business Dean Dr. Lisa Toms, one of the most exciting additions is instruction on SAP ERP, which is software that allows organizations to share real-time information with supply chain partners. To help facilitate this curriculum, the addition of a 46-student SAP computer lab is being constructed this summer in the Business Building.

“SAU students will now be exposed to the very best ERP system in use. People with SAP experience are in very high demand in the job market now, and we will be one of only two universities in Arkansas offering instruction and exposure to SAP,” said LeMay Professor of Management Dr. Ken Green.

Green is a world class researcher on the effects of environmentally sustainable supply chain practices on business performance. He will be heading up the new Supply Chain Management program at SAU, with courses being added at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The SAU MBA is now an even more attractive program as it has added a 33-hour supply chain management emphasis option. The SAU MBA program remains the most affordable accredited online business program in Arkansas and ninth most affordable in the nation, according to

For students hoping to build their own business, the Entrepreneurship program will begin this fall. If online is the business plan sought after by a student, he or she will graduate with an online business up and running, according to Toms. These students will take a mix of entrepreneurship business courses along with web design classes from the SAU Department of Art and Design. If it is more of a brick-and-mortar business, the student will graduate with a thorough business plan and be ready to seek funding for his or her business.

The College of Business is also coordinating with the SAU Small Business and Technical Development Center to establish an Entrepreneurship Center. This facility will allow students to have hands-on experiential learning. Toms also will continue the trend of bringing SAU business alumni to speak to current students.

“It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about entrepreneurship, but it’s another to hear from those who have walked the walk, had pitfalls, and experienced risk,” said Toms.
Additional changes to the undergraduate studies include an overhaul of Management Information Systems, now just Information Systems, and providing three tracts to the Finance program – Financial Planning qualifies students to sit for the CFP exam; Entrepreneurial Finance for banking or credit managers; and Financial Analyses for emphasis on the stock market and investments.

To find out more about the SAU College of Business, visit

More stories from this issue

Receive the Stater in the mail

If you're an SAU Alum, just update your information to receive the print copy of The Stater twice a year!

Submit updates to the Stater

Do you have an idea for a story for the Stater or Alumni news update? Fill out this online form to submit your update!