Urbana University Creates MBA Program and Partners with Industry Leader

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nestled in Urbana, Ohio, a private liberal arts university develops the connections between students and faculty that lead to the cultivation of cutting-edge programs and partnership opportunities. 


In October of 2013, Urbana University began a customized degree program and partnership with AkzoNobel, an international leader in fine coatings and specialty chemicals with offices and manufacturing facilities in Columbus, Ohio and around the world. AkzoNobel employs more than 450 highly skilled scientists and engineers in North America.


AkzoNobel came to the university through Urbana board member and alum Ben Mitchell, who is with the AkzoNobel sales management department.


Ben asked Urbana University to create an in-house MBA program customized for managers and supervisors.  UU responded by offering a 36-hour MBA program, with the coursework delivered both online and onsite at the AkzoNobel plant in Columbus.  Faculty and students jointly negotiate the scheduling of class time to maximize flexibility.  In addition, when appropriate, coursework focuses on the industry sector of AkzoNobel. University President Kirk Peterson said “this is a new focus for us, customizing our academic programs to meet the needs of our student stakeholders.”


Urbana University finds partnerships with corporate entities such as AkzoNobel mutually beneficial.  The company allows itsmanagement team the opportunity to obtain an MBA while balancing work and home commitments, growing into company leaders.  The University benefits from the addition of enrolled students in its MBA program and sharing the successes of the programs with additional companies.