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NEWS

May 8, 2008

RSU to Offer New Business Degree Options This Fall

Rogers State University has received initial approval to offer two new business administration degree options that will help prepare students for opportunities in the evolving fields of manufacturing and accounting.

The RSU governing body, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, on Thursday approved adding manufacturing management and forensic accounting options to RSU's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program. Upon approval by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the options will be offered this fall through the School of Business and Technology on the RSU campus in Claremore.

"These two new degree options will continue to strengthen RSU's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program by giving students more ways to prepare for careers in business," said Dr. Larry Rice, RSU President Designate.

"The manufacturing industry continues to thrive in northeastern Oklahoma and is a significant share of our economy," said Dr. Bruce Garrison, dean of RSU's School of Business and Technology. "The recent addition of a $180 million Gatorade facility in the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor is just one great example of manufacturing growth in the area."

The manufacturing management program combines technology and advanced management techniques to prepare students for careers in manufacturing and the production of goods and services. 

"Continual advancement in manufacturing technology requires an educated workforce," said Roy Peters, president of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. "As Baby Boomers retire in the coming years, there will be an increased need for qualified workers in the manufacturing field."

Graduates from this program will find many opportunities in the state's manufacturing work force, Peters said. According to the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance there are more than 150,000 manufacturing jobs statewide.

Forensic accounting has emerged as an important focus in the practice of accounting.  Events in recent years including the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley Act have created a need for a sub-specialty in accounting emphasizing forensic methodology, Garrison said.

Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 18 percent through 2016, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's 2008-2009 Occupational Outlooks Handbook.

"Increased focus on and numbers of financial crimes such as embezzlement, bribery and securities fraud will increase the demand for forensic accountants to detect illegal financial activity by individuals, companies and organized crime rings," said Dr. Bert Tollison, head of the RSU Department of Businesses.

Computer technology has made these crimes easier to commit, and they are on the rise, he said. At the same time, the development of new computer software and electronic surveillance technology has made tracking down financial criminals easier, thus increasing the ease and likelihood of discovery. As success rates of investigations grow, demand for forensic accountants will increase.

Students in both degree options will have the opportunity to work with RSU's Innovation Center. The Innovation Center provides consulting and incubator support for individuals or groups desiring to start a new business.

For more information on RSU's business programs, contact the School of Business and Technology at (918) 343-7663.