Doctorate program to be introduced


SU’s John L. Grove College of Business will introduce a business doctorate program in the fall of 2018, with the expectation of increased student enrollment and prospective faculty interest.

Shippensburg University’s John L. Grove College of Business will be opening itself up to a wider array of students in the fall of 2018 with the introduction of a new doctorate program.

In September, a team of SU faculty members submitted an executive summary proposal to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors (BoG), outlining the benefits of introducing a business doctorate program to SU, as well as the resources that would be needed in order for the program to be successful.

The BOG meets at least four times a year, and approved SU’s proposal during its last meetings on April 5 and 6.

“This committee worked very hard and very quickly to submit an approval to our administration,” said Blake Hargrove, SU business professor and chair of the faculty team in charge of creating the program’s proposal for the BOG.

In addition to the proposal, letters of support from companies such as Volvo Construction Company were submitted to assist in obtaining approval.

Hargrove said Acting Provost Tracy Schoolcraft worked diligently with PASSHE throughout the winter and spring of 2017 to amend the faculty team’s proposal.

The dean of the college of business, John Kooti, was also closely involved with overseeing the program’s conception and evolvement.

“We have faculty who were interested in developing [the doctorate] program, and were capable of it,” Schoolcraft said.

SU’s college of business first received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 1981 — an accreditation that has been renewed every year since.

“We feel we have the best college of business within the PASSHE schools,” Schoolcraft said. “The fact that we offer a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is attractive — it will help us attract future faculty.”

Hargrove said he believes the introduction of a doctorate program for the college of business will attract an influx of business undergraduate students, as well as strengthen the college’s future capabilities.

“I think the program will attract undergraduates. It’s a quality indicator,” Hargrove said. “Our capability in regard to research really sets us apart.”

Not long after SU’s DBA program is introduced, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) will be introducing a doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D.) program, according to Schoolcraft.

“The difference [between the two programs] is ours is meant for the working professional, or someone that may be looking to become a faculty member. Their [IUP’s] main audience is folks who want to become faculty,” Schoolcraft said. “It always helps when you are the first, even if you are in different places geographically.”

SU programs in mechanical engineering and sustainability will face the BoG for approval in July.

Anyone with questions about SU’s business doctorate program may contact Hargrove at

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