Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee


Johanna Duncan-Poitier


CUNY College of Staten Island: Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Business Management


January 20, 2006


Goals 2 and 4






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


Should the Board of Regents authorize amendment of the master plan of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York in order for the College of Staten Island (CSI) to offer a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Business Management?


Reason for Consideration

          Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


The question will come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its February 2006 meeting, where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the Full Board at its February meeting for final action.


Procedural History


Master plan amendment is required because this would be the College’s first master degree program in the MPA discipline of Business Management and Administration.  At its June 2005 meeting, the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York, “Resolved, That the Board of Trustees requests that the Board of Regents amend the Master Plan of the College of Staten Island so as to permit the College to offer … a program in Business Management leading to the Master of Science degree.” The Department received CUNY’s request on June 30, 2005.  



Background Information


CUNY has proposed that the College of Staten Island offer a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Business Management.  Regents action is needed because the CUNY Board of Trustees currently does not award the M.S. degree in the MPA discipline of Business Management and Administration at the CSI.  Section 6206(8) of the Education Law authorizes the Board of Trustees to “grant the certificates, diplomas and degrees which were announced in the bulletins of the existing public institutions of higher learning published for the term beginning immediately prior to April sixteenth, nineteen hundred twenty-six, and also such other degrees and honors as the regents thereafter specifically authorized or may hereafter authorize it to grant.”


The CUNY Trustees are authorized to award at CSI the degrees of Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.), and Master of Science in Education (M.S. in Ed.). 




The Department has determined that the proposed M.S. program in Business Management meets the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. 


It is recommended that the Board authorize the amendment of the master plan of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York authorizing the College of Staten Island to offer a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Business Management.  This amendment will be effective until February 14, 2007, unless the program is registered by the Department prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.


Information in Support of Recommendation


The College of Staten Island (CSI) offers an undergraduate program under the MPA discipline of Business and Commerce, General.  Business is the College’s most heavily enrolled undergraduate major with business majors earning more than 25 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded over the last five years. The proposed program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Business Management is designed for a broad spectrum of students with undergraduate degrees in business and related fields. It is focused on the development of strategic management skills and is designed for current or aspiring middle managers that wish to enhance their knowledge, study advanced analytical methods, and acquire experience with new technologies. Graduate-level education has expanded at the College within the past several years in accordance with the organization’s strategic plan for 2001-2006.  A master’s degree in business management is a natural progression in the College’s development.


Students in the proposed program will complete 30 credit hours, or ten courses at three credits each, at the graduate level. With prerequisites in business and quantitative areas satisfied, all students are required to take four core courses in management, marketing, and finance.  The course sequence will be followed by four advanced courses focusing on management and decision-making topics including leadership, human resource management, and global business strategy.  One of the four advanced courses is the capstone course, Managerial Decision-Making and Applications.  Students will also be required to select two electives from more specialized offerings in accounting, marketing, and finance. 


          Applicants to the proposed program must have a baccalaureate degree in accounting, business, or a related field from an accredited institution, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and achieve a minimum score of 550 on the GMAT.  Applicants with baccalaureate degrees from non-English speaking colleges and universities must achieve a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based version or 250 on the electronic version of the TOEFL examination.  Additionally, applicants must provide two letters of recommendation.


The College projects 30 students in the entering cohort, growing to approximately 100 students by 2009. Conservative enrollment assumptions were based, in part, on a survey used to develop the enrollment projections.


 Projected expenditures for the program are $172,799 for Year One of the program increasing to $275,380 in Year Five, including faculty and staff costs. The overall projection allocates $5,000 per year to increase library holdings for the program and $14,500 over the five-year period for new equipment purchases. The College projects revenue related to the proposed program of $134,500 for Year One, increasing to $362,250 in Year Five. The program will require the use of a “smart” classroom for classes in accounting, information systems, and marketing. 


All faculty listed for the proposed program have doctoral degrees in their respective fields. 


The College reports that there is evidence of strong demand for the proposed program among potential students and that the business community has come forward with considerable formal support for the proposed master’s program.  CSI is the only public institution of higher education in the borough of Staten Island. A survey distributed to upper-division students majoring in business at CSI during the spring of 2002 showed that approximately 60 percent of the 289 respondents indicated that location was “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in pursuing graduate education.  Proximity and convenience were identified as particularly important to dual career families and single parents.


With respect to cost, 73 percent of the 289 respondents indicated that reasonable tuition was either “very important” or “somewhat important” to them.  Private educational institutions on Staten Island charge tuition of as much as $20,000 a year for graduate education in business compared to CUNY’s graduate tuition of $230 per credit.


The master’s degree program in Business Management addresses Staten Island’s and the region’s workforce needs by providing advanced managerial competency for employees of the larger employers and small businesses that dominate Staten Island and the employees of large corporations in Manhattan and New Jersey.  According to the 2000 census, Staten Island’s population is over 450,000 and is growing faster than other areas of New York City and New York State.  Approximately 45 percent of its employed residents work on Staten Island. Its major sectors of employment include finance, insurance, and real estate (17 percent), health services (11 percent), and public administration (7 percent).  The borough also has a significant public sector: police, fire, sanitation, and parks departments, court administration, and the Borough President's Office - all afford potential placements for well-trained managers.  As of August 12, 2005, the Department of Labor’s real-time list of occupations in demand in the New York City area included Chief Executives, Other; Financial Managers; and General and Operations Managers. 


Effect on Other Institutions


          A canvass was conducted of institutions of higher education in the New York region.  There were nine  responses to the canvass.  Eight of the respondents did not object to the proposal. One institution, St. John’s University, objected but through discussions with CUNY College of Staten Island, St. John’s University withdrew its objection.