The Role of a Business School

The Role of a Business School

I have been asked a few times, “What is the role of a business school at a traditionally liberal arts university?” To those in the School of Business at Fresno Pacific University, the answer is clear, yet consists of several connected parts.

In the School of Business, we educate leaders, building on such foundational skills as reading, writing, mathematics, critical thinking, the sciences, the humanities and the like. The liberal arts are fundamental to educating in the Christian tradition and are a necessary component for those seeking a business degree so that as Christian professionals, the accountant can critically evaluate complex tax issues, a marketing consultant can clearly communicate with a client and a business owner can paint a virtual picture that inspires a new vision for the future. We are preparing Christians to serve and to minister in the business world.

Our School of Business faculty are highly involved in academia and community service. Examples abound, but here are just a few of the exciting pursuits of our business faculty and staff:

  • Andrew Shinn, M.B.A., recently returned from a trip to New York where he accompanied students Freddie Lopez, Austin Hussain and Miguel Bermudez. These students won first place in the undergraduate division of the GoLiveServe Business as Mission Case Competition. The competition was fierce with more than 50 entries nationwide. Our students were awarded $9,000 at the Believers in Business Conference held in February 2019.
  • Cathy Peck, M.S., serves as the board treasurer for the Hamilton Roddis Foundation. She recently brought forward a proposal which awarded the School of Business a $30,000 grant. With these funds, business students will have the opportunity to delve into data analytics.
  • Suzana Dobric Veiss, M.A., recently published an article in the Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership titled “Follower Development: Paul’s Charge to Timothy.” In addition, Suzana has recently completed her comprehensive exams and is well on her way to completing her doctorate.
  • Instructor Benjamin Smith, M.A., is hard at work bringing his first year of full-time teaching to a close as he also diligently works on a Ph.D. in Economics with a focus on behavioral economics at Claremont University.
  • In March 2019, Breck Harris, Ed.D., and Ranjan George, Ph.D., travelled to the Lilly Conference on Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning where they presented:
    • “The ‘Cord Game’: An Experiential Game to Teach Change” (George)
    • “Five Approaches to Implement End-of-Course Group Projects” (Harris)
    • “Classroom Mobiling: Using Technology to Engage and Motivate the Student” (Harris)
  • In June 2019, Breck and Ranjan will travel to Colorado to present at the Christian Adult Higher Education Association (CAHEA):
    • “The David and Goliath Story: Integrating Faith in the Study of a Course on Organizational Behavior” (George)
    • “Six Effective Methods for Engaging & Motivating the Millennial Student” (Harris)

Additionally, our faculty are engaged internationally:

  • Near the end of 2018, Peng Wen, Ph.D., travelled to Shanghai, China, to present his paper, “Tariffs May Not Solve US Trade Problems” at the International Conference on Social Science and Economics.
  • In June 2019 Sylvia Kim, D.B.A., will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, to present her co-authored work, “An Empirical Study on a Reverse Effect of Firm Performance on Multinationality.”

On the main campus in April, through the hard work of Gary Waterman, partnering with Continuing Education, FPU will host an Innovation Workshop for Managers and Professionals. This is the first workshop in what we hope will become a series of continuing education opportunities for business professionals.

So, to answer the question, “What is the role of a business school at a traditionally liberal arts university?” the answer is simply this: we contribute; we write; we present; we are part of a community of learners; we educate the next generation of Christian international leaders.


Katie Fleener, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Business