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New major bridges gap between liberal arts and business



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The Liberal Arts and Management Program building is located on Fess Avenue. A new honors management and human organization program combining LAMP and Kelley School of Business classes will be available May 2018.  Rose Bythrow Buy Photos

The College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new major stemming from the Liberal Arts and Management Program, which is an existing honors program that connects liberal arts with the Kelley School of Business.

The management and human organization major, which will be available for registration in May 2018, provides students more access to these classes than the selective  program, which only accepts 60-80 students to work toward the honors certificate, LAMP Director Rebecca Spang said. 

“For the last few years it has been a toll bridge,” Spang said. “What this major has done is make the bridge free.”

The new major will require students to complete 42 credit hours of a variety of courses, some of which are specifically designed for the major while others are pre-existing liberal arts and business courses. Students will also be required to complete a minor in the Kelley School of Business or the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. 

A task force within the College of Arts and Sciences has been looking for ways to create a 21st-century liberal arts education, and Larry Singell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the addition of this major stemmed from their conversations.

Spang said an example of the kind of courses involved in LAMP is her “Luxury: From Mortal Sin to Market Sector” class, which looks at ethical debates about the concept of luxury and what it means for something to be considered a luxury. 

With a liberal arts focus, the class emphasizes skills such as reading and writing more than in a business setting.

“It’s a topic that could be done in Kelley but would have a much more outcome-oriented approach,” Spang said.

Singell said this combination of courses gives students a well-rounded degree that exposes students to business and liberal arts in equal measure. He said the liberal arts aspect gives students the skills to write, speak and engage with people well and will benefit them in management careers. 

“A student would not have necessarily put these courses together on their own,” Singell said.

Although the new major and LAMP certificate have the same focus, the goal of this major is to serve students outside of the certificate. The students who are pursuing the LAMP honors certificate already have another major, Spang said. 

“Students indicated that they really want a degree that has some practical quality — a real-world education,” Spang said. 

Management is a skill that is used in many professions, Singell said.

“A lot of people in life are managers even if they don’t intend to be managers,” Singell said, adding that his job as dean has a management component. 

There is no limit to the job opportunities this major will provide, Spang said. Students in LAMP have settled in areas ranging from the puppet-making business to investment banking. 

“We end up with students in every job you could think of,” Spang said. 

Spang said many employers look for students with a liberal arts background when hiring, so this major trains students in business skills while still providing a liberal arts degree.

Few schools have programs this broad to bridge the gap between different areas of study, Spang said, adding that this makes the program distinctive.

This major will allow a broader number of students to study management from a liberal arts perspective.

“For nearly 30 years, we’ve been working in private to develop this honors certificate program, but now we’re taking it public,” Spang said. 

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