CBA's Cox plans to bring college 'value'

By Naquanna Driver

Daily Cougar Staff

As the UH College of Business Administration searches for a permanent dean, new CBA Interim Dean Keith Cox will be working hard to "give value" to student experiences during his one-year term.

Cox said an example of "value" would be the scheduling issue and evaluation of the course load of the CBA to determine if courses are being offered when students need to take the classes.

"Adding 'value' would be trying to provide courses when (students) truly need them," Cox said.

Before beginning his term as interim dean, Cox was a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship. Along with the responsibilities that come along with his new position as dean, Cox continues to teach.

"The major transition is (that) I'm teaching 300 principles of marketing students and 200 entrepreneur students," Cox said. "So it's the 500 students that I'm teaching while I'm trying to do all this and learn the financial system and so forth in the dean's office."

Cox has been a UH professor since 1967 and was chairman of the CBA marketing and entrepreneurship department for 15 years.

As dean, Cox has already began implementing new programs and features for the college.

Since he began his term as interim dean, Cox has initiated the development of new MBA formats such as the cohort program.

The MBA cohort program will have the same groups of students completing courses together within the same period of time. The students will have their places secured throughout the program, and the administration will automatically register them for classes.

"I would like for this college to have three strategic thrusts: to develop globalization, to equip this college for information technology and to expand our entrepreneur program," Cox said. "Those three things structure a lot of what I'm doing."

Cox is also making decisions now that may produce results after the future dean has taken over the college.

"I want, in the near future, to appoint an international director," Cox said. "I would like to have a task force this year that will come up with an international business major at the undergraduate level."

The dean search committee meetings have begun, and the national search for a permanent dean is under way.

However, Cox is not a candidate for the position because he said he would not want to dissuade qualified candidates from applying.

"What happens is that if you have an inside person, like myself, as a candidate, there are some external people who may not apply because they consider the inside person to have the advantage," Cox said. "So we want the maximum of good external candidates."

According to Michael Olivas, chairman of the CBA dean search committee, the preliminary review will take place in November.

After the candidates are flown to Houston for committee screening, at least three will be invited to campus to interact with faculty, students and business leaders.

"We hope to make recommendations in early February," Olivas said. "Then it will be in the hands of the provost and the president."

After his term as dean is over, Cox said he plans to continue with his first love - teaching.

"I just enjoy teaching," he said. "I've taught for years. It's the interaction with the students."

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