California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is taking a close look at launching an MBA program in Santa Barbara next fall.
Dave Christy, dean of the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly, said Aug. 12 that the school will study the feasibility of offering graduate business degree programs in Santa Barbara starting in fall 2010.
Christy said there’s been a steady stream of inquiries for such an offering and that the school will study whether there’s enough demand for full-time, evening or weekend classes. It will also examine potential locations.
“I envision that the course delivery would principally involve members of our outstanding faculty traveling to Santa Barbara to deliver face-to-face instruction,” Christy said in a release. “However, a mix of live and technology-assisted options could be considered if doing so best meets the needs of these students. We want to ensure that all students who earn our degrees have an outstanding experience.”
Christy told the Business Times that Cal Poly had been studying the issue for some time, adding that it delayed making the announcement to consider the impact of state budget cuts on Cal Poly.
To teach Cal Poly courses in Santa Barbara, the school will need the approval of the Western Association of Colleges and Schools. In San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly offers a general management MBA, a master’s of science in accounting and taxation, and a master’s of science in business and technology.
The move signals a step toward the home turf of Montecito resident Paul Orfalea, who has been a major backer of the business school at Cal Poly. Orfalea founded copy-business giant Kinko’s in Isla Vista in 1970 and eventually sold it to FedEx for $2.4 billion in 2004.
California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks and California State University, Channel Islands, near Camarillo also offer MBA programs in the Tri-Counties.