In the mid-1970s, Chancellor William Highsmith responded to requests from the community that the University of North Carolina Asheville provide a specific course of studies that would prepare students for positions in business and industry. Rather than establishing a business department, he had the wisdom and foresight to create a Department of Management. The term "business" has a very narrow focus, whereas the term Management applies to business, non-profit, government, health care, and other areas of human endeavor, as well as the more traditional areas. It includes studies in accounting, engineering, and marketing, and fits the liberal arts mission of the university as it satisfies the needs of the students and the community.
Its first graduates received a Bachelor of Science degree in May of 1976. Since that time, it has grown to become one of the largest department on campus. It offers two distinct Bachelors of Science (BS) degrees in Management and Accounting. In 1995, the Management Department officially became the Department of Management and Accountancy.
Management Program History
The initial management curriculum was strongly influenced by Dr. Lester Zerfoss, one of the premier management consultants in Western North Carolina. The first two concentrations offered were business administration and financial management. The first full-time chair of what was then the Management Department was Dr. Don Hart, a former President of St. Andrews College. The 1980s saw the department grow, adding highly qualified faculty and creating new areas of concentration. Today the students may opt to concentrate in four different areas (Business Management & Administration, Operations Management, Marketing, and Music Business). The efforts to truly liberalize our curriculum in concert with the overall university mission can be seen in the successes of our graduates. Executives in banking, consulting, public service, and marketing began their careers in the classrooms of Owen Hall.
Accounting Program History
In 1981 the department chair, Dr. Robert Williams, a former vice president of American Celanese, acknowledged the demand for an Accountancy program. Dr. Williams charged Linda Nelms with obtaining the permission to plan for this additional degree program. Two distinct areas of emphasis, Financial and Managerial Accounting, were created in order to provide more opportunities for the students to pursue specific interests. In the spring of 1983, the first student received a degree in Accountancy. The program has gained statewide recognition. Graduates have gone on to partnerships in CPA firms, leadership in nonprofits, and positions of responsibility in industry. One of our 1999 graduates placed third in the state of North Carolina on the May 1999 CPA examination.