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NAU-YUMA STUDENT EXCELLENCE

A curriculum requirement for students graduating with a BBA degree from NAU is a course entitled Strategic Management. During the spring semester of 2015, the students enrolled in BBA 490C at the Yuma Branch campus excelled both during the school term and in events that have occurred post graduation.

NAU Yuma Branch Campus

NAU Yuma Branch Campus

Yuma students in this class spent the first half of their 16-week term learning key academic points regarding the subject of Strategic Management. Then the professor of the course, Dr. Frank Kidd, organized the students into a team that was then assigned responsibility to organize a case analysis for two local business organizations. The first was for a local multi-national company and the second was for a local non-profit organization.

The students achieved remarkable success in developing written analysis of both situations. The owner and senior managers of the multi-national met directly with the students. This was followed by contact by student team members regarding additional information needed to complete the assignment.

The non-profit case analysis of the Yuma Community Theater (YCT) was the second of the two opportunities defined for student involvement. Yuma Community TheaterThis organization is the oldest incorporated community theater in the state of Arizona. However, at the moment, they are facing serious challenges to their path forward based on business parameters that must be managed.

When Dr. Kidd approached the YCT Board of Directors to ask if they would be interested in BBA 490C involvement, the answer was an overwhelming “Yes”. This Board met with the students and a dialog continued among board members that included a local court judge, military planners from the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, and food safety manager for a 4th generation Yuma area farm operation.

Students continued analyzing problems and options for YCT up until the end of the semester. The blending of the academic theory with the practicality of becoming involved with a local community effort to generate an improved business model for YCT was impressive.

Following NAU graduation, YCT held their annual meeting for all members to deal with organizational issues. Students from BBA 490C attended this meeting out of their interest in seeing how the YCT organization accepted their proposals. One month later, Dr. Kidd hosted the YCT Board, 490C students, and their spouses to a dinner at his house where students and board members continued to share ideas and alternatives for YCT’s path forward. Most encouraging was how involved the spouses of students became engaged in the evening’s discussion.

Included below is a testimonial from Mike Finch, YCT President:

The YCT Board addressing the BBA 490C at a classroom lecture moment

The YCT Board addressing the BBA 490C at a classroom lecture moment

In February 2015, Dr. Frank Kidd’s NAU class conducted a case study for our non-profit organization, Yuma Community Theater (YCT). Our Board  presented to the class our business aspects of YCT.  YCT gave very detailed financial information to that class, discussions were held, and questions to YCT were hopefully answered in a way that would ‘help them – help us’.

 After several months, the case study was completed by Dr. Kidd’s students.  The results from the case study were amazing! Although YCT is a small non-profit organization, the students treated our organization’s needs, wants, and wishes very thoughtfully, professionally, and invested a lot of time in coming up with their recommendations to YCT.

After reading the case summary from the students, our organization had second thoughts on whether or not we should proceed with our dream of purchasing and maintaining a building.  The case summary touched on specific information that even our Board of Directors did not take into consideration until we read the case summary.  As part of their case study they provided us with their ‘final recommendations’ as well as action they felt should be encountered now and what actions we should take in the very near future to work towards our ultimate goal of purchasing and maintaining a building for YCT.

YCT hopes that having students complete the case study provided the students the tools to use in real life business decision-making. I applaud every student involved, thank them and wish all of them best wishes after graduation!”

NAU should feel privileged that the professionalism of the university’s students was so well received and recognized by leaders of the Yuma community.

Well done! A testament to NAU student excellence! #NAUBBA

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