Student Voice


July 14, 2024

Kilian starts as MBA director

October 8, 2009

On Aug. 20, a new Masters of Business Administration (MBA) director started in the College of Business and Economics (CBE) at UW-River Falls.

“It is a whole different level of understanding,” new MBA Director Claire Kilian said.

The MBA builds on the knowledge students gain in their bachelor studies and real world experience. In the years the program has been around it has grown dramatically, but still maintains its student to professor ratio of 14:1.

Kilian said she has great pride in the program and sees a bright future.

“I want to continue deciding how we grow,” she said. “We have challenges… we can’t really take any more students which is a great problem.”

Kilian joined the CBE in 2000 and has more than 20 years of teaching and management experience. She holds a B.A. in psychology and anthropology from UW-Madison, and a Ph.D. in labor and human
resources from Ohio State University.

The statement “Close to Home…Far From Ordinary” is printed on both the MBA brochure and the Web site. The MBA program brings an opportunity to River Falls and western Wisconsin once only available in the Twin Cities. The program has also recently been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).

“We’re the only other accredited AACSB school in our region; it’s just us and [the] U of M,” Kilian said. “I want to continue to make us a strong choice. Students really like that we’re a small campus. We get to know these students.”

The AACSB is an accreditation program founded in 1916. It has eight member schools in the UW System.

The MBA program at UWRF has a two-year work experience requirement for admissions. According to alumni of the program, this requirement is beneficial.

“A lot of things I was learning was pulling together what I had experienced at work,” Director of the Small Business Development Center and a graduate from CBE’s masters program Steve DeWald said.

“It crystallized a lot of my other thinking”.

A goal of the MBA program, according to the brochure, is to offer a “program designed to meet the needs of busy people.” The MBA program’s classes run at night, Monday through Thursday.

“The graduate program at UWRF allowed me to attend classes and complete my degree even with a heavy travel schedule,” Todd Schmidt, senior account representative of 3M’s Aftermarket Division and an MBA alumni, said.

The College of Business and Economics also offers a master’s program in management, as well as business administration. Additionally, the college promotes its program overseas to attract international students as well as students around the nation.

The program takes, on average, two years to complete with full time students taking eight credits, though most students who attend the program usually only attend part time.