Walton College Signs Agreement to Offer Master's Degree Program in Panama

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and a governmental agency in Panama have signed an agreement to offer a degree program leading to a master of business administration in that country.

“The Walton College is pleased and excited to be able to offer its highly ranked M.B.A. program to students in Panama who are preparing themselves to bring new economic growth to that nation,” Walton College Dean Eli Jones said. “The Walton College faculty will deliver the same level of rigorous instruction and share the same expertise as they do for our students on campus.”

The 13-month academic program will be taught by full-time faculty from the Walton College in a mix of online and in-class sessions. Each class will be packaged as a four-week session with about 32 hours of in-class instruction by the Walton College faculty members and 16-hours of online interaction. The degree will be offered in cooperation with the Universidad de Panama in Panama City.

Dean Jones signed the agreement along with Chancellor G. David Gearhart, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and Ruben Berrocal, Panama’s national secretary of science, technology and innovation. President Martinelli is a U of A alumnus who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1973.

“This opportunity serves as one more example of the University of Arkansas’ international reputation for excellence,” Gearhart said. “Furthermore, outreach opportunities such as this one open many doors for our students and graduates as well as for our state’s businesses, industries and entrepreneurs.” 

The Walton College was specifically invited to develop the innovative program by Panama’s National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation. The agreement says that, through the expertise of the Walton College and the secretariat, the program will prepare professionals to contribute to the economic development of Panama.

The program is tentatively slated to begin in March 2013. The courses will be taught in English, and those wishing to enroll will have to meet the same admission requirements as a student enrolling in the on-campus program in Fayetteville.

“The Walton College is proud to be at the forefront of this strengthening of the longstanding partnership between the University of Arkansas and Panama,” Jones said. “It highlights our commitment to extend the expertise and leadership of the university, the state of Arkansas and the United States into the global marketplace.”

Marion Dunagan, assistant dean for graduate programs, said officials had been working for the past year to refine the program. “Our focus will be on an innovative curriculum designed to create educated M.B.A.s focused on expanding economic opportunities in Panama,” she said.

Approximately 12 members of the full-time Walton College faculty will teach courses in Panama and interact with students online.

For more information about the part-time M.B.A. program in Fayetteville, go to gsb.uark.edu.

Contacts

Eli Jones, dean
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-5949, ejones@walton.uark.edu

David Speer, senior director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-2539, dlspeer@uark.edu

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