Business and Economic Development

Since the beginning of civilization, metropolitan areas have served as the world's trade centers. These centers are vital to the economy in terms of production and consumption. Business and economic development, therefore, is central to the advancement of the metropolitan area. With a diverse and thriving economy, Springfield and southwest Missouri provide a unique setting for the university's emphasis in business and economic development.

Understanding the free enterprise system within a public affairs context is essential for all persons seeking the opportunity to work and providing for the advancement of society. Southwest Missouri State University has three goals for its emphasis on business and economic development. First, SMSU provides undergraduate, graduate and lifelong learning students with business and economic knowledge, capabilities and values to succeed and adapt in a technologically changing, dynamic global economy. Second, SMSU encourages students to engage in the scholarship of discovery, learning and service, and to convey the results to the broader business and scientific communities. And third, SMSU builds effective partnerships and seeks cooperative opportunities with business, industry and government to benefit students and the public at-large.

The core values that guide the development of this theme must include an understanding of ethical and global issues; the influence of political, social, legal, regulatory, environmental and technological issues; and the impact of demographic diversity on organizations. The character and integrity of the SMSU students, faculty, and alumni must stand out as the single most important element of the business education mix.

In the process of achieving its purpose of developing educated persons, Southwest Missouri State University strengthens the country's work force. Toward this end, SMSU's philosophy is to introduce students not only to academic theory, but also to the practical application of academic work in business situations. This philosophy results in linking the university with business and industry of all types — public and private, large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit.

Combining theory and practical experience for almost a century, the university has provided a resource of graduates in many fields of expertise, thus contributing to the state's economic well-being. SMSU alumni play significant roles in all areas of the economy. They have been and are now the leaders of many of the state's businesses, educational institutions and governmental agencies. The university is committed to continuing to develop well-prepared leaders for business and industry in the new millennium.

SMSU is uniquely positioned to address business and economic issues in both urban and rural settings. Located in a metropolitan setting where business and industry range from large-scale national corporations to small family-owned agriculture-related businesses, faculty members are familiar with a broad spectrum of business problems and challenges. This unique mix of resources provides learning opportunities for students, research opportunities for faculty, and service opportunities within the university and its centers. Accordingly, faculty, students, and alumni must use their SMSU business education to build on a personal commitment to quality so as to make a difference in creating opportunities, innovations, industries and philanthropies that will change business and life in our respective communities.

Selected University assets that support the business and economics development theme