The tenure of Dean George W. Hardbeck, while relatively brief (1968-1971), brought about one notable philosophical change for the College of Business Administration that ushered in the 1970s. In the fall of 1969, Dr. Hardbeck pointed to a “knowledge explosion” that he believed would create new demands upon universities. Future job descriptions would be enigmatic based on this influx of new ideas, and universities had to find ways to prepare their students for what was to come. In particular, computer technology, continuing education for government and industrial leaders, and specialized business training jumped out as key areas of focus for business instruction.
As a result, the CoBA curriculum became more flexible in the 1970s. Students were allowed to choose a greater number of elective courses during their years of study: in the past, a typical student would be allowed six credit hours of electives. That number jumped to 16 hours. As a result, faculty narrowed down the list of basic classes that would be required. Dean Hardbeck also speculated that a potential new and evolving job market would lead to more women finding jobs in accounting, economics, and finance. This would result in higher female enrollment.
The 1970s experienced various leadership changes, but still made a lot of forward progress.
- Dean Hardbeck encouraged business students to consider job opportunities in government, especially local government.
- In cooperation with the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean Hardbeck promised that CoBA would increase its course offerings to Arts and Sciences students to help supplement their majors.
- To accommodate a growing number of people entering the workforce in the non-profit sector, CoBA created a Master of Science in Institutional Administration degree program.
- Dean Hardbeck left Creighton in the summer of 1971 to become the dean of the College of Business and Economics at UNLV. His successor was William D. Litzinger, who came from Fresno State College.
- Early on in his tenure, Dean Litzinger reorganized the College of Business Administration, using what he termed a “matrix management structure.” In 1973, Dean Litzinger formed the Council of Business Executives, a group of more than 30 Omaha-area business representatives, to serve in an advisory role to CoBA.
- Many of Litzinger’s changes to the college were met with opposition, and in response he resigned in 1974. Dr. Jean L. Carrica, a Creighton graduate, was selected at that time as acting dean. Ultimately, Carrica would hold the dean’s post until 1982.
- CoBA sought accreditation in the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
MARY PAT MCCARTHY, BSBA’77, CPA
Mary Pat McCarthy, BSBA’77, CPA, began her career in public accounting as a senior manager at KPMG (then Peat, Marwick, Mitchell) after graduation. She remained with the Big Four firm, serving as partner and eventually rising to become KPMG’s first female vice chair.
In 2002, McCarthy was awarded the Alumni Merit Award from the Heider College of Business, and she and her family established an endowed scholarship, the Joseph F. and A. Anne Statz Family Endowed Scholarship, for undergraduate students from her home state of South Dakota.