Students laughing while sitting around a table

Mission and Vision Statement

School of Business Administration

Mission Statement

The USC Aiken School of Business delivers an engaging business education that prepares students for career success and encourages positive community impact.

  • To accomplish our mission, we seek to create a caring learning environment that helps our students understand the global, technological, and ethical issues in today’s business world.
  • The undergraduate business program is delivered on campus and online. The MBA program is delivered online.
  • The programs include engagement opportunities with business organizations and professionals both on and off campus. Career readiness is achieved through the curriculum and explicitly emphasized in the Professional Pathway and Exploring Your Potential programs.
  • SOBA emphasizes the AACSB vision that business schools are a force for good encouraging a positive impact on society.
  • SOBA faculty maintain currency within their business disciplines by conducting relevant research, with a primary emphasis on peer-reviewed intellectual contributions in applied research, including both contributions to practice and learning and pedagogical research, and a secondary emphasis on discipline-based scholarship, which involves basic or theoretical research.
  • SOBA faculty are engaged outside the University through service in scholarly and professional organizations in their disciplines as well as business consulting and training activities provided to the local community.

Vision Statement

The USC Aiken School of Business Administration’s vision is to fully engage the business community to create business leaders with forward thinking views for the betterment of society.

  • SOBA seeks to fully engage the business community by including more businesses, more often, in more courses and programs. Engagement is achieved when students interact with business professionals in the classroom and through programs that send students to businesses.
  • The business community is comprised of co-located or distant enterprises able to interact with students in-person or online either synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Forward-thinking business leaders leverage their competences to both innovate and respond to change. Forward-thinking business leaders have a vision.
  • The betterment of society is achieved through balancing financial value creation outcomes with sustainability, ethics, social responsibility, inclusion and diversity, and other positive community outcomes.

Core Values

Communication: SOBA students will develop the written and oral communication skills necessary for success in their business careers.

Technology: SOBA students will develop technological skills to prepare them for their business careers.

Globalization: SOBA students will acquire a global perspective of the modern business environment.

Business Knowledge: SOBA students will acquire the basic business knowledge necessary for success in their business careers.

Ethics and Social Responsibility: SOBA students will develop an appreciation for ethical decision-making, and the social responsibility of business to all stakeholders.


The School of Business Administration encourages students and faculty to appreciate and welcome diversity in the global workplace. 

Code of Ethics

The School of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina Aiken seeks to promote the highest level of ethical standards among its graduates, students, faculty and administrators. Pursuant to that end, they are expected to follow the norms and standards established by their individual professional and academic organizations in terms of their responsibility toward all stakeholders.  The following code of ethics is, therefore, established as an addition to the standards of each individual’s professional organizations.

Graduates, Students, Faculty, and Administrators of the School of Business Administration should:

  • Be forthright and truthful in dealings with all of the organization’s stakeholders.
  • Serve as a model of ethical decision-making to others, and always set and exemplify the highest standards of ethical behavior.
  • Seek to do no harm, but when they make a mistake, admit it quickly and not try to conceal it.
  • Conduct all activities in good faith.
  • Accept the consequences of their decisions, and take responsibility for individual decisions and actions.
  • Recognize the basic dignity of all by treating others as they would wish to be treated.
  • Fulfill their philanthropic and societal responsibilities to others.

Strategic Plan 2018-2023

Goal 1: Provide high quality academic programs

Objective 1.1:  Continually improve the curriculum

Action Item 1.1.1: Employ the established Curriculum Management Process to routinely assess student learning outcomes to improve the curriculum accordingly.

Action Item 1.1.2: Establish a systematic business curriculum quality review process aimed toward achieving a comprehensive review over a three-year period, directed by the Curriculum Review and Proposals Committee (CRPC) and Graduate Council respectively, to include student groups and external stakeholders.

Action Item 1.1.3: Establish a systematic quality review process for online courses to include the review of each online course at least every four years.

Action Item 1.1.4: Enhance opportunities for student Career Readiness through experiential learning and the development of relevant programs.

Action Item 1.1.5: Establish a resource pool of working or retired professionals to support efforts to engage students in the classroom.

Objective 1.2: Align the curriculum with contemporary community needs.  

Action Item 1.2.1: Establish a process for the Business Advisory Council to assess and report on contemporary business community needs.

Action Item 1.2.2: Establish a process for the faculty to assess and report on contemporary trends in business education.

Objective 1.3:  Establish a faculty development process to enhance best practices in online instruction.

Action Item 1.3.1:  Have all online instructors complete at least one online teaching certification course.

Action Item 1.3.2:  Provide funding for online certified faculty to engage in additional online certifications or workshops.

Action Item 1.3.3:  Provide funding to send faculty to online teaching and learning conferences.

Action Item 1.3.4:  Conduct periodic online teaching development activities within the School of Business.

Objective 1.4: Recruit and retain qualified faculty to develop and teach both face-to-face and/or online courses.

Action Item 1.4.1: Conduct national searches to obtain a diverse pool of qualified candidates with strong credentials.

Action Item 1.4.2: Improve incentives and opportunities for faculty to engage in scholarly activity, professional development, and/or industry involvement.

Action Item 1.4.3:  Establish a School Promotion & Tenure Review committee. 

Action Item 1.4.4:  Establish a systematic new faculty mentor program.

Action Item 1.4.5:  Renovate existing space to provide additional attractive faculty offices.

Objective 1.5:  Design and implement an integrated business analytics curriculum.

Action Item 1.5.1:  Produce a Curriculum Change Proposal to integrate business technology systems, statistical reasoning, and analytics across multiple courses.

Action Item 1.5.2:  Produce an elective for students wanting the opportunity to extend their data analytics knowledge and skill.

Action Item 1.5.3:  Seek student experiential learning opportunities to apply and practice analytics skills.

Action Item 1.5.4:  Build a lab dedicated to business analytics.

Objective 1.6:  Stabilize the USC Aiken Program at Sumter

Action Item 1.6.1:  Engage USC Sumter in the search process to fully staff the program at USC Sumter.

Action Item 1.6.2:  Work with USC Sumter to establish a USC Sumter Coordinator for the USC Aiken Program on the USC Sumter campus.

Action Item 1.6.3:  Have a USC Aiken Business School representative visit the USC Sumter campus at least once each semester.

Goal 2: Provide business students with opportunities to promote their success before and after graduation.

Objective 2.1: Build a strong student body

Action Item 2.1.1: Recruit high-achieving freshman and transfer students through greater participation in University-student recruitment activities, both on and off campus.

Action Item 2.1.2: Update and improve the SOBA website and expand social media presence, including Twitter and Facebook, to enhance student recruiting efforts.  Establish website and social media presence as part of a staff member’s responsibilities. 

Action Item 2.1.3:  Review and assess the value of articulation agreements.  Renew or establish new agreements accordingly.  

 Action Item 2.1.4:  Establish an Introduction to Business course (BADM 101) to provide new students with the opportunity to better connect with the Business School and enhance recruiting and retention.

Action Item 2.1.6:  Establish a Student Advisory Board at the USC Sumter campus.

Objective 2.2: Establish a Career Readiness Program.

Action Item 2.2.1: Establish a Director of Career Readiness.

Action Item 2.2.2:  Develop and institutionalize a Career Readiness Program that engages students not later than their sophomore year and continues through their senior year. 

Action Item 2.2.3: Establish a list of working professionals who are willing to speak with senior students heading into the workforce.   

Action Item 2.2.4: Offer periodic Student Advisory Board-sponsored workshops on career readiness preparation and skills by utilizing the expertise of faculty, a resource pool (see 1.1.5) of working and retired professionals, Business Advisory Council members and other SOBA alumni.

Action Item 2.2.5:  Utilize the Career Readiness Program to create and maintain a database of all SOBA graduates by area of concentration for promoting employment opportunities.

Action Item 2.2.6: Establish a process for monitoring job placement activities.

Objective 2.3: Stabilize and grow the SOBA alumni association.

Action Item 2.3.1: Establish a staff position to assume the alumni association as part of his/her responsibilities.

Action Item 2.3.2: Establish a systemic social media presence for the alumni association. 

Action Item 2.3.3: Establish routine alumni engagement activities.

Action Item 2.3.4: Publish a School of Business newsletter each semester for distribution to alumni and friends.

Goal 3: Produce and disseminate scholarly contributions to practice and pedagogy through peer-reviewed intellectual outlets.

Objective 3.1:  Enable faculty to achieve research expectations in accordance with SOBA’s AACSB General and Scholarly Orientation classifications of BPA-1 and BPB-8.  [BPA-1 is the general orientation toward a High Emphasis on Teaching, Medium Emphasis on Intellectual Contributions, and Low Emphasis on Service.  BPB-8 is the scholarly orientation toward Equal Emphasis on Contributions to Practice & Pedagogical Research and Low Emphasis toward Discipline-base Scholarship.

Action Item 3.1.1: Establish a Faculty Scholarship Promotion Committee.

Action Item 3.1.2: Solicit recommendations to improve scholarship incentives.

Action Item 3.1.3: Assess the impact of teaching schedules and service commitments upon scholarship activity and make recommendations to enhance support for scholarship, as appropriate.

Action Item 3.1.4: Review faculty scholarship production to ensure that a substantial cross-section of faculty are involved in producing peer-reviewed publications.

Action Item 3.1.5: Review SOBA policy defining scholarly activity expectations as those relate to annual faculty review performance or for tenure and promotion; update as needed.

Objective 3.2:  Account for professional development funding awarded for scholarly activity.

Action Item 3.2.1: Review SOBA policy defining how peer-reviewed publications award professional development funds to a faculty member.

Action Item 3.2.2: Make recommendations to improve scholarship incentives.

Objective 3.3:  Promote and publicize scholarship activity

Action Item 3.1.1: Communicate scholarship opportunities among faculty to include coauthor invitations, conference calls, and journals.

Action Item 3.1.2: Record and publicize faculty scholarship achievements.

Action Item 3.1.3: Hold faculty workshops to provide opportunities for collaboration on scholarship and dissemination of ideas.

Goal 4:  Increase faculty engagement.

Objective 4.1: Serve in professional and academic discipline-based organizations

Action Item 4.1.1: Support the Southeast Case Research Association and Southeast Business Research Association through presentations at conferences, journal submissions, service as reviewers and officers, and the provision of administrative assistance.   

Action Item 4.1.2: Serve as officers in discipline-based organizations

Action Item 4.1.3: Serve as manuscript reviewers and editors for scholarly journals and reviewers, program chairs, track chairs, proceedings editors, discussants, and/or chairs at conferences.

Action Item 4.1.4: Provide additional travel funding for faculty serving in significant positions in support of annual conferences, for example, President, Program Chair, Treasurer, or other significant officer/board positions.  

Objective 4.2: Assist in the promotion of business, economic, and community development of Aiken and the region.

Action Item 4.2.1: Identify new opportunities to collaborate with SBDC.

Action Item 4.2.2: Provide counseling, services, or other support to assist   SBDC, the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, Rotary, and other organizations to promote the economic vitality of Aiken and the region.

Action Item 4.2.3:  Promote consulting or employee training opportunities for faculty among local businesses or non-profit organizations.

Action Item 4.2.4:  Incentivize and promote attendance at The Mill Seminars.

Action Item 4.2.5:  Incentivize faculty engagement in community board service and the development of School of Business-Community Partnerships.

Objective 4.3:  Establish an Annual Business Leadership Symposium

Action Item 4.2.1:  Form a Business School committee to conduct the symposium.

Action Item 4.2.2:  Engage all Business School Faculty and students in the symposium.

Action Item 4.2.3:  Engage Alumni, the Aiken community and the region in symposium activities as both as participants and attendees.

Action Item 4.2.4: Seek donor funding to sustain the symposium.


Approved by SOBA Faculty on 05/01/2018