Dean of business reflects on new programs and student opportunities


Courtesy of Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business website

Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding. As the dean for Iowa State’s Ivy College of Business, David Spalding oversees the various developments of the college.

Kirstie Martin

Raisbeck Endowed Dean of Iowa State’s Ivy College of Business David Spalding has witnessed the implementation of new aspects of the college.

The Ivy College of Business has had a lot of new additions including a new college name, new programs and new opportunities for students.

“Our goal is to continue to create programs and have programs here that will excite students and prepare students for the future and draw them into setting here in the Ivy College of Business,” Spalding said.

Spalding said they are continuing to work on new degree opportunities for students.

A minor in consulting is going through the internal processes at Iowa State to get approved. This program is designed for students who choose to go into the consulting field. The minor will emphasize decision making skills, critical thinking and presentation skills.

“Students who decide to pursue this minor are going to be well-set for their careers in whatever career they choose,” Spalding said. “Whether it’s with a consulting firm or whether they choose to go to work for a corporation.”

At the September meeting of the Board of Regents, a new undergraduate in business analytics was approved. Spalding said it will officially launch in the spring.

“We think there is a lot of opportunity in this field as well,” Spalding said. “In the meetings I’ve had with businesses during my time here in Iowa there are two areas they consistently say that they need more talent in: business analytics and sales. So […] we’ve looked at launching new programs in each of those areas.”

This year the amount of students in the entrepreneurship major program almost doubled from last year, Spalding said. He said they also saw a strong increase in the number of students in the supply chain management major.

The Gerdin Business Building expansion is also in full swing. The college had a topping ceremony Oct. 29 where they lifted up the last piece of steel. The building is being enclosed now.

“We expect to have it fully enclosed by the end of this month,” Spalding said. “Then they will be able to put heat in there and spend the whole winter inside the building. This was a critical time piece for us getting the building enclosed before winter comes. We’re not planning on holding classes in there next fall, but we will start moving furniture in and taking possession of the building starting in September. There will be spaces in there that we will certainly be able to use starting in the fall semester.”

Classes are scheduled to start in the new part of the building in the spring of 2021.

The new name for the College of Business was announced and implemented last spring. Now known as the Ivy College of Business, Spalding said they are continuing to do ‘We are Ivy’ campaigns.

“I feel that the identity campaign has helped us with visibility,” Spalding said. “Our [Master of Business Administration] program was ranked 47th in the country by U.S. News in the spring of 2019. I think part of that is due to the visibility we got in the Ivy [branding] campaign.”

At the end of September, the Ivy College of Business was recognized for having the best Master of Business Administration program in Des Moines for the second year in a row.

Internship opportunities are also on the rise for Ivy College of Business students.

“I know I have meetings scheduled over the next few weeks with a couple people that are interested in creating more internship opportunities in the insurance industry and that’s a great industry here in the state of Iowa, a lot of opportunities for students,” Spalding said. “So we are continuing to develop those opportunities so those students that haven’t yet found an internship [can] continue working at that.”

New opportunities outside of the state are also being created for the students to learn.

“We’re continuing to increase the number [of opportunities], celebrate abroad opportunities and look at some new ways and styles,” Spalding said. “For example we’re doing one where students will travel over Thanksgiving break to Africa and participate in projects that revolve around giving back to the community, which is a little bit of a different twist on the study abroad program for us. I continue to think that it’s important for us to provide opportunities to our students to get a global experience during their time here.”

Spalding said six years ago the Ivy College of Business had about three percent of their students have a global experience during their time at Iowa State, and now that number is up to 6.26 percent of the college’s students.

“We continue to look at ways to make that easier for students to engage with,” Spalding said. “You know, the world is a smaller and smaller place. And providing our students an opportunity to explore and be part of the broader world is valuable.”