LSBE Celebrates 40 Years

LSBE 40th anniversary cake
December 2, 2014

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics began 40 years ago, and what an amazing 40 years they have been! 

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics began 40 years ago, and what an amazing 40 years they have been!

The School started with two inherited departments and a bureau – Business Administration, Economics Business Office and Economic Education, and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research from the former Division of Social Sciences. The Department of Accounting was added officially December 16, 1974. All were housed in the Social Science Building, later renamed Cina Hall (which still exists).

As the university grew, so did the business school to the point of outgrowing its space and a new building was added on the northwest side of the campus to house the school. (This building now houses UMD's Education Department.)

This new building hosted faculty offices on the top floor with classrooms on the lower floor. Rooms around campus were utilized for large classes.

Over the next several years, the school added more educational offerings—more degrees, majors, and classes.

Dr. Kjell R. Knudsen, who started with UMD in 1979, saw the growth in his roles as associate dean, founding director of the UMD Center for Economic Development, and as dean.

"We started to think about accreditation using the 1991 version of the AACSB guidelines," Knudsen said. "We aligned our curriculum, hired PhD research-oriented faculty, and learned the trends happening around the country." AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) is a global nonprofit organization that provides accreditation for institutions that pass rigorous standards.

Faculty started adding experiential learning components and active business and student advisory councils began. In 2000, the school gained AACSB accreditation.

However, the school experienced growing pains again. This led to the construction of the current Labovitz School of Business and Economics building through the generous gift provided by Joel and Sharon Labovitz.

The forward-thinking team looking at this new building's concept wanted something in line with the way the business world was evolving. Thus, LSBE was designed and constructed to gain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Doors to the new building opened in 2008.

As it has for the last 40 years, LSBE keeps an ever-present eye on the future, continuing to adapt and expand classes and programs.

"LSBE stays current with business trends, matching the educational offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of the business community," said Dean Amy B. Hietapelto. "We opened our doors 40 years ago to educate students to become future CEOs and business leaders. Continuing with that tradition, we are educating students with knowledge they can use to become leaders locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally."

"We are excited to be celebrating our 40th anniversary," Hietapelto continued. "LSBE has created a strong reputation for turning out excellent students that employers are eager to hire. We will continue to create a learning environment that not only will keep students interested and engaged with hands-on, real world, experiential learning but also one that keeps students abreast of current business trends and needs."

Additions the school has made just in the last couple of years include two majors (Marketing and Graphic Design and Entrepreneurship) along with the transition of the Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from CLA to LSBE. The School is currently working on adding a new major (Financial Planning) and a new minor (Entrepreneurship) next Fall.

Just imagine how far we will have come when we celebrate our 50th anniversary!

40 Years by the Numbers

Over the last 40 years, UMD's school of business/LSBE has

  • grown and expanded to necessitate the construction of two new buildings,
  • gone from 106 graduates to 450 graduates in the 2013-2014 academic year,
  • had 7 deans (from Hyung K. Kim, who was Acting Dean in 1974 to the current Dean, Dr. Amy B. Hietapelto),
  • expanded from 23 faculty (this included the Acting Dean and the Vice Provost for Academic Administration) to over 65 faculty with another approximately 25 staff,
  • gone from 2 departments and a bureau to 5 departments along with 4 programs and 2 bureaus/centers.

$40 for 40

Many students struggle to finance their education. Many bright, ambitious students must work full time to cover school expenses, and many graduate with crushing debt. Your generosity will give students the freedom to tackle college and explore every opportunity our learning community has to offer. Scholarships offset the financial burden for our students and help them launch their careers with confidence.

To commemorate our 40th anniversary and to support our students, we are inviting our alumni and friends to make an additional gift in 2014 of $40 to LSBE's Honors Scholarship. By making this additional gift, you will be supporting the legacy of support our alumni and friends have given for more than 40 years.

Please address your check to University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF – Honors Scholarship Fund 3674). In the remarks section of the check, write $40 for 40 and send your check to UMD/LSBE Development Office, Suite 213, University of Minnesota Duluth, 1318 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN 55812. Donations are tax deductible, and a receipt will be provided. You also may donate online.