History of the College of Business Administration
The College of Business Administration is rooted in traditions of service to both students and the business community. Established in 1879 as a training institute for teachers, the Sam Houston Normal Institute first offered what were called commercial courses in 1918. As commerce grew within the state, the need for business training increased and a formal program in business administration began to develop. In 1923 the Sam Houston Normal Institute became Sam Houston State Teachers College and in 1935 was authorized to grant its first Bachelor of Business degree.
In 1936 academic divisions were organized at Sam Houston State Teachers College and by 1937 the Master of Education degree with a minor in business administration was offered. The Master of Arts degree in business was authorized in 1943 and the College awarded its first Master of Business Administration degree in 1964.
In 1965 Sam Houston State Teachers College was re-named Sam Houston State College and, in 1966, the academic divisions were grouped into five schools. Dr. Jean D. Neal became the first dean of the School of Business Administration and Applied Arts. A new building, originally named the Business Administration Building, was constructed in 1968 to meet the needs of the growing school.
In 1969 Sam Houston State College became Sam Houston State University. That same year, Dr. Neal retired and Dr. Bobby K. Marks was appointed dean. Under Dr. Marks' leadership the School was designated the 'College of Business Administration and Applied Arts' and, in 1972, was organized into four academic departments with the appropriate chairpersons. Two years later, in 1974, the words 'Applied Arts' were removed from the name and the College officially became known as the College of Business Administration.
When Dr. Marks moved to the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs in 1984, Dr. James E. Gilmore was appointed Dean, College of Business Administration. Under Dr. Gilmore’s leadership, the College of Business Administration achieved accreditation from the premier accrediting organization for business schools, now known as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Upon earning AACSB accreditation in 1996, the College was one of only 315 collegiate business schools worldwide so recognized.
In 1995 Dr. Gilmore assumed the position Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dr. R. Dean Lewis became interim dean of the College. Shortly thereafter Dr. Lewis was officially appointed Dean, College of Business Administration and holds that title to this day.
In 1997 the structure housing the College was renamed the 'Smith-Hutson Business Building' by the Texas State University System's Board of Regents, in honor of two successful alumni. A new addition to the building that effectively doubled the capacity of the College was completed in 2005.
Today, enrollment at the College of Business Administration has grown to more than 3000 students and the College confers over 500 degrees each year. Sam Houston State University and the College of Business Administration have both come a long way since commercial courses were first offered in 1918.