UA Business School Names New MBA Program Director

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Ronald W. Sullivan, a 1981 graduate of The University of Alabama, has been named director of the Master of Business Administration program at UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration and its Manderson Graduate School of Business.

“We are very fortunate to find someone with Ron Sullivan’s energy, motivation, business experience and educational background to guide our MBA program into the next century,” said Dr. J. Barry Mason, dean and Thomas D. Russell Professor of Business Administration. “He has a stellar background in both the corporate world and in private enterprise that will enhance the MBA experience for our students.”

“I am very excited about joining the MBA program at The University of Alabama,” Sullivan said. “The opportunity presented itself at exactly the right time. I certainly did not have to be sold on the program because it has tremendous potential.”

The Manderson Graduate School of Business was recently ranked 21st among regional schools for return on investment by Forbes Magazine. This is the most recent recognition of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, which was founded in 1919, and began offering graduate education in 1923.

The undergraduate business school is 45th nationally in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, and the Techno-MBA program is ranked 4th nationally by ComputerWorld.

According to the Forbes article, it took a graduate of UA’s MBA program 4.5 years to recover the cost of the degree, but the mean salary jumped from $18,000 pre-MBA in 1994 to $50,000 in 1998.

Sullivan said the ranking reinforces an earlier BusinessWeek article citing the Manderson MBA as one of the top “low price, high quality” MBA programs in the nation.

“We positioned the program several years ago as one offering an excellent price/value relationship, and this reaffirms our vision,” Sullivan said. “We anticipate that the price/value equation will go up each year as a result of continuing investments in the program.

“Our goal is excellence when measured by national standards. The faculty, staff, and students are to be commended for their success in achieving this goal in a relatively short period of time, as are our corporate partners who have provided financial resources and support for this initiative.”

In addition to The University of Alabama, only two other Southeastern Conference schools, Georgia and Florida, were listed in the standings. Other universities in the group that included UA, Georgia and Florida were Wake Forest, Ohio State, Indiana, BYU, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State, Georgia State, Penn State, Illinois, Rice, Connecticut, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Washington, Fordham, Denver, Rollins and Iowa.

The article will appear in the Feb. 7 newsstand issue of Forbes.

Sullivan was educated in the Birmingham public school system, and attended Phillips High School before enrolling at UA where he received a degree in accounting. Sullivan is both a CPA and a CIA (Certified Internal Auditor). He received his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School in 1988.

“I have lived outside the South and I have experienced some of the attitudes and beliefs that some people have, but I have never believed that things Southern are inferior, and I look forward to disproving that notion and that myth,” he said. “I welcome the challenge of opening some eyes and some minds of prospective students and recruiters.”

The Manderson Graduate School of Business offers six graduate degrees: the master of business administration (M.B.A.), master of accountancy (M.Acc.), master of tax accounting (M.T.A.), master of arts (M.A.), master of science in commerce (M.S.C.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.).

Sullivan was senior accountant, auditor at Deloitte & Touche in Birmingham for four years and was corporate internal auditor for BellSouth in Atlanta for about two years. He returned to Birmingham as a management consultant with Vantage Consulting Group, then became a principal/vice president and CFO with Parker/Sullivan & Company.


Bill Gerdes, UA Business Writer, 205/348-8318