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USF Enters Agreement with Florida Bankers Association to Market Online MBA Program to Members

By Keith Morelli

Florida Bankers Association

TAMPA (August 8, 2019) -- The Muma College of Business’ online MBA program may soon get an influx of students from the banking, savings and loan and other affiliated institutions around the state, thanks to an agreement recently struck between USF and the FBA. The agreement establishes a strategy to exclusively market the university’s graduate program to association and affiliate members.

The agreement went into effect March 1 and was signed by Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the FBA and Ralph Wilcox, USF Provost.

“This agreement will help promote the Muma College of Business online MBA program to the employees of various banks and financial institutions in the state of Florida,” said Kaushal Chari, former associate dean for research and professional programs with the business college, who negotiated the agreement, “thereby, helping us enroll Florida bank and financial institution employees who are not necessarily living in the Tampa Bay area.”

The agreement, he said, may be a signal of things to come.

“Based on the success of this arrangement,” Chari said, “we could see potential opportunities for collaboration with other professional associations in the future.”

The FBA (Florida Bankers Association) is the voice of Florida’s banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large financial institutions that together employ tens of thousands Floridians, safeguard more than $500 billion in deposits and extend more than $135 billion in loans.  Established in 1888, the FBA is one of Florida’s oldest trade associations; its members hold more than 90 percent of the state’s deposits.

The agreement was drawn up in the hopes that it will result in more banking industry employees seeking MBAs with concentrations in a number of relevant topics, such as data analytics, cybersecurity and compliance, risk management and anti-money laundering.

Under the terms of the agreement, USF will provide all the promotional materials and the FBA will distribute the materials to members. Additionally, the FBA will create its own marketing materials, including brochures and informational pamphlets.

A cover story about the program in the FBA magazine also is part of the agreement and issues of the magazine will contain advertisements for the USF online MBA program. The FBA will promote the program on its website, at its annual meeting and at all continuing education events, symposiums and forums.

The association further agreed that it will not market or promote any other master’s degree programs in cybersecurity and USF will not enlist any other banking association to market and promote the program during the term, currently set at three years.

An advisory committee has been established to oversee and consult on the program. It is made up of FBA members and USF staff.

The Muma College of Business MBA program does not employ a “one size fits all” approach. Rather, individual areas of interest, or concentrations, include creativity and innovation, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, international business, leadership concepts and management information systems. Supply chain management and marketing strategy also are incorporated into the MBA program.

The college recognizes that most who seek an MBA already are professionals in the real business world, and the program offers a variety of options, including fast-track semesters, eight-week and four-week courses; part-time, full-time as well as the online option.