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Dean's Welcome

CoBA Interim Dean Ben Cherry, Ph.D.Welcome to CoBA! 

You are welcome here and we are excited to have you join us. In my experience, a college is a wonderfully unique place where people explore new ideas, challenge the status quo, learn alongside others, and find their belonging. As you step forward into the College of Business Administration (CoBA), it is my hope that you will move confidently to contribute, collaborate, and create a wonderful experience during your time with us. As you’ll see, one of the most incredible features about CoBA is the rich diversity among our students, our staff, our faculty, and our community members.  I invite you to consider how you can be involved in this thriving community of learners, scholars, collaborators, and creators. 

Our college is the economic engine of our region. 

It’s been said that California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is “the largest start-up in a region of start-ups” and our College of Business Administration plays a key role in educating and training the region’s future employees and leaders. We embrace our role as a growth engine for the multiple nearby communities found in San Diego County, southern Orange County, and southwestern Riverside County. 

Since 1989, our College of Business Administration has served our region with distinction by providing a cadre of skilled, thoughtful, and engaged students and alumni. In fact, more than 85% of our alumni stay in the region after they graduate and contribute to the growth of their organizations and the prosperity of their communities. 

While we recognize the important role we play in our local region, our students are invited to look beyond their zip code, to develop a global mindset, and to cultivate an understanding of the impact of cultures on the workplace and businesses of the future.   

Our students’ long term success is our driving focus.

When the college began, the founding faculty created the Senior Experience, a unique signature educational program that pairs teams of senior business administration majors with local organizations in a project-based consulting experience. Our students gain practical, hands-on experiences in team project management, consulting, and creative problem-solving, while integrating functional course content in meaningful projects for the community. To date, more than 2,000 organizations have benefited from the work of our student teams.  These teams of enthusiastic students build their business acumen while simultaneously strengthening regional businesses and organizations. 

In more recent years, we've piloted innovative programs that are now institutionalized in the form of our highly engaging In the Executive’s Chair course, our successful Professional Mentor Program, our career-readying Business Professional Development Program guided by our Executives in Residence, and our growing list of immersive learning experiences including the Cougar Fund and the Office of Business Research and Consulting.

Our college is poised for growth.

We have grown tremendously over the past 30 years and with our recent AACSB accreditation, we now join the ranks of the top 5% of business schools in the world. In this, our 2021-22 academic year, we are ready to welcome our 2,500+ undergraduate and MBA students back to Markstein Hall and to our CSUSM at Temecula campus.

As CSUSM’s single largest major, our business students indicate that we are their school of first choice. Our deep community partnerships and networking opportunities, our student success initiatives, our accredited curriculum, and our committed faculty and staff all serve to provide a fertile ground for students to receive a compelling educational experience. With a growing alumni base of 10,000+, our alumni are leading the way in their industries, their organizations, and their communities. If you are one of our proud alumni, please consider keeping in touch with us and dropping us an update from time to time. If you are a current student, I encourage you to get involved and participate in the life of the college through our signature programs and student organizations. You’ll be investing in yourself and your career, while simultaneously making CoBA better off by your involvement. 

Welcome to CoBA.  I am so glad you are here.

Looking forward and taking a step forward with you,


-- Bennett Cherry, Ph.D., Interim Dean, College of Business Administration