University of Wisconsin - Stout

Purpose of the Review

This review is conducted in order to assess the program's quality as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle required of all UW-Stout degree programs.

B.S. Service Management
Program Director
Dr. Lee Nicholls
PRC Consultants
Dick Tyson and Jana Reeg Steidinger
Date of Review
Spring 2002
Committee Findings
The PRC recommends that this program continue to be one of UW-Stout's degree programs, and reviewed again in 2008-2009 as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle.


The Service Management program is the first degree program of its kind in the nation. This new program was established in 1998 to educate majors for careers in service sector industries and organizations. Service Management is an evolving field of study that focuses upon a number of disciplines. The Service Management program will prepare managers who can effectively and efficiently manage the design, development and delivery of services. Service management positions are usually devoted to operations and management; systems and technology; and human resources.

The program has as objectives to provide a broad based program of liberal, technical and professional studies to prepare graduates for intelligent, effective, self-development in a complex and rapidly changing service oriented society. It integrates the subjects of human development, business and financial management, and communication and information technology related management of the service sector. The program seeks to apply human relations, management, scientific, and technological principles to the solutions of service sector problems. It will prepare graduates with reading, writing, speaking, listening and computer skills applicable to organizational communication in the service sector. It applies contemporary communication systems to service operations and customer practices. It integrates diverse learning activities, permitting graduates to productively interact with existing and emerging service management systems. It seeks to prepare graduates to be responsible, ethical planners and managers in business organizations, public administration agencies and other societal services, focusing on the globalization of service economies, and demonstrating effective strategies for working with people throughout their life span in the delivery of services and achievement of customer satisfaction.

The program includes 42 credits of general education and a 15-22 credit core. The professional core includes operations, marketing, electronic, and international services management as well as a 1-8 credit field or co-op experience. Besides the core, students choose one of the three concentrations: for profit organizations, non-profits, or an individualized concentration. These each have business management, human development, and communications selectives. Only 2 free electives are available. Since Service Management education is new, no accreditation is available at this time.

It is recommended that the B.S. in Service Management continue as a degree program at UW-Stout and that any recommendations made by the committee be implemented to further strengthen the program.

Process Followed for the Current Review:

Under guidelines developed by the PRC, information regarding the program was gathered from the Placement Office, Institutional Research, the program director, key instructors, program committee, and upper division students. Recent graduates have not been surveyed by Institutional Research since this is a new program.

Observations were made by the consultants based on these surveys and institutional data and were reported to and discussed by the PRC. The program director presented a summary of his report to the committee on February 8, 2002 and had an opportunity to address concerns.

Previous Review


Program Review

Program Strengths

  1. The program is perceived by students and instructors as new, and filling a growing need.
  2. Enrollment in the program has been rising steadily since 1998.
  3. Cost/credit of the B.S. in Service Management program has generally been higher than the Stout average cost/credit, but recently has been closer to average as enrollments have risen towards target.
  4. Few graduates have been reported, but those who reported had average salaries in the range of other graduates.
  5. Among the program strengths perceived by current students are a personable, well-qualified, caring, helpful, and accessible staff. In comparison to other students surveyed by the PRC in 2001, students were more inclined to say that this is a quality program and they would choose this again; that the library resources, classroom, and labs were good, that their oral and written communications and problem solving skills have been improved, that the faculty were helpful and accessible, they are current and fair, and that they can complete the program in a timely manner and feel professionally prepared. The program was rated higher on all of the items asked of current students than was the average program. Students greatly appreciate the flexibility of the program.
  6. Program Committee members feel they are well informed about the program, and are able to contribute to the program. They perceive program strength in the leadership and energy of the director and the broad applicability of skills learned in the program. The newness of the program and lack of visibility was the only reported problem.
  7. Key instructors reported excellent, relevant instruction and good to excellent facilities and support. Students enter the program prepared and generally master the material and have excellent professional prospects. Program leadership is very good, and departmental cooperation is excellent. The library's help is reported to have been excellent. Cooperation within and between colleges is seen as a strength.

Opportunities for Further Program Enrichment

  1. The program is perceived to be growing but yet not sufficient to be able to support a broader array of courses for students.
  2. Support for the program is limited, both in terms of program directorship and for outreach.
  3. Students perceive some curricular weaknesses such as course overlap and repetition particularly in marketing and operations classes. One instructor noted that duplication in the latter is being addressed.
  4. Increased visibility of the program to employers needs to be pursued.
  5. American ethnic minorities appear to be under-represented in the program's upper division student population.


Some recommendations should be considered by the program director.

  1. One recommendation of improvement is the inclusion of more professionals in the field on the committee or in the alternative, consider development of an external advisory committee so as to include ideas from professionals in the field.
  2. Pursue funding for aggressively marketing the program.
  3. Work to recruit American minority students for the program if they are under-represented.

Some recommendations should be considered by the program director and chair.

  1. Continue to develop an array of targeted courses.
  2. Continue to address overlap of Service Operations and Product Operations courses and between the several courses involving marketing.
  3. Continue to assess distance learning technologies as a means to address the need to offer a range of courses and at times convenient for students.