University of Wisconsin - Stout

Purpose of the Review

The review was conducted to assess the quality of the M.S. Management Technology degree program as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle of every UW-Stout program.

M.S. Management Technology
Program Director
Dr. Thomas Lacksonen
PRC Consultants
Mary Hopkins-Best and Paul Wagner
Date of Review
December 2001
Committee Findings
The committee recommends continuation of this program for the ongoing seven-year cycle, and committee recommendations to be implemented.


The Master of Science in Management Technology program provides graduate educational experience that prepares students for technical management positions.  This program combines a core of graduate-only professional courses with other course work in leadership, research and a technical specialty.

The consultants have found that major concerns raised in the last program review in 1994-1995 relating to reactivation of the program advisory committee and program director load have been satisfactorily dealt with by the current program director.  Several recommendations are made to continue the progress made in recent years.

Process Followed for Current Review

The PRC Chair and Associate Vice Chancellor met with the dean, program director and chair of the Dept. of Industrial Management to discuss the review process.  The PRC consultants also met with the program director to review the procedures and offer assistance.  Data regarding several aspects of the program were collected from students, key instructors within and outside the department, program committee members and program graduates through surveys.  The data were analyzed and returned to the program director and PRC members.  The program director submitted a draft report to the consultants.  The consultants responded and the program director submitted a revised report to the PRC.  The program director presented the report at the December 7, 2001 PRC meeting and responded to questions.  The consultants then wrote the recommendation report.

Previous Review

Previous Recommendations

The previous review of the M.S. Management Technology was conducted in AY 1994-95.  Phil Sawin and Jana Reeg Steidinger served as consultants.  That report included the following recommendations: 

  1. The program director must revitalize the program committee which will be expected to adhere to university expectations including meeting at least twice each year
  2. Composition of the program committee should include both campus and business/industry members
  3. The program committee must be involved in programmatic changes, on an ongoing basis
  4. The program director’s heavy load, as it relates to the program directorship, needs to be reviewed
  5. Access the adequacy to which the Fryklund Hall modernization project has impacted upon necessary computer lab upgrades for Management Technology students
  6. Pursue proposals for an alternative residency policy which accommodates part-time and/or commuting students


The Dean concurred with the recommendations.  No status report was required.

Program Review

Program Strengths

The curriculum is relevant and appropriately spans business management and technology skills.  Program Director revised recommended technical specialties and courses based on industry input.  Students and graduates gave high ratings for the applied nature and relevancy of the program competencies and coursework.  The concentrations offer students flexibility in program planning and the ability to tailor the program to their career interests. (Source: Program director self-study report; student surveys, program committee surveys)
Program Director
Students, faculty, and program committee members identified the program director’s knowledge, availability, and advisement as major strengths of the program. The program director is actively soliciting student input and involving the program committee in decision making. (Source: Student surveys, faculty surveys, program committee survey)
Students, faculty, and program committee members identified the faculty expertise and human relations skills as major strengths of the program. (Source: Student surveys, faculty surveys, program committee surveys)
Follow-up on Recommendations from Last Review
The Program Director has revived the program committee.  They are now actively involved in the ongoing review and improvement of the program.  The labs are appropriate to meet the needs of the program.  The program director allocation was reduced to .25 due to the program size.  The residency policy was revised so is no longer an issue. (Source: Program Director self-study)

Program Issues

Pedagogical Currency of Faculty
Not all faculty have terminal degrees and/or are actively engaged in research and scholarly activity, leading to possible difficulty in teaching current topics and possible difficulty in advising. (Source: Program Director)
Flexible Delivery and Scheduling of Courses
Working professional students need an increased number of evening and online courses. (Source: Program Director, Student surveys, Program Committee surveys)
Lack of Graduate-Only Courses in Concentrations
Students see more value and gain more advanced skills by working primarily with other graduate students. (Source: Program Director, Student surveys)
No Systematic Plan for Updating Software Used in Program
Professional software used in this program must be regularly updated in order to maintain program currency (Source: Program Director)
Low Follow-up Rate on Student Surveys
Low student survey participation rate makes it difficult to draw statistically valid conclusions regarding student/alumni perceptions of program. (Source: PRC Consultants)
Instructional Technology Currency of Faculty
Not all key faculty have current instructional technology expertise that is necessary to support development of alternative course delivery formats. (Source: Program Director)
Lack of ESL Support for International Students
While the Office of International Student Services provides appropriate logistic support for international students, the elimination of the ESL program at Stout has seriously affected the ability of this program to attract and support non-native English speaking international students. (Source: Program Director)

Recommendations to the Program Director

  1. Encourage program faculty to engage in scholarly activity and to redevelop program curriculum for currency and, as appropriate, online course offerings.
  2. Continue planned efforts to ensure program courses are not overlapped in schedule and to increase number of online and night/weekend courses to support working professional students.
  3. Continue planned recruiting efforts to increase the number of working professionals in the program, which will in turn support the offering of more graduate-only courses. 
  4. Investigate the creation of cohort groups with other graduate programs at UW-Stout or other universities as additional support for such graduate-only course work.
  5. Develop a plan, including budget, for the regular updating of software used in the program.
  6. Work to get better student/alumni survey follow-up; e.g. by using email or web-based surveys.

Recommendations to the Department Chair

  1. Support key faculty’s professional development in instructional technology.
  2. Explore incentives in areas of development time and budget to encourage key instructors to develop alternative course delivery formats.

Recommendations to the Dean

  1. Support efforts of the program director to provide flexible delivery and scheduling of program courses to attract and support working students.
  2. Be open to increase the program director allocation from .25 to .50 position should proposed student recruitment program be successful.
  3. Advocate for the reinstatement of ESL services at UW-Stout.