Graduate programs in business


Lehman, Green to head graduate business programs

Some familiar faces will be serving in new roles when graduate students begin classes at Bluffton University this fall.

On July 1, Dr. George Lehman became the director of the Collaborative MBA, a partnership between four Mennonite colleges, while maintaining his roles as Howard Raid professor of business and business studies division chair. Dr. Melissa Green, who is one of Bluffton’s newest faculty members, has taken over Lehman’s duties as director of graduate programs in business while teaching undergraduate and graduate marketing courses at Bluffton.

With Lehman leading the Collaborative MBA, management functions of the online MBA program are transitioning from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. to Bluffton. The program, which began in 2014, is a partnership between Bluffton, EMU, Goshen College and Canadian Mennonite University. The first cohort of students earned their master’s degrees this spring.

“As Bluffton takes over the administrative duties within the Collaborative MBA, we will work to maintain a consistent, high-quality student experience,” said Lehman.

Lehman says the Collaborative MBA is perfect for working adults with busy travel schedules. Classes are online except for two short-term residencies including an international residency. The program emphasizes leadership for the common good.

“That language permeates the program. The people who are in it clearly want to advance their careers, but they have a different motivation than just wanting to climb the corporate ladder,” said Lehman. “They want to be better leaders, who form stronger organizations, which lead to a better world.”

Since the program is truly a collaboration between the four universities, Lehman expects Bluffton to maintain leadership of the collaborative for the next two to four years before another partner school takes the lead.

Dr. Melissa Green, who has three decades of experience in senior management, leadership and marketing, is taking over Lehman’s previous role as the director of graduate programs in business. Green has worked in higher education for more than 30 years and, most recently, was the associate vice president of the Findlay-area campus at Owens Community College. She was previously vice president of student affairs at Rhodes State College, assistant director of the Lima Campus of The Ohio State University and assistant director of admissions at Ohio Northern University. She earned her PhD in higher education administration from Ohio University.

Green is familiar with Bluffton University, as she has taught in the business program as an adjunct professor since 1996. Green took over the director responsibilities on June 1 and will begin teaching in September.

“Our graduates often tell us how this experience changes their lives by strengthening their leadership and management skills plus providing a greater understanding of the big picture both professionally and personally,” said Green. “By pursuing our graduate degree program students are provided opportunities to learn from successful leaders as well as enhancing their networking and team building experiences.”  

“Because so many baby boomers are retiring, there is a need for graduate degree professionals in this region,” said Green. “Businesses know first-hand the talent these individuals bring to their organizations and local communities.”

As director, Green is available to meet with anyone who is interested in learning more about the Master of Business Administration or a Master of Arts in Organizational Management program. She also plans to visit area businesses and contact alumni to discuss the various collaborative partnership opportunities at Bluffton.

Students in Bluffton’s graduate programs in business take classes one night a week for two years with summers off. Courses are offered in three convenient locations: Bluffton, Edison State Community College in Piqua and Northwest State Community College in Archbold.

Students complete the program in cohorts of 14-20 students. Courses emphasize interactive, experiential learning rather than the traditional lecture. The next cohorts begin in August.


New leadership
Dr. Melissa Green, Director of the graduate program in business, and Dr. George Lehman, Director of the Collaborative MBA.