SECTION I | Situational Analysis

University and College History and Overview

Texas Christian University was founded in 1873 and has grown from a small school on the cattle frontier to a major center of independent higher education in a dynamic city and region. TCU has an historical and intentional connection with a religious body, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) but welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all religious faiths and takes pride in the diversity of its academic community. The University enrolls 8,936 students and is divided into seven colleges including: The AddRan College of Humanities and Liberal Arts, The Neeley School of Business, the College of Communication, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Health and Human Sciences, and the College of Science and Engineering. (see  Appendix 1 for a summary of TCU or visit the Web site at ).

The Neeley School of Business was founded in 1953 and moved into Dan Rogers Hall that same year. In 1967 the Business school was named after M.J. Neeley who was a Fort Worth entrepreneur who owned over 30 companies and epitomized the type of businessperson that we desire our students to strive to become. In 1988 Tandy Hall was built to add room for programming and classrooms while Dan Rogers Hall was remodeled in 1989 and contained most of the business school classrooms and faculty offices. In 2003, Smith Hall was built giving the Neeley School three buildings to house a complex of programs, faculty, staff and classrooms. The Neeley School of Business is home for 1,673 undergraduate students, 625 business minors, 92 day MBAs, 191 professional MBAs, 58 Executive MBAs, and 45 Masters of Accounting students. The Neeley School is divided into five departments including: accounting, finance, information and supply chain, management, and marketing (see  Appendix 2 for a summary of the Neeley School or visit the Web site at ).


The Neeley School of Business offers an academic program leading to the Bachelor of Business Administration degree in six fields (accounting, business information systems, entrepreneurial management, finance, marketing, and supply chain management).  The TCU undergraduate curriculum catalog provides more insights and details or visit the Neeley website: .  In addition,  Appendix 3 provides some basics to the undergraduate curriculum requirements.

International Emphasis
Business Students may complement their major in accounting, business information systems, entrepreneurial management, finance, marketing and supply chain management with an international emphasis designation.  To obtain this designation students must achieve a unique combination of experience, academic coursework, language proficiency, and international skills resulting in a cross-cultural competency (see the Neeley Website: for more detail).

Minor in Business
 The Neeley School also offers a minor in business that is open to all TCU non-Neeley undergraduates.  The minor has been in existence for over 20 years but was heavily modified in 2008 with a new curriculum designed specifically for the non-business student.  The minor is comprised of six classes including: Introduction to Accounting, Survey of Management, Principles of Marketing, Financial Planning, Principles of Marketing Communication and Survey of Entrepreneurship.  Business minors enroll in classes designated just for them.  Neeley majors and minors are not mixed except in rare exception occasions.  The minor is designed to teach the non-business student the language of business and apply the information to the student's area of study.   Appendix 4 provides more detail on the new Business Minor.


The various graduate degree programs offered by the Neeley School of Business are summarized below.  For more details see:  and see  Appendix 5 for more details on the graduate programs.

Full Time MBA
The Neeley School full-time MBA is a 54 credit hour program that includes 24 semester credit hours of electives.  The availability of electives allows students to develop a concentration in several areas.  Students normally complete the program in four semesters plus a summer internship between the two years.

Professional MBA
In the Fort Worth area, there are many working professionals who desire to obtain an MBA.  Therefore, the Neeley School also offers an evening professional MBA program that can be completed in two and a half years (including five regular semesters, two summer semesters, and two mini-semesters).  This program requires 48 semester credit hours.

Accelerated MBA
The Neeley School offers a 12 month accelerated full-time MBA for those students who hold an undergraduate business degree from a college accredited by AACSB.  The Accelerated MBA requires at least three years of post-graduate work or military experience.  The 36 semester-credit- hour curriculum is a subset of courses taken by students in the traditional Full-Time MBA program.

The Executive MBA at the Neeley School of Business is an 18-month program for experienced managers.  The program combines faculty with extensive business experience, interactive classes, excellent educational facilities, and classmates that average 19 years of professional experience into a stimulating learning environment.  The average age of the EMBA student is 41. Courses address all functional areas of a firm and include a 10 day international study abroad trip.  Leadership development is achieved through an executive leadership course; 360 surveys from student's direct reports, peers, and managers; professional coaches; a leadership development plan; and multiple measures of leadership skills.

The Neeley School offers a five-year accounting program consisting of a BBA degree in business with an accounting emphasis and a one-year Master of Accounting degree.  This program is designed to prepare students for professional careers in accounting.  The Neeley Mac Program has been designed to fulfill Texas State law and the requirements of the AICPA.  More complete information on the Mac program is in a separately prepared self-study on the Neeley School accounting program.

MBA/EdD (dual degree)
In light of a developing shortfall of leaders for our nation's educational institutions, TCU has created a comprehensive Educational Leadership Program that combines the best of education and business disciplines.  Created as a joint degree program by TCU's School of Education and the Neeley School of Business, the Educational Leadership Program is one of only three in the nation to integrate the MBA and an Ed.D.

MBA/PhD Physics (Dual Degree)
The Neeley School of Business and the Physics Department offer the PhD in physics with a business option.  Details about this program are provided in the Science and Engineering: Physics and Astronomy - section of the Graduate Catalog.

Master of International Management Program MIM/MMNI (Dual degree)
The Master of International Management (MIM) is a joint degree with la Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile.  The mission of the program is to prepare student for careers in international business.  The program's unique two -university and two-country setting is particularly relevant for U.S. students who are interested in doing business in South America and for Chilean students desiring to do business in the U.S.  Upon completion of the program students receive the Master of International Management (MIM) from Mayor Universidad.  The MIM requires 40 credit hours with 20 credits to be taken at TCU and the equivalent of 20 credits to be taken in Chile.  Only students pursuing the joint MIM and MMNI degree program at both TCU and Mayor are eligible. 

MSc in European Business Administration or Master in International Management at Dijon
The Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France offers a Master of Science in European Business Administration (MSc EBA) and a Master in International Management (MIM) which are taught in English.  This program enables TCU MBA students to spend the spring semester of their second year at ESC (beginning in January) in the MSc EBA or MIM program (TCU students need to meet ESC's admission requirements.)  They then transfer the credits from the MSc EBA or MIM program toward the completion of their MBA degrees at TCU.  In addition, by transferring coursework from the TCU MBA to ESC, and by continuing on at ESC through the end of October, these students could complete the requirement for the MSc EBA or MIM degree.  Students in the MSc EBA and MIM programs will have a compulsory French language class at various levels for 4.5 hours per week for five ECTS credits.  TCU MBA students pay tuition to TCU while enrolled in the ESC MSc EBA or MIM program.  In return, ESC students pursing the MIM and MMNI degrees at TCU and Mayor pay tuition to ESC.  Admission requirements include a GPA of 3.0 and a TOEFFL score of 250 (computer version) or 600 (paper version) for non-English natives.

The requests for program exclusions can be found in Appendix 6 . The list includes:

  • Ranch Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Advertising/Public Relations
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science International Relations
  • Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising
  • Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science/Masters of Business Administration 3-2 program (discontinued in Fall 2008).


Peer Comparison Group
The Neeley School has identified eight peer schools for comparison.  They were selected because all are private, and offer undergraduate and MBA programs.  Only Tulane offers a PhD. and it is in limited business fields.  All of these private and one selective public universities are generally viewed as high quality programs.  In addition, the Neeley School frequently finds itself competing against this group for top faculty as well as, in many cases, for students.  The peer group includes:

  • Baylor University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Wake Forrest University
  • Tulane University
  • SMU
  • The University of Richmond
  • Babson
  • William and Mary

Aspirant Comparison Group
Four private and two public universities represent our aspirant group.  Each offers both the BBA and the MBA with only Virginia - McIntire, and North Carolina offering a PhD.  These Universities routinely are ranked in the top 25 of various polls and are routinely considered to be excellent academic institutions.  These are institutions that we aspire to emulate.   It is difficult to determine the difference in a peer versus aspirant comparison group.  However, in the case of peer comparison, the Neeley School has been ranked near or above each of the schools by one of the major ranking polls.  The aspirant group is still ranked above the Neeley School in most ranking polls.  The aspirant comparison group consists of:

  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Washington University (in St Louis
  • The University of Virginia (McIntire and Darden)
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Direct Competitors
The list of Universities in this segment includes those that we compete with routinely for students, development, business support, and student placement in one or more of the Neeley School programs.  All are located in the state of Texas and routinely compete in the Fort Worth/Dallas region.  SMU, the University of Texas - Arlington, University of Texas - Dallas, and the University of North Texas are located in the Fort Worth/ Dallas Metroplex while the remaining Universities compete directly against the Neeley School both in the Metroplex and throughout the state.   The list of direct competitors includes:

  • Baylor University
  • SMU
  • University of Texas - Austin
  • University of Texas - Arlington
  • Texas A&M University
  • North Texas University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Rice University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Texas - Dallas


In part, based on the Vision in Action process, the recent Neeley Rankings, and based on continuing feedback from the Neeley School International Board of Visitors, students, faculty and staff, and the business community the following strengths and challenges of the Neeley School were identified.

Neeley School Strengths

  • The Fort Worth/ Dallas Metroplex - the Neeley School is indeed fortunate to be located in one of the leading business communities in the country. Our location provides us with a unique business laboratory providing real class projects, over 200 speakers a year, internships, and numerous other business opportunities. In addition, TCU is fortunate that Fort Worth considers TCU and the Neeley School to be the home town university resulting in a high level of community participation from our alumni as well as graduates of other education institutions.
  • State of the Art facilities - In the last five years The Princeton Review has twice ranked the Neeley School as second in the country for facilities. The combination of Tandy Hall, Dan Rogers Hall and Smith Entrepreneurs Hall gives us facilities unlike most business schools.
  • Scholarly faculty including new faculty hires - Our faculty have become nationally renowned. The Neeley School has been fortunate to hire faculty from some of the best programs in the country. We routinely compete for faculty with schools ranked ahead of the Neeley School and yet we have successfully hired a large number of the desired faculty. As will be discussed later in this report the number of new faculty positions and endowed positions have greatly increased over the past five years.
  • Innovation in Quality Instruction - The Neeley School remains a leader in new instruction methods and in curriculum innovations. Some of our leading innovations include:
    • The first Center for Professional Communication housed in a business school (1989).
    • The first Educational Investment Fund (founded 1973). The EIF now contains $1.5 million and remains one of the nation's largest student run investment funds. The EIF has spun off $3,080,000 in profits since its inception.
    • The first electronic business major in the country.
    • The first Wall Street Journal partner
    • The largest producer of Microsoft certifications in the country
    • The Neeley undergraduate admissions process requires each student to have a 30 minute interview with two business professionals.
    • Neeley and Associates - MBA teams of consultants for local businesses.
    • Eleven international programs
    • Entrepreneurship Center - including programs such as the statewide competition for High School entrepreneur of the year.
    • Leadership Center including the Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Next Generation Leadership program.
    • Luther King Capital Management Finance Center including the high school Investment Challenge
    • MBA Sony Case Competition
    • Supply and Value Chain Center
  • TCU and Neeley School Culture - The TCU culture is one that emphasizes small class size, faculty-student interactions, friendly- genuine caring atmosphere, and academic rigor.

Neeley School Challenges

  • Rapid growth of the undergraduate program . The rapid growth of undergraduate students is both a blessing and a curse. As will be discussed later in this report, the popularity of the Neeley Business program is stretching our capacity to the maximum. We currently have 1673 undergraduate students and the number of students desiring a Neeley degree continues to increase not withstanding the implementation of enrollment controls.
  • Insufficient graduate student scholarships/aid . With the increasing national competition for full-time day MBA students, graduate scholarship becomes a vital tool in attracting and signing new MBA and MAc students. Our aid programs have increased but not at the same rate of tuition increase and not enough to compete with some of our peer and aspiration competitors.
  • Room for expansion - Although our facilities are excellent in every dimension we are reaching a point where we are limited in expansion. The number of students, programs and faculty are challenging our ability for new programming and program expansion. Within one year we will likely be out of faculty offices and a new wing or building needs to be a priority.

Notably absent from our list of challenges were elements that were identified in our 2003 report that have been greatly improved or rectified. Over the past five years conditions have changed dramatically in favor of the Neeley School. Our previous and current Chancellors have made it quite clear to the TCU community that the Neeley School was very important, if not central, to TCU's future as a prominent private university. With the recent addition of some key senior faculty we have been able to dramatically improve our MBA offerings and instruction. The Neeley School has also been able to increase summer research support with higher levels of summer financial summer support. In addition, the Neeley School has been able to reduce the teaching load for those outstanding and nationally recognized scholars. Last, the Neeley School has dramatically increased its regional and national reputation through rankings, high-quality students and new programs.


The TCU Mission, Vision and Value Statements

The TCU mission statement consists of the following: To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.

The TCU vision is to be a prominent private university recognized for our global perspective, our diverse and supportive learning community, our commitment to research and creative discovery, and our emphasis on leadership development.

TCU has adopted certain core values that it believes can serve as pathways to fulfilling its mission and its values. TCU values academic achievement, personal freedom and integrity, the dignity and respect of the individual, and a heritage of inclusiveness, tolerance and service.

The Neeley School Mission and Vision Statements

The Neeley School's mission intentionally reflects that of the University focusing on ethics, global awareness and leadership. Specifically our mission is to: develop ethical leaders with a global perspective who help shape the business environment. A secondary part of the Neeley mission statement is to: develop and disseminate leading edge thought in order to improve the practice of business . The Neeley Mission is prominently displayed on the Neeley Website, in Neeley Publications, on banners and signs located in Dan Rogers Hall, Tandy Hall, and Smith Entrepreneurs Hall. In addition, the mission of the Neeley School has played a central role in the assessment processes built into the Neeley Curriculum (see the Assessment section of this report).

The Vision of the Neeley School has changed since the 2003 Self-Evaluation Report to the AACSB. At that time we were striving to have our BBA and MBA ranked as a consensus "Top 50" program in the U.S. as viewed by leading business publications, AACSB Deans and other national and international rankings. The expanded Vision of the Neeley School focuses on building premier undergraduate and graduate programs. Specifically, the Neeley School's hallmark attribute is an experience as reflected in three defining terms: personal, connected and real.

    Personal - The Neeley School's vision is to provide a business education that brings out the personal best of the student. Specifically:
    • Interact, take risks, and influence outcomes in small classes
    • Encourage the student to think outside the box and be a catalyst for excellence
    • Through moral and ethical platforms, develop the student's unique leadership potential
    • Share ideas and projects with senior business executives
    • Find the right career through personal and professional assessments, one-to-one coaching, mentoring and internships
    Connected - The Neeley School wants students to connect with influential business leaders, faculty, alumni, and classmates. Specifically:
    • Bring top business organizations to the student and the student to the business organization
    • Live and learn in Fort Worth/Dallas, the "Fourth Best Metropolitan Area for Business" (Forbes, 2008)
    • Take advantage of our partnerships with Merrill Lynch, AT&T, American Airlines, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PepsiCo, Alcon, Accenture and many others
    • Participate in International excursions that provide first-hand experience in global business
    • Develop cross-functional teamwork for sharing insight, examples and best practices
    Real - The Neeley School provides opportunities for students to work and learn with real business-client projects that add real value to the student's career. Specifically:
    • Real projects for real clients that challenge the student to contribute insight and creativity
    • Manage a multi-million dollar portfolio, create a web site, benchmark supply chain practices, create brand awareness, or chart a profitable course
    • Learn it in class today to implement at work tomorrow
    • Push your career opportunities to the next level with real work experience on your resume
    • Work alongside professors whose research and consultation actually impacts and alters the course of business