Humboldt State’s master of business administration program has been going through some interesting times. On the one hand, people are shoveling money at it. On the other, fewer students seem interested in matriculating. 

The university has high hopes for the B-school. A couple of weeks ago it shut down the program for new admissions in order to retool; the Times-Standard‘s Grant Scott-Goforth had a good summary of the state of play at that time. (Protip: Young GS-G is killing it over at TSHQ.)

This morning comes news that Humboldt State has found its man to lead the new and improved MBA program. He is Dr. Hari Singh, formerly of a state college in Michigan. Read more about him in the HSU press release announcing his appointment:


John Y. Lee, Dean of Humboldt State University’s College of Professional Studies, has announced the appointment of Hari Singh to be chair of the School of Business, succeeding Economics Professor Steve Hackett who served as interim chair.

Singh hails from the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, about 12 miles west of Grand Rapids. He takes over HSU’s counterpart at a time of continuing expansion, including new faculty and major changes in curriculum.

A Professor and Chair of Economics at Grand Valley State from 1995 to 2008, Singh has since been the Director of Assessment at the Seidman School of Business. It is the namesake of the late L. William Seidman, former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and a White House economics adviser in the Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations.

Singh’s work at Seidman has included a business confidence survey and Health Check, an analysis of major health trends in West Michigan, based on his teaching career and his partnerships with the larger Grand Rapids business community. He has been an editor of Seidman Business Review for 18 years. The publication profiles the research of the business faculty of regional issues of interest.

Prior to his Seidman tenure, Singh was a Professor of Economics at San Diego State University. He is also a former Fulbright Professor under the auspices of the National Institute of Public Administration in Malaysia.

Singh holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1985) and earned his master’s in economics at DAV College, Jallandar, India. His grant research spans Michigan green policy, North American integration, transatlantic international relations, foreign investment in China and the determinants of foreign direct investment, a paper he wrote as a consultant for the World Bank.

Singh’s book, Framed! Solve an Intriguing Mystery and Master How to Make Smart Choices, by HRD Press, was featured in the New York Times in 2006.

Among the new business chair’s honors are Grand Valley’s most prestigious recognition, the Niemeyer University Award for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service.   

When Singh assumes the chairmanship of Humboldt State’s School of Business in August, he will be joined by two new faculty for the fall semester. They are Assistant Professor of Marketing Sarita Ray Chaudury and Associate Professor of Accounting Kate Lancaster. They bring to nine the number of current full-time business faculty, versus just four in 2010.

The school’s ongoing expansion, launched a year and a half ago is financed by a University investment of more than $2.5 million. The funding includes two major gifts to HSU— $500,000 from an anonymous donor and $400,000 from the Smullin Foundation to support undergraduate internships. 

The restructuring includes the buildup of the core business program, with a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship and sustainability begun under Hackett. To that end, Singh will lead a campus Entrepreneurship Summit this fall, together with campus and community partners, to augment the links among Humboldt area businesses, HSU faculty and students.

Students are taking advantage of additional hands-on experiences through new class projects, internships, joint faculty-student research and direct partnerships with local business leaders and companies.

Singh has extensive experience in developing student learning outcomes and comprehensive assessment procedures for undergraduate and graduate business programs, such as MBA (master of business administration), MSA (master of science in accounting) and an MST (master of science in taxation). 

As new chair, Singh will be working with the business faculty to revamp the MBA (master of business administration) program. The overhaul is aimed at creating a cutting-edge graduate program that reaches beyond the North Coast region. Possible changes include a significant internship experience as part of the hands-on skill development. The initiative will be based on best practices, consultations with leading experts in the field and current demand in the job market.