The J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta offers nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs that emphasize international business and entrepreneurship. The college’s part-time MBA (master of business administration) program is the sixth-largest among accredited U.S. schools.
GSU’s earliest roots are in business education. Started in 1913 as the Evening School of Commerce of Georgia Institute of Technology, the school became an independent unit of the University System of Georgia two decades later and was renamed Georgia Junior College. After an eight-year stint during which the college was incorporated into the University of Georgia as its Atlanta division, the school regained independence in 1955 and was renamed Georgia State College of Business Administration.
Over the next two decades, the college’s expanded course offerings prompted additional name changes—first to Georgia State College and then to Georgia State University. In September 1998 GSU’s business college was named in honor of J. Mack Robinson, an entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist, and breeder of thoroughbred horses. Robinson, who is chairman of Atlantic American Corporation, contributed a $10 million endowment to the college.
In addition to an undergraduate business curriculum, Robinson College offers part- and full-time MBA programs, an executive MBA degree, a doctoral program, and graduate certificates. In 2005 the college enrolled more than 5,000 undergraduate students, 1,500 MBA students, and 100 Ph.D. candidates.
The college’s Global Partners MBA focuses on international business and includes a collaboration with business schools in France and Brazil. During the one-year, full-time program, students study on four continents: Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Robinson’s executive MBA program also includes an international component and study abroad opportunities.
Among the institutes and centers housed at the college are the Institute of International Business and the Center for Global Business Leadership, both of which promote international research and outreach opportunities. In January 2007 the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, previously housed at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, joined the college. In September of that year the institute was renamed the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsiblity. The college has also received several grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development to complete business-training and skill-development projects in Egypt, Ghana, Russia, and South Africa.
In 2005 U.S. News and World Report ranked Robinson’s part-time MBA program among the nation’s top ten—the tenth consecutive year it has received the distinction. The magazine ranked Robinson’s undergraduate curriculum in the top fifty and gave special recognition to its graduate computer information systems and health service administration programs and to its undergraduate risk management and insurance program and computer information systems program.
Also in 2005 the Financial Times listed Robinson’s executive MBA program in the top twenty among U.S. colleges and in the top forty worldwide, while Entrepreneur magazine included the college among the top fifty regional schools for entrepreneurs. The Academy of Management Journal ranked the faculty’s research productivity sixth among business schools in the Southeast and forty-first nationwide.
Robinson College is located in downtown Atlanta in a building donated by Bank of America, which has a long-standing partnership with the college. In fall 2005 the college opened a new classroom facility in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta to make participation in its part-time MBA program, also called the FLEX MBA, more convenient to professionals who live and work in the city’s northern suburbs.
The GSU J. Mack Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame annually honors Atlanta’s top business leaders. Among those inducted into the Hall of Fame are former United Nations ambassador Andrew Young, cable television mogul Ted Turner, and Home Depot founder and Atlanta Falcons president Arthur Blank.