Clayton MBA program gets new director

CONYERS -- The Clayton State University master of business administration program, which operates partly in Rockdale County, has another new director.

It's been a year since the school appointed Michael Tidwell, formerly assistant dean of external relations and graduate programs in the school of business at Clayton State, to the director position to replace outgoing director Michael Deis, who served in that position since it started in 2007.

Now, Judith Ogden will serve as the director, as Tidwell has left the position.

"It is an exciting opportunity, and a great honor," said Ogden. "I honestly did not consider applying for the position, but I received so much support and encouragement from the School of Business faculty, that I thought I would take a chance. Now I am delighted that I did."

Ogden is an associate professor of business law and has been on the faculty at Clayton State since 2004. She has a bachelor of science in social studies and doctor of law from Duquesne University, a master of science in taxation from Robert Morris University and a master of law in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University.

Ogden is enthusiastic about the past success of the MBA program.

"It is incredible how successful the program has been and how much it has grown in three short years," she said. "It has been named one of the top MBA programs in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the American Business Journal, and is offering courses at three different locations: Peachtree City, Conyers and Morrow."

Just one semester after its official rollout, Clayton State's East Metro Atlanta MBA program at the Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers is preparing for the start of its first full academic year.

Having started with a cohort of 19 students in May, the East Metro program is a 20-month, five semester program.

"We are delighted to have these students as part of the Clayton State family," Ogden said. "They bring so much to our MBA program, and provide an opportunity for us to spread out into the communities. Clayton State is really becoming the university of choice for the southern Atlanta metropolitan area."

The cohort is a lock-step program -- meaning that all members of the group start together and take the same courses. A new cohort for RCA already is in the works to start in May 2011, as Clayton State rotates beginning new cohorts among its three locations in Rockdale, Morrow and Peachtree City.

The Rockdale cohort already has completed courses in Communication and Leadership, Operations and Supply Chain and Quantitative Methods. This fall, the students will take Economics and Decision Making Under Uncertainty. The 20-month program will finish in December 2011, Ogden said.

She is looking forward to the future of the program as a whole.

"I think the program can only continue to grow in terms of students, programs and international and community connections," she said. "I would like to see the program expand in terms of course offerings and specialties, and in terms of more international and community opportunities. I would also like to involve our alumni, who have been very supportive."

Individuals interested in applying for the May 2011 cohort at the Rockdale Career Academy should contact Michelle Terrell by e-mailing her at michelleterrell@clayton.edu or calling 678-466-4520.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is a comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta. More information is available at www.clayton.edu.