Students to vote on name change

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By Steve Delong

The school of business management is searching for an identity and is turning to its students for help.

On Wednesday and Thursday, students from the school will be voting on whether to change the name of their degree to Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) from Bachelor of Business Management (BBM).

The school began considering the name change after it found out the new retail management program, which started this fall, offers a BComm degree to their students.

Discussion intensified last January when students and alumni were surveyed.  The results showed that of the 800 students who responded, 65 per cent favoured the change.   Alumni voted 80 per cent in favour of a switch to BComm.

But following the survey, concerns were raised that some students who responded hadn’t received adequate information about the ramifications of changing the degree name.

As a result of the confusion, the final decision was deferred to this fall.

Lee Maguire, associate dean of business management, says the teaching faculty supports the change.  He says the school has received written response from alumni who say they’ve had to explain what BBM means in the interview because prospective employers weren’t familiar with the degree.  They also believe changing to BComm would enhance the school’s reputation because the degree is more widely recognized.

The school of business management contacted business schools across the country and found that 65 per cent offer BComm.=

Despite alumni’s overwhelming support, students remain divided on the matter.  Greg Lee, president of the Business Students’ Association (BSA), says some students wish to change the degree because they believe it will make it easier to obtain job interview after graduation.  But he says others argue Ryerson should keep the BBM name because the course is unique and different from BComm programs offered at other universities.

The BSA has chosen not to take a position on the name change issue.  Instead it decided to provide students with information and help co-ordinate the vote, which will be held in the lobby of the Business Building on Wednesday and Thursday.

The name change will be discussed by the school’s business council on Oct. 28.  If passed by the council, the proposal would then have to be approved by the academic council and then Ryerson’s board of governors.

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