REQUEST TO COLLEGE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE FOR CURRICULAR ...
REQUEST TO COLLEGE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE FOR CURRICULAR IMPROVEMENTS
DEPARTMENT: FCL PROPOSED EFFECTIVE SEMESTER: Fall 2011 COLLEGE: Haworth College of Business
Academic Program Substantive Course Changes Misc. Course Changes
New degree* New course Title
New major* Pre or Co-requisites Description (attach current & proposed)
New curriculum* Deletion (required by others) Deletion (not required by others)
New concentration* Course #, different level Course #, same level
New certificate Credit hours Variable credit
New minor Enrollment restriction Credit/no credit
Revised major Course-level restriction Cross-listing
Revised minor Prefix Title and description COGE reapproval
Admission requirements (attach current & proposed) Other (explain**)
Graduation requirements General education (select one)
Deletion Transfer Not Applicable
Other (explain**) Other (explain**)
Title of degree, curriculum, major, minor, concentration, or certificate:
Existing course prefix and #: Proposed course prefix and #: FIN 5530 Credit hours: 3
Existing course title:
Proposed course title: Student Managed Investment Fund
Existing course prerequisite & co-requisite(s):
Proposed course prerequisite(s)
Undergraduate: FIN 3510, Graduate: FIN 6120
Proposed course co-requisite(s)
Proposed course prerequisite(s) that can also be taken concurrently:
Is there a minimum grade for the prerequisites or corequisites?
The default grades are D for undergraduates and C for graduates.
Major/minor or classification restrictions:
Undergraduate: FINJ and FNPJ; Graduate: MBFM
For 5000 level prerequisites & corequisites: Do these apply to: (circle one) undergraduates graduates both
Prerequisites are indicated separately for undergraduate and graduate students.
Specifications for University Schedule of Classes:
a. Course title (maximum of 30 spaces): Student Managed InvestmentFund
b. Multi-topic course: No Yes
c. Repeatable for credit: No Yes
d. Mandatory credit/no credit: No Yes
e. Type of class and contact hours per week (check type and indicate hours as appropriate)
1. Lecture 3. Lecture/lab/discussion 5. Independent study
2. Lab or discussion 4. Seminar or studio 6. Supervision or practicum
CIP Code (Registrar’s use only):
Chair, College Curriculum Committee Date
Dean Date: Graduate Dean: Date
Curriculum Manager: Return to dean Date Forward to: Date
Chair, COGE/ PEB / FS President Date
FOR PROPOSALS REQUIRING GSC/USC REVIEW:
* Approve Disapprove Chair, GSC/USC Date
* Approve Disapprove Provost Date
Revised May 2007. All previous forms are obsolete and should not be used.
1. Explain briefly and clearly the proposed improvement.
The Department of Finance and Commercial Law proposes a Student Managed Investment Fund course in which
students get hands-on experience in investment research and portfolio management. The WMU Foundation has
appointed the Student Managed Investment Fund class as the manager for a portfolio of WMU Foundation funds. The
course was implemented on a temporary basis under the FIN 4980 / FIN 6980 Readings and Research in Finance
course number in Spring 2009 to allow for development of this innovative course. The portfolio was valued at
$500,000 in January 2009 and has increased in value since that time. The students, under the guidance of an
instructor, have fiduciary responsibility to manage the funds on behalf of the Foundation, subject to the WMU
Foundation Investment Policy Statement and other guidelines provided by the WMU Foundation Investment
Committee. The class makes investment decisions on the basis of “fundamental analysis” conducted by the students
under the guidance of the instructor. The class, as manager of Foundation funds, must report to the WMU Foundation
Investment Committee, as do other fund managers. Admission to this unique class is by application.
2. Rationale. Give your reason(s) for the proposed improvement. (If your proposal includes prerequisites, justify those,
Prerequisites The prerequisites for the Student Managed Investment Fund class are important because the students
must very quickly be able to take on the role of financial analysts and portfolio managers in this hands-on class in
which students manage a portfolio of real money. For undergraduate students, the prerequisite FIN 3510 Investment
Analysis teaches students about various types of financial securities and valuation models. Students who take FIN
3510 must have successfully completed FIN 3200 Business Finance, which covers corporate financial theory. FIN
6120 Financial Management provides graduate students with an introduction to financial theory as it applies to
corporations and introduces them to various types of investments and valuation models. The Student Managed
Investment Fund course builds on students’ knowledge of investment theory, but also requires the application of the
Demand for investments professionals According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook
Handbook, demand for financial analysts will be strong over the next decade. It states, “As the level of investment
increases, overall employment of financial analysts is expected to increase by 20% during the 2008–18 decade, which
is much faster than the average for all occupations.” In addition, the number of personal financial advisors, who
manage investment portfolios for individuals, is expected to grow by 30% over the same period. Thus a need exists
for qualified people with expertise in investments. The proposed Student Managed Investment Fund course will help
prepare WMU students for careers in investment research and portfolio management.
Benefit to WMU students Since Dewey (1938) first promoted the “learning by doing” education model, numerous
authors and educators have provided evidence of the effectiveness of experiential learning or published articles on
experiential learning exercises (i.e., Block and French, 1991; Lawrence, 1990 and 1994; Neely and Cooley, 2003).
There is substantial evidence of the benefits of experiential learning. Although paper portfolios and simulations offer
students the opportunity to learn about market mechanics and gain familiarity with research reports, students typically
view such activities as a game. Evidence shows that students often make huge bets in simulated portfolios (Jasen,
1989). The student managed investment fund will provide WMU students with hands-on experience in the fiduciary
management of investment assets. Because of the expertise gained by program participants, investment firms will
view the students as attractive hires.
Benefit to WMU The University has benefited from the prestige of having this significant new course. This high profile
course has generated positive publicity and will attract and retain top students. Employers who hire investment
professionals will have greater interest in hiring our graduates.
3. Effect on other colleges, departments or programs. If consultation with others is required, attach evidence of
consultation and support. If objections have been raised, document the resolution. Demonstrate that the program you
propose is not a duplication of an existing one.
The proposed FIN 5530 Student Managed Investment Fund course will have no effect on other colleges,
departments, or programs.
4. Effect on your department’s programs. Show how the proposed change fits with other departmental offerings.
The proposed FIN 5530 Student Managed Investment Fund course fits well with other departmental offerings. It
allows students to further their understanding of investments through application of the theories taught in other
classes. This course offers undergraduate students an additional elective to satisfy their major requirements and
offers MBA students an additional elective for a Finance concentration.
5. Effects on enrolled students: Are program conflicts avoided? Will your proposal make it easier or harder for students
to meet graduation requirements? Can students complete the program in a reasonable time? Show that you have
considered scheduling needs and demands on students’ time. If a required course will be offered during summer only,
provide a rationale.
The proposed FIN 5530 Student Managed Investment Fund course will have no effect on the time required for
undergraduate students to graduate, since it will be one of several electives available to fulfill major requirements. For
graduate students who have a concentration in Finance, the course will make it easier for students to graduate in a
shorter amount of time. We plan to offer the course during Fall, Spring, and Summer I, so graduate students will have
an additional finance course to use toward a Finance concentration.
6. Student or external market demand. What is your anticipated student audience? What evidence of student or market
demand or need exists? What is the estimated enrollment? What other factors make your proposal beneficial to
The anticipated audience for the proposed FIN 5530 Student Managed Investment Fund course is undergraduate
Finance majors and Personal Financial Planning majors and MBA students with a concentration in Finance.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, demand for financial analysts will be
strong over the next decade. It states, “As the level of investment increases, overall employment of financial analysts
is expected to increase by 20 percent during the 2008–18 decade, which is much faster than the average for all
occupations.” In addition, the number of personal financial advisors, who manage investment portfolios for individuals,
is expected to grow by 30% over the same period. Thus a need exists for qualified people with expertise in
investments. The proposed Student Managed Investment Fund course will help prepare WMU students for careers in
investment research and portfolio management. We plan to limit the number of students enrolled in the course to 10
to 15 students each semester, because of the hands-on nature of the course. Since this course uses an experiential
learning approach, students will gain a much more thorough understanding of investment analysis and portfolio
management. (For a discussion of the benefits of experiential learning, see Benefit to WMU Students under question
7. Effects on resources. Explain how your proposal would affect department and University resources, including faculty,
equipment, space, technology, and library holdings. Tell how you will staff additions to the program. If more advising
will be needed, how will you provide for it? How often will course(s) be offered? What will be the initial one-time costs
and the ongoing base-funding costs for the proposed program? (Attach additional pages, as necessary.)
We plan to staff the course with a part-time faculty member who has significant industry experience in financial
analysis and portfolio management. It is important that students learn how financial theory is applied by industry in this
hands-on course. It is also important that a person with experience and expertise in financial analysis and portfolio
management guide and supervise the students, since the class has fiduciary responsibility for WMU Foundation
funds. Although additional technology and databases would be helpful, the course can be taught using existing
8. General education criteria. For a general education course, indicate how this course will meet the criteria for the area
or proficiency. (See the General Education Policy for descriptions of each area and proficiency and the criteria. Attach
additional pages as necessary. Attach a syllabus if (a) proposing a new course, (b) requesting certification for
baccalaureate-level writing, or (c) requesting reapproval of an existing course.)
9. List the learning outcomes for the proposed course or the revised or proposed major, minor, or concentration. These
are the outcomes that the department will use for future assessments of the course or program.
• Explain the fiduciary responsibility of a research analyst and a portfolio manager.
• Discuss ethical behavior in the context of investment research and portfolio management.
• Demonstrate an understanding of financial security valuation models.
• Explain considerations in choosing an appropriate approach for valuing a company.
• Discuss the role of qualitative and quantitative factors in valuation.
• Demonstrate the ability to write an effective research report.
• Discuss the role of diversification and asset allocation in portfolio management.
10. Describe how this curriculum change is a response to assessment outcomes that are part of a departmental or college
assessment plan or informal assessment activities.
The proposed FIN 5530 Student Managed Investment Fund course offers our students an innovative course that
teaches the application of investment theory using an experiential learning approach. The course provides students a
more thorough understanding investment and portfolio management theory.
11. (Undergraduate proposals only) Describe, in detail, how this curriculum change affects transfer articulation for
Michigan community colleges. For course changes, include detail on necessary changes to transfer articulation from
Michigan community college courses. For new majors or minors, describe transfer guidelines to be developed with
Michigan community colleges. For revisions to majors or minors, describe necessary revisions to Michigan community
college guidelines. Department chairs should seek assistance from college advising directors or from the admissions
office in completing this section.
This curriculum change has no effect on students who transfer from Michigan community colleges.
Block, Stanley B. and Dan W. French, 1991, The student managed investment fund: A special opportunity in learning.
Financial Practice and Education 1(Spring), 35 – 40.
Dewey, John, 1938, Experience and Education. New York: Collier.
Jasen, Georgette, 1989, Stock Market Turns Students into Paper Millionaires. Wall Street Journal, March 10, C1 and
Lawrence, Edward C., 1990, Learning Portfolio Management by Experience: University Student Investment Funds.
The Financial Review 25: 1 (February), 165 – 173.
Lawrence, Edward C., 1994, Financial Innovation: The Case of Student Investment Funds at United States
Universities. Financial Practice and Education 25: 1 (February), 165 – 173.
Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-11 Edition, US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Neely, Walter P. and Philip L. Cooley. 2003, A Survey of Student Managed Funds, Working paper, Millsaps College
and Trinity University.