Gordon Ford College of Business


Dr. Jeffrey Katz, Dean
Grise Hall 445
(270) 745-6311


The Gordon Ford College of Business traces its roots to the Bowling Green Business University, founded in 1884 as the Southern Normal School and Business College. In 1907, the Southern Normal School became Western Kentucky State Normal School, and the Bowling Green Business University began a long history of nationally noted programs.  In June 1963, Western Kentucky University assumed the business programs of the Bowling Green Business University, and in 1964 the Bowling Green College of Commerce became a division of the University. The name was changed in 1972 to the Bowling Green College of Business and Public Affairs; and following department realignment in 1979, it became the Bowling Green College of Business Administration. To honor the generosity of Gordon B. Ford, the college was renamed the Gordon Ford College of Business in December of 1998, becoming the second named business school in Kentucky. All business programs offered by the College are accredited by AACSB International -- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. WKU is one of only three universities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to have "dual accreditation" meaning that both its business and accounting programs are AACSB accredited.


The mission of the Gordon Ford College of Business is to be a leader in providing high-quality and applied business academic programs to enhance the economic well-being of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. We do so through dedicated student-focused teaching, relevant and high impact research, and value adding outreach activity.

Gordon Ford College of Business programs focus upon:

  • functional interdependence and the global environment of business
  • values conducive to personal and professional career development
  • development of critical-thinking and problem solving skills and knowledge needed for ethical decision- making
  • knowledge and application of information systems and current technology
  • effective listening, speaking and writing
  • lifelong learning and quality improvement

In fulfilling the college and university missions, a highly qualified faculty emphasizes effective teaching and active student learning. Faculty demonstrate competency through continuous intellectual activity in business, applied or instructional research with relevant professional service activities and involvement with business, industry and government organizations. The Gordon Ford College of Business offers a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Arts in Applied Economics, and a Master of Business Administration. All degree programs provide professional education for individuals seeking successful careers and executive leadership positions.

Center for Applied Economics

Catherine Carey, Interim Director
(270) 745-2249

The mission of the Center for Applied Economics (CAE) is to be an outreach of the WKU Department of Economics and Gordon Ford College of Business by serving as an economic information access point for Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky while engaging faculty and graduate students in local area research. Mission objectives are to: collect, condense, and present economic information relevant for Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky; provide a bridge between technical economic research and the community on current, relevant topics; provide experience for graduate students in the application and communication of economic ideas and practices; and provide fee-based economics studies (for example, economic impact studies). The primary means of achieving this outreach is through the CAE website at wkuappliedeconomics.org where one can find local area research and data, interactive local data charts, and links to the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook for up-to-date announcements from the Center. Also on the website are articles produced by both faculty and graduate students.

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)

Dawn Bolton, Director and M.N. Ford Professor of Entrepreneurship
(270) 745-4142

The mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Western Kentucky University is to infuse the entrepreneurial spirit among students, faculty and the community at large and to stimulate new venture development.  The CEI serves to assist in the delivery of undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship, innovative management, new venture management, and small business management. Specifically, the CEI is dedicated to:

  • Provide training and consulting services to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • Engage faculty from various disciplines across campus to conduct interdisciplinary research in entrepreneurship.
  • Facilitate outreach and networking activities by engaging domestic and international entrepreneurs to promote an entrepreneurial culture in the region.
  • Provide internship and part-time work opportunities for entrepreneurial students at WKU.
  • Link the entrepreneurial community of South Central Kentucky and the region with WKU.
  • Provide on- and off-site training and mentoring services to small business owners and their employees. The CEI also serves as a home for the award-winning Enactus Team, a multidisciplinary student-lead organization engaged in promoting free enterprise in the community.

Center for Financial Success

Andrew Head, Director
Grise Hall 325
(270) 745-4733 Phone

The mission of the Center is to aid the University and regional community by sharing knowledge and expertise on a wide range of financial planning and literacy topics. The Center will aid constituents in becoming informed, financially independent and responsible members of society through the delivery of applied programs using faculty expertise, student involvement and engagement, and community-based professional partnerships. This will be accomplished through three main programs:

  1. Financial Counseling Program
  2. Community Outreach and Partnership Program
  3. Professional Development Program.

Center for Leadership Excellence

Cecil Garmon, Director and Knicely Professor
Tate Page Hall 230
(270) 745-6673 Phone

As business culture becomes more global, more sophisticated, and more competitive, the need for insightful and innovative leadership strategies is more important than ever. The Center for Leadership Excellence in the Gordon Ford College of Business at WKU is committed to providing a world-class center for leadership development practices and research information.

The Center will move beyond the methods and styles (the what) used by leadership in the past and the present to the reasons behind those successful strategies (the why) and identifies contexts and circumstances in which strategies can be most successful.

Center for Professional Selling

Lukas Forbes, Director
Grise Hall 412
(270) 745-2993

Our Sales Program is one of thirteen Fully Certified Sales Programs in the United States as a member of the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA). This certification is conducted by both business (Professional Society for Sales & Marketing Training) and academic (USCA) elements. The WKU Center for Professional Selling is the only certified program in the State of Kentucky in addition to the regional states of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and West Virginia. This Center was formed by WKU in July 2007 with two specific goals:

  1. Education Focus: Enhance the perception of the sales profession while preparing students for a career in sales. Development of appropriate curriculum to include a Major and Minor in Sales.
  2. Business Focus: Strengthen the relationship between WKU and Corporations. Develop partnerships with corporations to provide real-world classroom activities in addition to internship or full-time employment opportunities.

Center for the Study of Capitalism

Brian Strow, Director and BB&T Professor
Grise Hall 425
(270) 745-7082

The purpose of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism is to create a comprehensive program of study on the moral foundations of capitalism. It provides resources and learning opportunities to students and the public regarding capitalism's role in society.

Dean's Office Programs

Department of Accounting

Department of Economics

Department of Finance

Department of Information Systems

Department of Management

Department of Marketing