Communication & Media Arts major Shayna Griffith interviewed COBHA’s interim dean, Dr. Shannon Brown, about a grant received from longtime USF donors Patricia ’67 and Robert Wheeler through the Wheeler Family Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of the Wheelers, USF’s College of Business and Health Administration (COBHA) is following is offering a spiritually-focused curriculum, centered on Catholic, Franciscan values that will be integrated into academics, service to others, and faith-based values.

What is the new Values-Based Management degree and how is it different from the previous Management degree? Why was it changed? 

Dr. Brown: It was changed for a couple of reasons. The management degree had not been revised in a number of years, so it just needed to be updated in terms of content to match contemporary management theory. There are no other undergraduate VBM majors in the country, so it provides a niche market. We also got the Wheeler grant, which supports a curriculum that is more Franciscan in nature, so it did support the grant’s objectives. The truth is, managing based on values is the right thing to do, and is in alignment with USF’s mission.

Q. How will the grant help to make the College of Business and Health Administration a more Franciscan-based program?

Dr. Brown: The Wheeler grant has three separate areas or “phases”… academics, service, and faith. So the shift in this major was the first step in the “academic” part of the grant. We then focused on the “service” area and started a variety of initiatives, the largest being the Servant Leaders program. Servant Leaders are a group of students whose job it is to spread Franciscanism to the USF community. They do service projects, host events, etc. Finally, in the “faith” component, we hired Fr. Michael Jennrich, OFM, as the COBHA college chaplain. He is working with faculty to bring Franciscan values and teachings into our courses, he’s serving as a guest speaker in the classes, he’s recording video lectures on a variety of topics, he’s working with the Servant Leaders on activity ideas, etc.

For more information on USF’s Values-Based Management major and curriculum, visit