Stephen F. Austin State University

About the College

Mast room


We educate individuals to successfully meet the challenge of tomorrow's business environment.


Rusche Business is committed to…

…providing all students access to a quality professional education, thereby preparing them to compete in a global business environment.

…emphasizing excellence in teaching at the undergraduate and masters levels through its personalized environment and direct student focus.

…providing intellectual and professional development to business students through coursework, student organizations, research opportunities, and an applied business focus.

…rewarding faculty excellence in research and service, thereby enhancing their ability to make meaningful contributions to the college, university, the local community, and their academic field.

…applying inputs from constituencies such as business practitioners and students, regarding their education needs and their view of Rusche Business's quality.

Our Namesake

The name Nelson Rusche defines the word "friendship" for the College of Business. In 2002, SFA recognized Nelson Rusche's generosity in naming the College of Business the Nelson Rusche College of Business. His mark upon the world of business is evidenced by his many successful business endeavors.

Rusche graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1949. In 1951, he purchased his first Gulf Oil service station. Rusche later became a commissioned agent, providing fuel at construction sites from the Houston ship channel to Katy Freeway, Tomball, Magnolia and North Harris County. The A.N. Rusche Distributing Company grew to be a 250-million-gallon-a-year distributor.

In 1968, Rusche expanded his business to include automated car washes, and he eventually owned 11 Mister Car Wash facilities in the Houston area. Ten years later, he began another new business, Handy Plus convenience stores, operating in conjunction with many service stations. Rusche Fuel Controls was established in 1991, providing clients with detailed monthly reports of fuel purchases. Rusche's distributing company earned numerous awards and honors from the Texas Oil Marketers Association, now known as the Texas Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. He was honored with the E.K. Bennett Award in 1996, making him the association's "Man of the Year." Rusche also served as president of the association.

Rusche served on the SFA Board of Regents from 1986 to 1989, and he is a lifetime member of the SFA Alumni Association. He also has served as president of the Galena Park Rotary Club and on the board of directors of Airline Commerce Bank and Universal Savings Bank.

Rusche retired to enjoy hunting, fishing and golfing. He passed away on September 17, 2013.

Nelson Rusche (1924-2013) will be remembered as a "true friend" of SFA. His endowed gift will make scholarships available to students majoring in business. It will enable the college to recruit and retain some of the brightest students.

Our History

When Stephen F. Austin Teacher's College opened its doors in 1923, business courses were offered through the Department of Commerce, Economics, and Sociology. The Bachelor of Business Administration was first listed in the university's "catalogue" in 1940-1941, and the first business degrees were awarded in 1942. Since then, more than 18,500 undergraduate degrees have been awarded in eleven different majors (Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in Accounting, Business Economics, Computer Information Systems, Finance, General Business, International Business, Management, and Marketing; Bachelor of Arts with majors in Economics and Information Technology; and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science).

The first graduate business degree was awarded in 1970. To date, approximately 1,300 graduate degrees have been awarded. Graduate degrees currently are the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Professional Accountancy. Previously, Master of Science and Master of Business Education degrees were awarded.

The business unit was designated the "School of Business" in 1968 and the "College of Business" in 1993. In 2002, the College of Business became the Nelson Rusche College of Business in tribute to Nelson Rusche, alumnus, entrepreneur, and business leader, who provided a generous endowment.

Today, the Rusche College consists of four academic units: the Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy (a former department named a school in 2008 in honor of Gerald W. Schlief, alumnus and business leader, who endowed the unit), the Department of Business Communication and Legal Studies (renamed from General Business in 2012), the Department of Economics and Finance, and the Department of Management, Marketing, and International Business. Previously, the Department of Computer Science reported to the Rusche College. However, the unit began reporting to the College of Sciences and Mathematics on August 26, 2013.

All business programs (BBA, MBA, and MPA) are accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business ( AACSB is the premier accrediting agency for business units globally.

Since its establishment in 1968, six individuals have served as Dean: Dr. Frank Lauderdale (1968-1981), Dr. Janelle C. Ashley (1981-1992), Dr. Marlin C. Young (1992-2002), Dr. Violet C. Rogers (2002-2009), Dr. Danny R. Arnold (2010-2012), and Dr. Timothy Bisping (2015-present).


The Nelson Rusche College of Business is accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International is the premier accrediting agency for programs in business administration and accounting, and as such is the most widely-recognized and sought-after endorsement of business schools. Approximately one-third of U.S. business school programs and less than five percent of business school programs worldwide meet the rigorous standards for AACSB International accreditation.

What is accreditation and why is it important? Check out the resources below to learn more about how you will benefit from getting an education from an accredited program!