Nicholls business college to offer maritime management program

THIBODAUX – Beginning in fall 2013, students in the College of Business Administration at Nicholls State University will have the option of maritime management as a degree concentration. Fully funded by industry partners and private donors – along with student tuition and fees – the program is designed to meet regional industry workforce demands.  

“Five of the seven largest maritime firms in the world are based in Louisiana, so Nicholls is ideally suited for this type of education,” said Dr. Shawn Mauldin, dean of the College of Business Administration. “The location of Thibodaux in proximity to the maritime industry, the internationally accredited business curricula that Nicholls already offers, the burgeoning industry partnerships we’ve developed and many other factors will all contribute to the success of this program. Furthermore, with so many of our students being heavily recruited by businesses associated with the maritime industry, this concentration is a logical addition to our college.”

Dr. Ken Chadwick, head of the Department of Management, Marketing, and Business Administration, will direct the new program. He said Nicholls’ collaboration with the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), South Central Industrial Association, South Louisiana Economic Council, individual companies and other industry leaders will ensure the success of the program, resulting in marketable, competitive graduates.

“Area business and industry leaders, including several from Seacor Marine, were the ones who initially approached Nicholls requesting the creation of this new concentration – and we are delighted that it will soon be a reality,” Chadwick said. “We’ve already raised more than $320,000 in cash and pledges from industry partners and private donors to fund the program for at least four years, and we still have a year before classes start. I am quite excited about what’s in store for our students.”

Mauldin said the plan is for Nicholls’ industry partners to provide experts who will help develop the concentration’s core courses. Partners include companies such as Seacor Marine, Edison Chouest Offshore, Bollinger Shipyards, Otto Candies LLC, Montco Offshore, Cenac Towing Company Inc., Aries Marine Corporation, Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC, Cheramie Botruc, Phelps Dunbar LLP and Marine Systems Inc. The curricula will include marine transportation and logistics, marine safety and risk management, maritime law, advanced maritime business, and a summer internship with a regional maritime firm. Experts in these areas will be hired to teach the courses. A recent presentation describing the planned curricula to OMSA received enthusiastic feedback, Mauldin said.

Robert Clemons, vice president and chief operating officer of Seacor Marine, said the Nicholls service region already has a quality vocational training system in place, “but until now no university in Louisiana has provided a program to develop the future leaders of our specific industry. This program will offer Nicholls students a competitive advantage in an industry that they will likely be directly or indirectly involved in anyway.”

Mauldin said there also appears to be a demand, based on industry feedback, for these courses among current industry employees who are not seeking a degree. Nicholls is investigating the possibility of offering the courses to non-degree seeking students as a certificate program.

University and industry leaders plan to host several public information sessions detailing the new program throughout the upcoming year. For additional details about the maritime management concentration, contact Chadwick at 985-448-4211 or

To learn more about the Nicholls College of Business Administration – internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – go to

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