I am honored to have completed my first academic year as Dean of UM’s School of Business Administration. It has been an exciting year for everyone here as we’ve embraced change, taken key steps to further engage our alumni, communities and prospective students, and re-focused our mission to provide a world-class learning environment for our students.
In just one year, we will celebrate the business school’s Centennial anniversary. With this momentous occasion just around the corner, I want to reflect on our commitment to students and our position as a leader in business education and resources in the state of Montana.
Throughout this past year, we’ve had an extensive list of business leaders, many of them UM alumni, visit our campus and speak with our students. These prestigious visitors have included our 2017 Outstanding Alumni, Stefanie Strack, General Manager of Nike Skateboarding in North America, and Craig Anderson, Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch, as well as honored Gilkey lecturer Tres Lund, CEO of Minnesota’s Lunds & Byerlys grocery stores.
As another avenue for our students to learn and engage with local, national and global business leaders, this spring, we hosted our very first session of five-minute TED-style talks with members of our Business Advisory Council. The speakers gave the students a first-hand look at the successes and (often more valuable) failures that have impacted their professional careers and business ventures. Our students have responded to these presentations with overwhelming engagement and positive feedback. I sincerely hope it’s the start of a new tradition for the School of Business.
In addition to the unmatched access to industry leaders and professionals, our students are educated by an exceptional faculty. Our faculty at SoBA are thought leaders, innovators, and champions for students; they excel in their fields, applying academic excellence and theoretical expertise to real-world business problems. This practical background is not only evident in the world-class education our students receive here but also in the sheer scope and strength of our ties to the local and global business communities.
While our amazing alumni, faculty, and donors continue to offer invaluable inspiration, connections, and support for our students, I also want to emphasize the degree to which our students inspire and support each other. From a group of business students spending their winter holidays learning and exploring in New Zealand and Australia to a team of MSBA students attending an exclusive business analytics conference in Las Vegas, UM’s business students are not only individually dedicated and driven but also invested in the success of their peers and classmates.
The ingrained values and accomplishments of our students are directly attributable to the generous gifts from donors. Given budget constraints within the university, we rely heavily on donations and community support to fund our student services and programs. These services are vital to the continued success of our school and students. With donors’ support, I know we will continue to build upon the school’s solid foundation of nearly 100 years of business education, fostering new growth and prosperity in our students, leaders and communities.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to explore our web pages and learn more about the School of Business Administration. You will find information on our outstanding programs, students, faculty, staff, and alumni. For the latest news and insights at the School of Business, I invite you all to follow and connect with me on Facebook: @MontanaBusinessDean and Twitter @umtbusinessdean. You can also keep track of the latest news on the School of Business Facebook page: @UMSoba.
Welcome to the School of Business!