Huntsman Alumni Magazine

Fall 2008

Message from the Dean

Dean Douglas D. Anderson

Douglas D. Anderson

By Douglas D. Anderson, Dean and Professor, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

This summer I was looking forward to fall more than usual.

I always enjoy seeing the students bring the USU campus back to life. This time, however, I knew that when our students returned they would discover a $2.5 million upgrade to our newly-renovated George S. Eccles Business Building. They might have trouble finding my office — it’s on the sixth floor now — but I knew they wouldn’t have a problem finding the new student lounge located in what used to be the dean’s suite of offices. This was the most attractive office space in the building, but shortly after I became dean we decided it would be of greater value to students than it was to us.

Sometimes an upgrade to your surroundings can boost your whole attitude. A new car, new carpet in the house or even a new sofa can change your outlook. We hope we send the strong message to students that not only do we care about them, but others are willing to invest in their future too. These changes would not have been possible if the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation had not donated $1 million for the renovation work. The rest was funded by contributions from Utah State University and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and by a $10,000 donation from the Associated Students of USU.

When we needed help getting the building opened 38 years ago, it was the Eccles family that stepped forward to make it happen for our students. You will read about the renovation in this issue; more importantly, I hope the next time you are on campus you will stop by and see for yourself what a great step forward this has been for our students.

Also in this issue you will note that we continue to expand our international programs. In addition to our South America program, we now have a five-week program in Asia, encompassing South Korea, China and Vietnam. These academic experiences are proving to be life-changing for our students.

This summer I was privileged to spend a week with our students in Peru. I saw first-hand why this program that stretches our students so much is so widely praised. As our students guide budding entrepreneurs in Peru, they develop their own leadership abilities. They work with the people to find creative and innovative solutions to the economic challenges they face. As our students overcome obstacles, we help them understand how ethical leadership can be a constant, despite cultural differences. The chance I had to directly interact with students on this trip proved a personal highlight of the year and reminded me of how fortunate we are that USU attracts such high-caliber students.

It’s the personal integrity our students have and their strong work ethic, that makes me believe we can take this school to a new level. They help shape a culture that I believe is unique to business schools across the country. We value that culture and want to build on its strengths so our students can leverage their experience and know the benefits of studying at a top-tier business school.

That’s why we invited Kim Cameron to share with us some of the research he has done at the University of Michigan. He came and spoke at a Partners In Business seminar and talked with us about some fascinating research he has done. I invite you to read about his work later in this magazine. He said if companies are to succeed in this time of rapid change, they need to go beyond promoting high ethical standards to create a culture where genuine virtuous behavior is the norm. We invited him back to work with our faculty and staff at a retreat in mid-August where we refined our focus and talked about how to build on the positive culture we have at the Huntsman School of Business. His book “Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance” is required reading for the Huntsman School of Business this year.

The thing that makes our work so rewarding is that we know so many alumni and friends share our vision of what this school can become and how it can benefit our students. They understand as we guide tomorrow’s leaders, we are helping shape our own future.

The thing that makes our work so rewarding is that we know so many alumni and friends share our vision of what this school can become and how it can benefit our students. They understand as we guide tomorrow’s leaders, we are helping shape our own future. Please know that while we are deeply grateful for the major gifts we receive, we are also motivated by every contribution. Each name at the back of this magazine represents a vote of support. Each name is an alumnus who hasn’t forgotten what they gained while here at USU, or a friend who believes in our students and their potential. That support is making the transformation possible here at the Huntsman School of Business.

We talk of our desire to become a top-tier business school and that may seem an audacious goal. It’s easy to forget, however, that the single most powerful force we have for transforming the Huntsman School of Business are the students themselves. They are already top-tier. We need only create the opportunities they need to excel and get out of the way.