By Douglas D. Anderson
Dean and Professor, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business
When I started at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business last July, I was excited about the challenge ahead because I could envision a bright future for the college. Sometimes a good dose of reality, however, can put a damper on things.
Douglas D. Anderson
Not this time.
Now, six months later, I am even more encouraged because I have discovered the depth of leadership, expertise and passion the faculty share to serve our students more effectively. I said we were playing smaller than we are, and they agreed.
Things are changing fast. We are now doing a better job of preparing students for life after graduation by focusing on three areas: leadership, entrepreneurship and global vision.
After graduation many of our students will go to work in small businesses or large firms where they will need to be entrepreneurs to succeed. Many will be called upon immediately to lead. In fact, some of our students serving internships are already recruited into leadership roles because of the expertise they have developed.
We also acknowledge the growing need for leaders who have a global vision of what can be done and an understanding of how to do it in an international context. We did a survey last spring and found that 40 percent of the respondents had lived abroad for at least three months and 45 percent were fluent in a second language. We need to do a better job of helping our students leverage their international experience.
That is why I am so pleased that Professor Chris Fawson has agreed to serve as our new associate dean for international affairs. Dr. Fawson, the former vice provost for academic and international affairs for USU, has traveled and interacted with community and cultural leaders in Asia, South America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean Basin. He has a strong vision of what we can and must do to prepare students for a global economy.
I am equally excited to note our success in attracting Dr. John Johnson to lead our Department of Management Information Systems. Dr. Johnson was one of four people who founded FNC, Inc., a very successful company that develops software that streamlines loan processing for the nation’s largest lenders.He has already sparked discussions about some significant new initiatives we can launch to fuel the entrepreneurial fires within our students.
Entrepreneurship is another key word in our strategy for taking the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business to the next level. We are preparing to launch an entrepreneurship major that will be available through our regional campuses in 2007. We plan to hire three new faculty members who will play key roles in developing our emphasis on entrepreneurial instruction.
I also want to tell you something about the outstanding guests who have visited our campus this fall. In September, we honored Elder L. Tom Perry of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the Distinguished Executive Alumnus Award. Even though Elder Perry is known mostly for his role as an apostle in the LDS church, we recognized in his life a pattern of integrity that started long before he began his full-time church service. Integrity was a hallmark of his outstanding business career.
We were also honored this fall to have three of the most successful and dynamic leaders in Utah accept our invitation to be speakers in the Dean’s Convocation series. Bill Child, chairman of the board for R. C. Willey Home Furnishings, gave an outstanding address, titled "How to Build a Business Warren Buffett Would Want to Buy." Kem Gardner, a community builder who has made a huge difference in Utah with developments such as The Gateway in Salt Lake City, spoke to students in October. Ken Woolley, the chairman and CEO of Extra Space Storage, offered us his valuable insight in late November.
This combination of faculty expertise and community support are a key part of why our early efforts have been so successful. I invite you to join with me and my colleagues at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business to become a part of this transformation. Help us create a bright future and train the next generation of leaders. The rewards will show forth in their lives, and the impact will be felt by us all.