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Announcing Dr. Susan Madsen as the Inaugural Karen Haight Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership

March  2020

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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Susan MadsenIt is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Susan Madsen as a tenured, full professor in the Marketing and Strategy department of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and as the inaugural Karen Haight Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership. Dr. Madsen’s is one of the leading voices in the State of Utah for women in business and higher education. She is an extraordinary colleague, teacher, public intellectual and role model, and we are delighted that she has chosen to join us at Utah State University. She will have a joint appointment with Utah State University Extension.

During the last decade Dr. Madsen has served as the founding director of the Utah Women and Leadership Project at Utah Valley University, which is focused on strengthening the impact of Utah girls and women by encouraging, developing, and advancing women in leadership. She has presented her research to literally thousands of individuals throughout Utah and the nation, and in many countries beyond our borders. She has been heavily involved for decades in researching the lifetime development of prominent women leaders and has personally interviewed a host of women university presidents, U.S. governors, and international leaders. Dr. Madsen has authored or edited six books, published hundreds of articles, chapters, and reports, and is a sought-after speaker in local, national, and international settings.

Following the Utah State University Board of Trustees meeting yesterday at which Susan’s appointment was unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed by the Board, President Noelle Cockett said, “I am so pleased to welcome Dr. Susan Madsen as a member of the Utah State University community. I know of no one who has been more effective as an advocate for girls and women in Utah during the course of the last decade than Dr. Madsen, and I am eager to see what she can accomplish as the Karen Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership at the state’s land-grant institution!”

Former State Senator Pat (Patricia) Jones who now runs the Women’s Leadership Institute in Salt Lake City, wrote me to say that she considers Susan “a pioneer in her own right; a pioneer in cutting-edge research on issues of primary importance to advancing women. [Her] influence on women’s leadership in Utah and beyond cannot be overstated… I rely on Susan’s timely research to buoy our message of the importance and value of women’s leadership in business and in politics.”

Our friend Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank, who has worked closely with Susan over many years, said: “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing—and being inspired by--- Dr. Madsen through community involvement and education efforts for the past 15 years. Zions Bank created a development program for women officers called the Women’s Business Forum in 2007, and one of the earliest presenters to the group was Dr. Madsen.  We also joined with the Sundance Institute to honor her for her contributions at the 2016 Sundance Women’s Leadership Celebration.

He continued: “I have been so impressed by the breadth and volume of research Dr. Madsen and her partners have helped produce and release:  21 research and policy briefs, 27 research snapshots, and seven impact reports assessing the current status of women and making recommendations for change. Her research-based resources are published online and are readily accessible to the community so that people can be better informed about these important issues.  The Utah Women & Leadership Project also hosts or co-sponsors 20 to 30 events each year attended by thousands.  Through speeches, press coverage and social media, Dr. Madsen reaches an estimated 25,000 individuals annually.”

As part of her professional work, Dr. Madsen created the Utah Women and Education Initiative in 2009 and led a research team to investigate what might be done to get more Utah women to attend college and then graduate. She also founded the Utah Women in Higher Education Network (UWHEN) in 2010 and was recently recognized with special honors as she moved off the board in early 2019. Dr. Madsen will bring the Utah Women & Leadership Project to the Huntsman School of Business. The continuation of this statewide effort has led to her joint appointment with USU Extension.

Our colleague, Dr. Ken White, Vice President of Extension and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Science, said: “We are extremely excited about having Susan Madsen join our Extension team of professionals and the opportunity this will provide to develop important state-wide Extension programming that facilitates women’s leadership development. Susan has a very impressive record of important contributions in this area, and partnering with our land-grant mission of directed community outreach creates an extraordinary opportunity for Utah communities.”

Dr. Madsen received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in work, community, and family education with a specialization in human resource development. She has other degrees in exercise science/wellness and speech communication education. She started her career as a middle school speech and debate teacher.

Dr. Madsen will formally join our faculty on July 1. We feel deeply fortunate to have attracted her to Utah State University. I am confident Susan will have a profound impact at Utah State University as she has with every other organization with which she has been involved.  Please join us in welcoming her to the Huntsman School of Business.

Best wishes,

Doug's Signature