Graduation is here once again. It is always an exciting time that brings an air of new beginnings as our graduates proudly move to the next step in their careers. We know that with a Lundquist College of Business education they will be more than prepared to seize the opportunities before them and make a positive change on business and the world.
As with our graduates, new beginnings are also on the horizon for the college. After five years as dean, I have decided to step down effective September 15, 2015. With a new UO president coming on board and the college poised to achieve new levels of accomplishment, the time is right for me to transition to a new role.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, I will be on leave. In fall 2016, I will return to the Lundquist College faculty on a part-time basis under a tenure reduction plan. The plan provides an opportunity for tenured faculty to gradually reduce their involvement at the UO for up to five years after retirement. As I prepare for this change, some thoughts come to mind.
First, the Lundquist College of Business is in outstanding shape and poised for growth thanks to the superb collective efforts many of our college stakeholders have made.
A few points of note:
- Our faculty is growing once again and enrollment in all programs is strong
- The quality of our applicant pools is increasing and our graduates are finding fantastic jobs
- Preparations for Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reaccreditation are well underway
- Experiential learning has become a true differentiator for the college
- The new Sports Product Management Program is launching this fall
- Our new facility in Portland is under construction
- We are celebrating our largest Oregon Executive MBA class in recent memory
- Our greatest fundraising effort to date is underway
Clearly, the college is well positioned to continue our upward trajectory of growing faculty further and keeping the momentum of our expanding graduate programs while furthering research efforts. The college's leadership, students, faculty, and staff have all worked to help us attain our status as a global leader in academics, and we are launching a corresponding branding campaign for the Lundquist College shortly. The time is right for a new leader to take on these important assignments.
In this way, mine is a “graduation" of the best kind. The work of faculty, donors, partners, and friends is already yielding positive outcomes and will continue to do so. We are primed for greatness. I have complete confidence the next leader of the Lundquist College will provide the energy and direction needed to move us ever further forward.
As an alumnus myself, I know the value of the degree from this institution. More than that, I know the value of this amazing Duck community. Alumni, friends of the college, and partner organizations share the common goal of Duck success both during matriculation and after. My advice to graduates is to avail oneself of this network, locally and even globally. Don't be a stranger. I don't plan to be.
In closing, I would like to extend a special thanks to our senior associate, associate, and assistant deans for their dedication to the Lundquist College during my time as dean. They have been invaluable in helping us achieve our aspirations. I am particularly indebted to our Board of Advisors, so ably led by Gwen Lillis. Without their enthusiasm, dedication, and support, we would not be where we are today.
Finally, a heartfelt thank you goes to all of our donors who continue to believe in our aspirations and challenge us to do better every day. We simply could not do it without you.
Cornelis A. “Kees" de Kluyver
James and Shirley Rippey Distinguished Professor