It’s been a busy winter at the Lundquist College of Business—full of change and productivity. And spring is just around the corner, according to Punxsutawney Phil.
We are moving swiftly in our process of hiring a new dean for the college. This month the search firm will visit our campus twice for lengthy meetings with our search committee to discuss and evaluate candidates. In early March, we have scheduled the “airport interviews” in which six to 10 candidates will visit Eugene for confidential interviews with the search committee. The search committee will then select two to four candidates for public campus visits in early April.
Meanwhile, at the end of January, we welcomed a team of deans and professors from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the leading accrediting body of business schools worldwide. We are among a select group of schools that has both business and accounting programs jointly accredited. Our accreditation is reviewed every five years. The team gave us great feedback, saying they were impressed by the leadership in our academic programs, our strong focus on experiential learning, gains made in fundraising and advancement, launching the Sports Product Management Program in Portland, our collegial culture, our very high graduation rates, and the quality of our junior faculty. The team summed this up by saying, we “punch above our weight” given limited resources. However, an area of improvement noted is our small number of research faculty in the Lundquist College. Hiring more tenure-track faculty is a priority of the college, and we are developing plans to assist the new dean in this effort.
In other developments, you may have seen one of the many media mentions about our QuackHack event, a weekend-long digital game-creation marathon and the first of its kind in the United States. A group of very dedicated students and our own Kate Harmon pulled off a huge feat. We had the honor of hosting 118 college students from 14 universities representing six states, and 16 different majors. Community members and business leaders joined the fun, which included board games made with a digital printer and a virtual-reality Tetris-style game, complete with falling bricks one could manipulate in the air. Read more in our QuackHack wrap-up.
In another first, the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship plans to send an interdisciplinary group of undergraduate students to the 2016 SXSW Interactive conference taking place in Austin, Texas, March 11-15. Participating students will apply what they learned at the conference to create a unique student-led program or initiative that will drive innovation and collaboration for the benefit of all students at the University of Oregon. To fund the experience, the center launched its first crowd-funding initiative on the new UO DuckFunder platform for students and faculty projects.
Up the road in Salem, we collaborated with Oregon State University for the annual Diversity Career Symposium. The career development event is the hallmark of our CEO Network student group experience. The CEO Network is a group of students of color who are pursuing business and professional success.
In faculty news, instructor Joshua Gordon is now also undergraduate program manager for the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. His academic credentials are an excellent fit for the position. Read the announcement about Joshua Gordon.
And finally, our incoming Oregon MBA class size jumped from 37 in 2014 to 57 in 2015. A robust MBA program is essential for student satisfaction, rankings, and recruiting the absolute best students and instructors. We have invested in this area, and the traction we are seeing is outstanding.
As always, it is wonderful to see so much activity and initiative among our faculty, students, and programs. I can’t wait to see what the early spring brings.
Best and Go Ducks!
Interim Dean and Professor Emeritus of Management