Skip to main content

From the Dean: Making an Impact

Dean Frank Buckless

By Frank Buckless

As a college, our biggest contributions to society always come when we find ways to marry our commitment to student success and industry engagement with our historic strengths as a university. When we are able to tap into our brilliant faculty’s expertise while equipping our students with real-world experience to meet the current and future demands of the workforce, Poole College of Management shines like no other.

It is one reason why we are constantly evaluating strategic areas of growth – such as our deliberate move into the world of business analytics. For years, we’ve listened as industry leaders have struggled to navigate the possibilities that come from access to unprecedented amounts of data – and we’ve recognized that there’s a void in the marketplace of professionals qualified to understand that information and turn it into actionable insights.

Being a college and university renowned for producing graduates who excel in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math – and seeing how data impacts a variety of business disciplines from finance to human resources – we knew we had the unique ability to bridge this gap. We began by launching a Business Analytics Honors Program in 2016 for qualified undergraduate students and watched as the market responded by offering graduates of the program starting salaries $10,000 above what their counterparts were receiving. 

And we were just getting started.

We continued to roll out new certificates and programs and this fall, in an effort to bring all our work around business analytics under one umbrella, we launched the Business Analytics Initiative (BAI), which is led by the incredibly talented Dr. Bill Rand. Not only does the BAI support educational endeavors around data analytics – from practicum projects to graduate certificates and executive education – it also delivers robust thought leadership offerings and produces world-class research to help organizations address real-world challenges.

Adding to the excitement, this coming August we will welcome the first class of our new Master of Management in Marketing Analytics degree program. The online program was specifically designed to attract working professionals and is another step in expanding our portfolio of degrees and certifications designed to equip students with skills and knowledge employers are actively seeking.

Unfortunately, there are times when in an effort to launch and support emerging programs, we must say goodbye to others. After nearly ten years, we have decided to end our Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) program. We’re grateful for the incredible work Dr. Kristie McGowan put into directing the program and are proud of the talented graduates GLAM has produced.

Other changes around the college include the welcome addition of some new hires. In July, Brian Clark ‘06 joined Poole as our executive director of development and external relations after previously working for the Wolfpack Club as director of major gifts. In December, Tedd Szeto joined our leadership team as the new assistant dean for undergraduate programs. Both bring fresh perspectives and contagious energy to the college.

We are also excited to announce that Tayah Butler, who has been working on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at an undergraduate level, has been promoted to the college’s new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – allowing us to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our students, faculty and staff. As a college, we believe that innovation requires diversity and we are committed to taking steps to create a campus community where everyone feels safe, supported and respected.

Speaking of elevating voices, our college is home to exceptionally insightful faculty who can provide unique perspectives on a variety of issues facing businesses and industry. Education and student success is a critical part of our mission, but our knowledge can’t just remain within academia when it broadly impacts society. In an effort to provide real-world, practical knowledge to the larger community, Poole College has developed an online Poole Thought Leadership hub – and the Poole Podcast has been its newest addition. Through these new initiatives, we will continue to share relevant information on a variety of business-related topics that will be of interest to everyday people.

As you can see, these are all ambitious undertakings. It takes significant resources from our industry partners, community members and committed alumni to act upon our important mission. While the need to attract, recruit and retain high-quality students and faculty increases, we continue to experience decreases in state funding. Your support is critical to helping us inspire, inform and equip the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and problem-solvers. The need is greater now than ever – so let’s change the world.

Always looking forward,

Frank Buckless
Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean
Poole College of Management

This post was originally published in Poole Business Magazine.