April 3, 2017
March was both a very sad month and a very happy month for the School of Business Administration.
In a tragic accident, Allen Duke, a senior in SOBA was struck by an automobile and killed on March 18 while walking to work on North Main Street in Durango. Allen was a senior accounting major who was scheduled to graduate at the end of April. Allen was well liked by students and faculty and his loss lessens the SOBA community. A posthumous degree will be awarded to Allen and presented to his parents and siblings at the graduation ceremony on April 29.
On a much happier note, a new dean has been selected for the School of Business Administration. Steve Elias, the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University, will take over SOBA leadership effective July 1, 2017. Dr Elias also served as the NMSU director of the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program, interim associate dean for Research, and head of the Management Department. Dr. Elias is co-director of the School Turnaround Development Program, an interdisciplinary initiative between the NMSU Colleges of Business and Education.
Dr. Elias was chosen from a large applicant pool. Many thanks go out to the search committee who worked long and hard to find the right candidate for the job. I believe they have succeeded with the hiring of Dr. Elias. Steve and I will meet at the AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM) later this month in Houston to work towards a smooth transition. Please welcome Dr. Elias to the SOBA community.
The quality of the faculty who will be working with Dr. Elias was shown by Eric Huggins, Professor of Management, being named as the winner of the 2017 Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award. Eric clearly met the criteria of excellence in classroom teaching, success in interpersonal relationship with students and other contributions to teaching. At the Board of Trustees meeting later this week Dr. Mika Kusar and Dr. Kaori Takano will be reported to the Board as having earned promotion to Associate Professor and being granted tenure effective in the 2017-2018 academic year. Well done all.
I am also pleased to announce that the team of SOBA students who went to Colorado State University to compete in the Rocky Mountain Investment Challenge acquitted themselves extremely well placing fourth ahead of teams from the University of Wyoming, Northern Colorado University and the University of Denver. Extremely well done for a first time participation and a lack of resources compared to the larger schools. Please congratulate Drew Faloon, Trevor Hunt, Braydin Mehnert, James Rott and Tyler Scott for a job well done.
I am looking forward to another exciting HawkTank business plan competition finale and SOBA awards banquet which will be held on April 15. Then, on April 29, I will participate in my last Fort Lewis College commencement ceremony reading the names of all the SOBA graduates for Spring 2017.
And on a final, personal note I welcomed my eighth grandchild, Isabel Joanna McGurr on March 19, 2017. Mother and baby and doing well.
Interim Dean, School of Business Administration