The business program has historically been one of the most successful at Shepherd University and has graduated more students than any other department. However, the number of majors has declined by 21% since 2010.
In addressing this decline, the President of the University, Dr. Mary Hendrix, and the Provost, Dr. Chris Ames, have accepted a recommendation from a team of external consultants to take the first step in moving the business program towards excellence and growth by, “Initiating a search for a dean of the School of Business with a commitment to attract an experienced business academic or professional leader who can galvanize the faculty and external stakeholders into a reinvigoration effort to enhance the quality and success of business/management education at Shepherd University.”
The University has successfully completed this national search. To ensure the success of the new hire, resources need to be available for fundraising, marketing, and hiring faculty at more competitive salaries. The target is to create a School of Business with the official opening in the academic year 2017-2018. It will include Business Administration, Economics and Finance, Accounting, and the MBA program.
With continuing reductions in funding from the State of West Virginia, the University is asking the Shepherd University Foundation to lead a fund-raising effort to initiate this effort. A five-year program (2016 – 2020) to raise $600,000 will assist the University in revitalizing the existing program into a growing, self-supporting program. The new Dean of the School of Business will establish an advisory board and create a strategic plan in the first year.
The Business 2020 Initiative is led by Ray Alvarez, Shepherd University Foundation vice president and a Shepherd alumnus. During the committee’s first meeting July 27, hosted by alumnus Ken Lowe at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown, Mike Smith, president of the Shepherd University Foundation, offered a $250,000 challenge grant. Smith’s challenge gift is the first at this level for Shepherd.
“This is an extraordinary example of the commitment of our business community partnering with Shepherd to revitalize an important program and provide significant new opportunities for students,” -Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd University President
Business 2020 Committee members are Ray Alvarez `64, chair; Mike Smith `89, Chris Colbert `95, Eric Lewis `95, Rob Hoxton, IV, Lawson Hockman `70, Ken Boone `76, Tony Price `93, John Wolff `88, Andrew Lowe `02, Karl Wolf `70, Tom Miller `76, Bob Jensenius ’72, J. David Rickard `56, Dana Orsini `81, Ken Lowe ’71, Julia Connell `84, Howard Mills, James Miller, Cindy Kitner `97, Bob McMillan, and advisors Monica Lingenfelter and Dr. Chris Ames.