Smith Relishes Opportunity in Future College of Business

Pacific University welcomes Dr. Howard Smith as the founding dean of the future College of Business.

Smith started his tenure at Pacific on July 1. His career has included positions as vice president of university advancement, dean of the College of Business and Economics and tenured professor of management at Boise State, as well as dean of the University of New Mexico’s Anderson Schools of Management and School of Public Administration.

He is charged with creating and advancing a strategic initiative to establish a College of Business at Pacific and with fundraising in support of such a college.

“This is an incredible opportunity to grow a College of Business,” he said. “The opportunity to found a new college is few and far between these days. … And it fits well with where I am in my career.

“Coming here and meeting people, that really told me a match was superlative.” Now that he’s here and working, he said, “It remains so in my mind. There’s wonderful character and integrity in the folks I’ve met.”

Smith, an avid hiker, says he’s enjoying his first weeks at Pacific and is looking forward to moving ahead quickly with plans for the future college.

His first step will be taking a proposal for a new college through the University governance process while also starting behind-the-scenes work that will be necessary for building a college and gaining its accreditation. That includes looking at faculty, staff, curriculum and cooperation with other colleges and external partners.

He said efforts to grow a College of Business won’t take resources away from other parts of the university but will require cooperation. Accrediting bodies for business schools, he said, require a robust set of interdisciplinary opportunities for students, and that means close work with the College of Arts & Sciences.

He’d also like to see partnership with the College of Health Professions, as future business degree opportunities could tie to the health care industry.

“We’re not going to try to be everything to everybody. We’ll be select and focus on specific niches and strive to be superior in those initiatives,” he said. “It’s all based on a fundamental foundation of a deeply rich liberal arts education base. On top of that, we will layer innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Tuesday, July 31, 2012