College of Business and Economics begins search for new dean

By: Gabriel Donahue, News Editor

The Towson University College of Business and Economics has initiated a search for its new dean following Shohreh Kaynama’s retirement in November. 

Kaynama served as the dean of the College for nearly twenty years. Laurie Mullen, dean of the College of Education, heads the search committee for Kaynama’s successor. 

The committee will be looking for candidates with a vision for the future of the college, Mullen said. The university is utilizing WittKieffer, an Illinois-based search firm to find candidates. 

Mullen said Wittkieffer assisted in finding the current dean of the College of Liberal Arts and  Vernon Hurte, the vice president for Student Affairs. 

The committee, composed of some of the College’s faculty, will review applications and select candidates for virtual interviews. Three or four will then be invited onto campus for more in-depth interviews and to meet other deans and the provost, Mullen said. 

“That’s why you choose a leader,” she said. “Because you’re interested in certainly their expertise, but also, based on what they’ve seen at other universities or based on the climate of business schools across the country, what is it that you think? How can Towson position itself to best serve our students and best serve the faculty that are there?”

While the committee is conducting a nationwide search, current Towson faculty are not excluded from consideration, Mullen said.

Candidates will be interviewed between March and April, according to the timeline on the search webpage. The final decision will be announced in April. 

Yoshi Matsui, a business major, said he hopes to see the new dean host events to get to know the students. He suggested that professors offer extra credit to encourage students to attend. 

“I think that’s a great way to interact with the new dean, because previously I didn’t even know who the old dean was,” Matsui said. 

Mullen said the future dean is entering the college at a “really exciting time,” as the university continues to work towards obtaining an R2-Doctoral Carnegie Classification. An R2 classification means the university would become an institution due to high research activity.

TU must award 20 research doctorate degrees and spend $5 million annually on research to achieve and maintain the classification.

“There’s a great college for them to move into,” Mullen said.

Some students within the College have an idea of what they hope for in the new dean. 

Senior Gabrielle Andrews said she thinks it’s important for the dean to value diversity and to support women in all fields of business. Andrews also suggested expanding engagement and mentorship opportunities with small businesses. 

Junior Oneall Mogliazzi said he wants the College to increase networking opportunities between students and potential business partners. 

“Who you deal business with is pretty much who you know in that field,” Mogliazzi said.

After Kaynama’s retirement, Judy Harris, an associate dean within the college, became the interim dean, a university spokesperson said.

Harris did not respond to requests for comment by publication Tuesday.   

The College of Business and Economics is home to over 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students, the College’s fast facts page states

Additionally, the College ranked no. 27 best undergraduate business schools among public universities nationwide by Poets & Quants, a digital publication focused on business education. 
The College is also the largest undergraduate business program in Maryland with an AACSB accreditation. The accreditation is only available to schools that “​​produce research that advances business,” a Towson website states.


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