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Pioneer

KSB’s New Interim Dean

Megan Varnadore, Out and About Editor

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Catawba’s Ketner School of Business has been open for over 20 years and has received many positive spotlights in local newspapers and in our own, The Pioneer.  I sincerely expect this positivity and increase in popularity to continue, especially after interviewing Dr. Pamela Thompson, who is one of our own and is now the new Interim Dean for the KSB.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know much about the KSB when I interviewed her, so she kindly relayed to me the facts and history behind it all.

Only recently, about two years ago, was a dean structure reinstated for the KSB.  This was done to facilitate growth in many ways.  Dr. Jamie Slate was the first dean and served as so for the next two years.  Following those two years, he decided that he wanted to get back into the classroom and stepped down as the KSB Dean.  Shortly after that, in December of last year, Dr. Thompson was asked to fill the position.  Dr. Thompson has been a department chairman before, so she was familiar with some of the duties of the position.

First, I wanted to find out how she felt as the new dean. “The Ketner School of Business and Communications is a team of outstanding faculty and we have had a number of initiatives that we have been working on together that have been advanced through Dr. Slate’s tenure; these include progress towards ACBSP accreditation, improvement in assessment measures, international travel initiatives, an increase in the number of majors offered, and focus on student retention.  I am really excited to be able to continue pursuing these goals with our faculty.  There were several new initiatives started by Dr. Slate that we will be working on as well, including development of a health-related major and addition of our graduate degree program. I’m really excited about possibilities for new programs presented by the addition of communications to our school.  It’s really nice to have Professor Wittum and Dr. Moreland on our team.  We love having The Pioneer in the Ketner building!”  Well said, Dr. Thompson.

Knowing very little about the KSB and a dean’s duties, my next inquiry was to find out what exactly the job entails. “My duties are to help carry out college-wide initiatives under the direction of our Provost, Dr. Rick Stevens, and continue working to reach the goals and objectives of the KSB strategic plan and continue working on ways to integrate the communications major and college initiatives,” Thompson said.

Having heard all of this, it seems to me that she has taken on an enormous responsibility and I wondered how stressful it was.  So, my final question was, “Do you sometimes find it difficult to juggle your career as both professor and dean?” Thompson answered, “Yes, I have a full class load this semester so juggling the dean’s duties with the responsibilities of a classroom professor can get challenging!  I’m also advisor to PBL and am helping out with YES (Young Entrepreneurs Society), but I love having the privilege of working with college students!  I am trying to find time to get off campus as well in order to visit profit and not-for-profit companies in the region.  We depend on businesses to support our experiential learning program and to provide careers for our students after graduation; our relationship is extremely important.  I also want to visit as many high schools and community colleges as possible in order to help attract new students.”

Well, Dr. Thompson, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all wish you the very best of luck!

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KSB’s New Interim Dean