VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 10/30/2012
November 30, 2007 Andrew Jay Svedlow, Ph.D., Dean College of Performing and Visual Arts University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO 80639 Dear Dean Svedlow and Search Committee Members: I am very pleased to offer my application for the position of the Dean of the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado. Since I assumed the role as Interim Dean, I have thought long and hard about this position and the fit with regard to my family and my future. I am well aware of the rigor and challenges the position holds, but I am prepared to accept the responsibility of leading MCB as dean. My abilities, experience, accomplishments and passion make me uniquely qualified to take the Monfort College to the next level in its performance excellence journey. My experience extends across a broad array of both academic and professional endeavors. I have worked in the business world, served as a consultant in various capacities, advised students and faculty, performed numerous service roles in the community and at the university, conducted research, led study abroad trips, and, perhaps most importantly, successfully taught at the university level. I have assumed leadership roles as a student, professional, university professor and as an administrator. I believe these experiences, combined with my passion for people and, specifically, my passion for the Monfort College of Business and the University of Northern Colorado, enable me to be highly successful in the Dean’s role. I have outlined how my experience and accomplishments poise me for success as the Dean of the Monfort College of Business. In the interest of brevity, I structured my thoughts largely around the stated job requirements. Leadership skills: • I led the college’s preparation for the AACSB maintenance of accreditation. This included the production of two written reports (business and accounting) and preparation for an on-site visit by an AASCB peer review team. I oversaw all activities and was a significant contributor to the accounting report. With the help of many, MCB ran a very successful peer review team visit and earned positive recommendations for both AACSB business and accounting accreditation – despite significant drops in state funding levels relative to our last re-accreditation in 1997. • I have chaired multiple committees and task forces that successfully achieved the desired goals (e.g., hiring personnel) efficiently and effectively. • In partnership with Housing and Residence Life, I initiated the MCB residential community in Wilson Hall. • In partnership with Academic Support and Advising, I helped create the MCB learning communities. Over 80% of our MCB freshmen have signed up for fall learning communities over the last two years. This has greatly simplified the summer faculty advising role, simplified university scheduling procedures, and enabled the college to better reach its lower-division student population. • I organized MCB’s fall faculty retreat so that college-level committees were formed, given their annual charge and had the first meeting before classes began. Academic achievement: • I earned an MBA and Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998 following more than a decade of industry experience. • I have published numerous articles in both academic, peer-reviewed journals and in other high profile outlets. The Journal of Financial Research is a very well-respected academic finance journal with less than a 12% acceptance rate. My article on Japan and Hong Kong Exchange- Traded Funds has been cited 11 times and led to an interview by The Wall Street Journal. The interview was featured on the cover of the Money and Investing section. I have received requests from academics and non-academics from around the globe regarding this research. I have also published articles relating to the Monfort College of Business achievement of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in academic journals, but also in the well-distributed, highly- visible AACSB/AIR Assessment in Business Schools. Commitment to personal and professional integrity: • Every person has his/her “opportunities for improvement”, but I am confident that those who know me would not include a lack of integrity or honesty in such a list. I believe my colleagues would describe me as an individual that would “go the distance” for what I believe is right. • I initiated the Ethics Task Force for MCB. The task force was initially formed to review our compliance with AACSB assurance of learning standards relative to our stated ethics learning outcomes. This initial goal was satisfied; however, it became clear that a deeper and more structured approach was required to take MCB’s ethics education to a higher level. Working with colleagues at UNC (inside and outside MCB), and others, we are seeking multi-million dollar funding to help make this initiative happen. Development, fund raising, alumni and community relations: • The Monfort naming agreement has given the college opportunities to do things it otherwise could not have considered. However, the conditions of the gift, which were well thought out and designed, can restrict our ability to use it in what we might view as the most critical area at a given point in time. For example, the funds are not to be used to hire tenure/tenure-track faculty – the donors felt this was a duty of the state/university and they envisioned their funds as “margin of excellence”. The college needs to diversify its source of external funds in the future (grants, donors, sponsors). To this end, I have dedicated my development efforts accordingly. Summarized below are some of the accomplishments MCB has enjoyed under my leadership as Interim Dean: o The Monfort College of Business achieved an 82% full-time faculty participation rate (thus far in 2007-08) for Team UNC (that compares to about a national average of 17% and an overall UNC somewhat less than 15%). This not only helped the college garner matching funds from an anonymous donor, it will help us raise additional funds through our annual fund drive, dean’s leadership council, and other development activities. o Annual giving is on track to significantly outpace any year since at least 2002 (I do not currently have data prior to this point). Private annual fund contributions to MCB in 2002-03 totaled less than $100,000 and increased to over $300,000 annually the past two fiscal years. Pledges and gifts thus far in the 2007-08 fiscal year total over $415,000 – my goal is to raise at least $1,000,000 before fiscal year end. o Our college has been and remains committed to building the finest undergraduate business program in the region, if not the country. To do so, we need to attract stakeholder investment in areas that can demonstrably make a difference in the lives of our students. While some of these goals require multi-year commitments, Barry Benson, the UNC Foundation, and I have established the following development priorities (not necessarily in order): Facilities enhancements – many of our classrooms are in a serious state of disrepair. Our goal is to secure funds from external donors/sponsors and match them with internal matching funds to renovate all Kepner classrooms in the next three years. With three sponsorships secured already this summer and fall, and some in process, we believe we are on track to have our classrooms in top condition ahead of schedule. Student scholarships – We would like to develop a scholarship program that is clear and predictable for incoming freshman and transfer students, as well as our current students. By building an “umbrella program” over all of our current and future scholarships, funded from annual giving, multi-year pledges, and endowments, for example, we could confidently tell students they will earn at least $1,000 from MCB each year as long as their cumulative GPA exceeds 3.25. Currently, we have a number of scholarships, over 225 totaling $270,000 was awarded in 2007-08. Unfortunately, the financial aid from year-to-year is unpredictable. Our Finley Freshman Scholars come in with either $1,000 or $2,000 scholarships, but regardless of their performance they are not guaranteed a subsequent year scholarship. A clear overarching program will enhance our ability to recruit the best talent, but also retain those high-performing students. These funds can also help our students experience international exchanges that otherwise would not have been possible. Professorship/fellowship and other faculty development funds – The college currently has limited funds to recruit and retain our academic faculty. By finding donors willing to invest in our college, we believe we can accelerate the college’s journey to performance excellence. Through our college-wide planning efforts, it will be very important to carefully align these professorships/fellowships with college priorities. Some professorships/fellowships should take the form of “top off” dollars, but some will likely need to be fully or nearly fully funded professorships. The university and the state of Colorado are not likely, at least in the short-term, to have the ability to invest at the level we need. Other areas – We can continue to differentiate our graduates from our peers by enhancing the experiential components of their education. We already offer many wonderful opportunities ranging from the SAFF class to the Deloitte Tax Challenge to the various marketing competitions. Those students that spend significant time in either internships or co-ops are better prepared to enter the work force and bring enlightened perspectives to our classrooms. We need to consider adding our own internship coordinator to the college to manage this process if we hope to move our internship/co-op program to new heights. Additionally, faculty, staff, and students all agree that, while we have bright spots, our overall advising program needs improvement. We gathered information from our faculty and staff on this issue at our fall retreat and have since been gathering information from business schools around the country recognized (via Educational Benchmarking, Incorporated) as exhibiting “best practices” in business school advising. We hope to work with the faculty in the early spring semester to develop a new, and improved, model for the college. Both of these enhancements are likely to require additional funds, but it is again questionable that we can find these funds internally. Communication, collaboration, strategic initiative leadership: • Much of this is already discussed in this letter already – by the nature of this job, and that of the Associate and Assistant Dean, one is not successful if these skills are absent. I have played a key role in numerous strategic initiatives for the college. Perhaps the most significant was the successful maintenance of accreditation report and visit, but the list would also include the development of a facilities master plan (very near completion), guiding of various facilities enhancements, initiating and guiding the MCB learning and residential communities, and a renewed focus on fund-raising. Commitment to diverse faculty, staff, and student body: • Needless to say, “diverse” seems to mean many things to many people. At its core, I think many at a university truly value the diversity in thought that inherently comes from individuals representing different cultures, races, genders, etc. While there are many ways to pursue this goal, one that I embraced years ago is through international faculty and student exchanges and study abroad activities. I helped secure our SMENN North American mobility grant, helped start our EBS-Paris “mini semester” abroad, helped bring Alek Nowak to campus this fall, and have initiated a significant overhaul of our international program. This fall the college welcomed the first cohort of AVANZA student/scholars. These bilingual students are part of a program designed to meet the growing need for bilingual business graduates. Commitment to a culture of assessment and continuous improvement: • Since I began teaching, I have always prided myself on assessing my performance and searching for ways to improve my ability to help my students learn. I read every one of my student written evaluations in an effort to see what did and did not work in a given semester. I entered this profession to make a difference in the lives of my students, I would be letting myself down if I didn’t continuously improve. • In the years since I became and Assistant and Associate Dean, I learned a great deal about assessment in higher education, and particularly in business schools. I have attended AACSB’s seminar on assessment, but have also presented at numerous venues (AACSB Continuous Improvement and others) on assessment best practices. I have conducted several webinars for Educational Testing Service (ETS) and have twice been invited (and funded) by ETS to present at AACSB conferences (included the AACSB International Conference in Paris, France). Additionally, Joe Alexander and I wrote a chapter in AACSB/AIR Assessment in Business Schools. In the end, I do not proclaim myself as an assessment expert. Instead, I view myself as relatively knowledgeable on the subject. Moreover, I do believe that assessment of student learning fits hand-in-hand with continuous improvement and that a transparent, even an intentionally public, assessment program is a path to differentiation for colleges like MCB and universities like UNC. The above list is certainly not exhaustive, but it does provide an overview of the depth and breadth of activities I have undertaken throughout my academic career. My vita, although intentionally not exhaustive of the entire scope of my experiences, can further demonstrate my ability to be successful at whatever I choose to pursue. I believe in a balance among teaching, research, and service activities. Nevertheless, when it has been appropriate, I believe I have shown I am willing to take risks and to put the needs of the institution and the students in front of my own professional interests. I am confident that my work ethic and my ability to work constructively with my colleagues on the faculty and in the administration, but also with leaders in the community, region, even nation, will continue to benefit the Monfort College of Business and the University of Northern Colorado long into the future. In closing, I am very excited about future possibilities in the Monfort College of Business, particularly as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient and as a role model program for the country. Nearly seven years at the University of Northern Colorado and nearly six as a faculty member and administrator has provided me a unique perspective and respect for the history and culture of the Monfort College of Business. The variety of other experiences I have enjoyed, I am confident, further prepares me to lead the college as it identifies, considers, and pursues new and viable opportunities. The future will no doubt bring new frontiers for the college and for the university and we are poised at both levels to take advantage of those prospects. Please contact me at 351-2764 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about my qualifications. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Timothy E. Jares, Ph.D. Interim Dean, Monfort College of Business
"Timothy E - Monfort College of Business - University of Northern "