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Timothy E - Monfort College of Business - University of Northern

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 5

									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 tim.jares@unco.edu 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

								
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