Interim dean promises new programs, increased funds

Maria Brachelli

Dr. Stephen A. Stumpf officially assumed the interim position of Dean of the College of Commerce and Finance this fall, replacing Dean Thomas Monahan, who left his post following a successful eight-year term. Monahan served as dean since June 1996 to May 2003. He plans to work as an accounting professor.

Stumpf, author of nine books and more than 118 journal articles, has achieved several degrees. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, he received a degree in chemical engineering.

He also earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Rochester, and a master’s in philosophy and a doctorate in organizational behavior and industrial psychology, both from New York University. He joined the faculty at the College of Commerce and Finance in 2000.

Recent success with the MBA program has “created entrepreneurial dollars which allow us to allocate monies to places that we most care about,” Stumpf said, who has wasted no time in taking advantage of these funding opportunities. In office for only a day-and-a-half, Stumpf has prioritized “investing heavily in faculty and students services immediately.”

Stumpf hopes to gradually attract new students with “small enhancements” such as increasing research grants, covering travel expenses to seminars for faculty, introducing a new Center for Student Advising & Professional Development, an international business program and new strategies for helping students secure internships.

Other projects in process for the college includes some that were begun under Monahan. Many Arts and Sciences students are familiar with the popular Summer Business Institute (SBI) that allows for non-business majors to complete a business minor over a summer, typically a student’s junior year.

Stumpf is looking to improve and expand the existing variations of the program, the International SBI and the Pre-MBA SBI. The ISBI is targeted to international students outside of the U.S., whom will be intermixed in classes with regular full-time students in efforts to create a more diverse, multicultural program.

Graduates of non-Commerce and Finance majors or graduates from other local prestigious universities may benefit from the Pre-MBA SBI because it creates an additional platform with which graduates may be able to entice possible employers. In the program, 12 graduate credits are completed in a nine-week session between June and July following the completion of junior year.

Senior Finance major David Nastasi said, “It’s sad to see Dean Monahan leave, and we will have to wait and see, but I think it will be an interesting change of pace for the College.”

Dean Stumpf assured the University community that he will “stay as long as needed” and “certainly anticipates it to be a couple of years.”