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College of Business gains new dean

By Bethany Gallimore
On April 7, 2014

The College of Business welcomed marketing and management professor Shane Hunt as its new dean Tuesday following a national search to fill a two-year long vacancy in the position. Hunt, an eight-year faculty member at A-State, will replace interim dean Jim Washam beginning July 1.

“We’ve made a good choice, I believe, with someone who is going to continue to move the College of Business forward, bring some new opportunities to the college, help to continue to nurture the excellence in teaching that this college is well known for, and also encourage its service to the community,” said provost Lynita Cooksey.

Hunt’s career in the business world includes experience working for a Fortune 500 company in Tulsa and eight years of experience as a pricing analyst, product manager and business development manager.

“Finding the right person to become an academic leader in today’s dynamic higher education world is a challenge,” Cooksey said. “Dr. Hunt is a rising star in his field, and we are fortunate to have him as a faculty member.”

Since entering academia under an MBA from the University of Oklahoma, Hunt’s work has been published in numerous academic journals across the country. He also recently coauthored the textbook “Marketing” with A-State colleague John Mello.

“One of Shane’s strengths is the real-world business experience he brings to an academic setting,” Cooksey said. “He combines that with an outstanding record of academic work. He has the respect of his colleagues and impressed the selection committee with his passion for teaching. Dr. Hunt has a sincere interest in furthering the academic reputation of Arkansas State while serving the needs of our students.”

Through his new position as dean of the College of Business, Hunt hopes to strengthen ties between the college and the business community. He would also like to help the development of more faculty-led research to continue to promote scholarship and the university.

“I want to increase the number of experimental projects we do (in order) to help businesses in our region succeed, and also to help our students get more firsthand experience,” Hunt said. “I’m excited about increasing our research productivity as professors and also being able to publish at the highest levels to bring that kind of claim to Arkansas State.”

Mark Young, president and CEO of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and member of the dean selection committee, said he looks forward to working with the new dean and the College of Business in community development initiatives.

“I have worked with Dr. Hunt on several community projects and I am excited about the possibilities for further work among the chamber, our business community and Arkansas State,” he said.

Hunt’s colleagues are also approving of Hunt’s selection and hope he can lead the college in a positive direction.

“The main thing you can notice about Shane is his energy and his enthusiasm. Having somebody with his energy and his enthusiasm to represent us to the outside world is very important,” said Rush Jones, professor of information and technology.

“In the college of business, one of the most important roles of the dean is to be a liaison between the business community and the college, both for alumni support and fundraising,” he added. “Plus, he’s been with us for eight years, and so he knows the people and knows the college.”

Hunt’s role as dean has been prepared for him by interim College of Business dean Jim Washam, who replaced Len Fry when he was promoted to Vice Chancellor of Finance in 2012. Hunt said Washam’s fulfilment of the position was amazing, and he looks forward to stepping into the interim’s place.

“Dr. Washam is one of the finest people you will ever meet. He is an amazing professor and an amazing husband and father. He has done an amazing job and I look forward to building on that,” Hunt said.

Hunt’s passion for A-State is apparent through his excitement in his new position.

“It means a tremendous amount to me, and it means a tremendous amount because I love this college. I love what we’re doing at our business school and I love what we’re doing at Arkansas State University,” Hunt said. “I like to start most days saying, ‘It’s great to be a Red Wolf.”

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