As newly minted Dean of the Gary E. West College of Business, Professor S. Michael Turrentine has had a very busy summer. “I’ve probably eaten more meals in the Marketplace than ever before,” Turrentine said, describing busy days on campus since he took over in July following the retirement of predecessor Jean A. Bailey.
Turrentine credited his secretary, Donna Schuler, and Accounting Instructor Michael Blackwell, who is the new Interim Program Director, with helping make the transition a smooth one. “With the help of Donna and Mike and the knowledge they bring to the table, I think we’ve solved outstanding issues and gotten everything ready to go for the start of classes,” said Turrentine. “I want all of our constituents – students, parents, faculty, community business leaders – to know that my door is open, and I want to hear from them and open dialogues that will help us move the WCOB forward.”
As dean, Turrentine is leading the college into a new era – the addition of graduate study to the 10 undergraduate majors offered in the B.S.B.A. degree. Along with the new M.B.A. which launches this fall, the college is hard at work on its 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
“We are so excited about the popularity of our new M.B.A. degree, and we are very busy preparing for an IACBE site visit in January,” Turrentine shared. “All the faculty members are stepping up to get this work done, and we have great leadership in M.B.A. Program Director Dr. Greg Chase and Assessment Director Dr. Craig Crow. Dean Bailey also deserves a tremendous amount of credit for several years of strong leadership that got us to this point She is going to be missed,” said Turrentine.
Blackwell is looking forward to working with students and faculty in his new role as Interim Program Director. “I’m detail-oriented and like solving problems,” noted Blackwell. “I’ve performed many of these duties in various capacities before, so it is easy to slip into the role again.”
Blackwell particularly enjoys the challenges of scheduling classes and helping faculty provide quality student advising. “It takes quite a bit of creativity and a lot of patience to match student needs, faculty requests, and room availability, and the scheduling process for the next semester starts almost immediately,” Blackwell shared. “I also get a great deal of satisfaction from making sure a student’s advising experience is the best we can offer to help them graduate on time.”