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Steve Light: CoBPA poised for continued success

By Steve Light

Not long ago, I shared that I soon would be completing my service as dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at UND. "What will you teach?", asked a student, a junior majoring in accountancy. I told her that I teach courses in American politics, including how business and government work together — something that she'd experience firsthand, no matter where she landed after graduating. "Awesome! Can't wait to take your classes," she replied.

I'm looking forward to returning full-time to teaching following eight years in varied leadership roles at UND, including the incredible opportunity to serve the College of Business and Public Administration — my faculty home — as interim dean this past year.

To be welcomed back to the classroom in such an enthusiastic way? Priceless. And a reminder of why I became a teacher, like so many great colleagues at UND and the CoBPA: to inspire and equip students with the knowledge, skills and experiences to have successful careers and meaningful lives.

As we welcome new CoBPA Dean Amy Henley to our UND, Grand Forks, and North Dakota communities, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our supporters and share what a joy and privilege it's been to work alongside such a dedicated group of faculty and staff, motivated students, and inspirational alumni and friends, who care so deeply about the CoBPA and its success.

The CoBPA has much to be proud of during a year of ongoing achievements in learning, discovery, and engagement.

Learning is job one in the CoBPA. This year, our students continued to prove they stack up with the nation's best, earning top placements at business school competitions around the country. We focused on moving more of our courses and programs online to meet student — and employer — demand for access, affordability and quality. And, we deployed a record number of scholarships to recruit and support high-performing students and support experiential, real-world learning.

The college advanced the discovery and application of knowledge in exciting ways. In a first, a CoBPA department won UND's top research award, while overall, our faculty continued to publish in more top-tier outlets and be recognized as go-to experts by business and community leaders, the media and the general public.

The college placed a premium on outreach and stakeholder engagement, highlighted by signature programs featuring CoBPA alums alongside community and national experts. And, as we celebrated Gamble Hall's 50th birthday and 100 years of business education at UND, we advanced our vision for a next-generation CoBPA building with the virtual and physical capabilities to bring the world to our students, and our students to the world, for the century to come.

As I prepare to return to my faculty role, Amy steps in at a wonderful time for the CoBPA, as the College is poised for continued success as we graduate the next generations of Leaders in Action in business, government and community service.

Steve Light served as interim dean of UND's College of Business and Public Administration in 2017-18. Before that, he served as associate vice president for academic affairs, as well as interim dean of UND's College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines from 2013-14.

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