Dean Diane Hoadley

Dean Diane Hoadley: First Impressions and Future Vision for the College of Business

It has been over a year since Dean Diane Hoadley arrived at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to begin her tenure as dean of the College of Business. Looking back at the past year, Dean Hoadley reminisced about her time on campus and in the Eau Claire community.

When asked what she enjoys most about UW-Eau Claire, Dean Hoadley cites the collaborative environment she finds here.

She complimented the faculty and her colleagues for their positive attitudes during an especially difficult year when the university was required to make many budget cuts. Dean Hoadley feels the College of Business is "very fortunate to have great donors who make advancements possible." She finds UW-Eau Claire students to be "bright, articulate, and able to present themselves well." She says that she even had the chance to watch students present as part of the Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up this past year.

The community of the city of Eau Claire has also been a welcome change for the dean. It is the largest community she has lived in for 30 years and she has taken advantage of the great opportunities the city has to offer. Dean Hoadley enjoys outdoor activities, such as golfing, biking, and cross country skiing, and she has recently taken up hiking.

Day-to-day operations of the COB

Dean Hoadley compares her position as dean to that of the CEO of a company. As CEO of the College of Business, she says she has two main responsibilities: to make sure the college runs efficiently and to be its public face.

As a dean of an AACSB-accredited school, Dean Hoadley goes on a number of accreditation and reaffirmation site visits at other schools throughout the year. These visits allow her to see how our business school compares with other ones. "Other universities envy our Student Professional Development program," she said. "Their students are struggling in these areas." She says the Center for Advising, Development and Enrichment (CADE), the college's new center for academic advising, also is a progressive step in comparison to other universities.

While the College of Business has many strengths, it also has several areas of weakness. One of the biggest obstacles Dean Hoadley faces is finding resources to support the many ideas the faculty and staff have. Despite working to increase resources when funding is continuously being cut, Dean Hoadley has been able to make progressive strides toward improving the College of Business. For example, she has used funds secured through the Blugold Commitment to create new faculty positions in accounting and finance, hire adjunct business law faculty, provide one-time support for the Leadership Institute, and establish CADE.

Another challenge the College of Business is facing is its facilities. Schneider Hall was built in the '60s before personal computers existed and group work was commonplace. According to Dean Hoadley, the new education building will open up space on campus. Departments that are currently housed in Schneider Hall will move to the new education building or other vacated spaces, making Schneider more cohesive as a business building. As a result of these developments, discussion focusing on future renovations to Schneider will occur.

Future direction of the COB

Although Dean Hoadley is very busy with day-to-day work, the future of the College of Business never slips far from her mind. When asked what her goals were for the College of Business next year, Dean Hoadley had a variety of ideas.
At the top of her list is her desire to "identify points of distinction for the college that differentiate it from other business colleges." Dean Hoadley would like to figure out what attracts students to their schools of choice.

When asked what future of business schools will look like, Dean Hoadley is eager to answer. She explains that classes are moving away from traditional textbook teaching and toward a more problem-oriented curriculum. Courses will become more multidisciplinary focusing on bigger issues such as globalization and sustainability rather than on specific areas like marketing or finance.

Dean Hoadley will prove to be a very busy person in the coming years. We can look forward to many positive changes. The plans she has set out will result in a stronger, more competitive College of Business.

Contributors: Melissa Depies, Alyssa Knowles, Ashley Krautkrame, and Gretchen Hutterli

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