Business Education Reimagined

Interim Dean Tom Donley | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Interim Dean Tom Donley | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

This July the Driehaus College of Business will welcome Sulin Ba, the Treibick Family Endowed Chair in information technology at the University of Connecticut, as our new dean. Professor Ba and I are working closely on a leadership transition that supports the continuing success of our college, and she looks forward to joining DePaul, connecting with our alumni and getting to know the Chicago business community. I invite you to read more about our incoming dean.

Reflecting on my tenure as interim dean, I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to lead a college community that cares so deeply about our students and the DePaul mission. With support from our alumni and the business community, we have overcome many challenges caused by the pandemic and advanced student success in a number of ways:

Reimagining our curriculum. Our faculty will launch a revised bachelor’s in business program this fall with guidance from alumni and business leaders on the skills that make graduates successful. The updated program emphasizes analytical skills for data-based decision-making, entrepreneurial thinking that drives innovation, and socially responsible leadership. Experiential learning opportunities—such as the real-world student consulting projects highlighted in this issue’s feature story—continue to be an important part of all of our programs, giving students a chance to apply the skills they’ve learned. In the coming year we also plan to expand opportunities for alumni and others to refresh their professional skills through new certificate programs offered by our Hay Center for Leadership Development.

Leveraging technology to enhance learning. DePaul has invested significantly in new classroom technologies, and our faculty members have embraced training that empowers them to teach engagingly in person, online and in hybrid modes. We are offering courses in a wider range of modalities that provide students-especially graduate students-the flexibility they need to complete their business education while fulfilling work and family responsibilities. This spring our college launched a Business Education in Technology and Analytics (BETA) Lab to accelerate the infusion of technology into our courses, research and community collaborations.

Elevating student and faculty engagement. We are focusing more resources on delivering a personalized, engaging and compassionate educational experience to our students through a new role at our college, associate dean for student success; fresh collaborations with DePaul’s admission and student affairs offices; and faculty mentoring programs.

Strengthening business and alumni connections. This academic year I’ve worked with our Business Advisory Council to re-envision the role of this group of prominent alumni and business leaders in supporting our college and its students. Their recommendations provide new ideas for engaging council members in the life of our college and leveraging their insight and connections to benefit our students. We’re proud to profile alumnus Brian Ruben, one of the council members who helped lead this initiative, in this issue.

I leave the leadership of the Driehaus College of Business in good hands and with confidence about the future.

Tom Donley signature

Thomas Donley
Interim Dean
Driehaus College of Business

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