Alphonso Ogbuehi said he spent his first day on the job, as new dean of Clayton State University's School of Business, meeting his faculty, staff, and members of the school's advisory board, on Tuesday.
He said he explained to members of those groups, his vision for the approximately 1,600-student School of Business, and the important issues they will tackle as a team, starting with re-affirmation of the school's accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) next year.
Ogbuehi (pronounced Oh-boy-he) replaces former Dean Jacob Chacko, who left in March to become the dean of the school of business at Abu Dhabi University, in the United Arab Emirates. CSU School of Business Associate Dean Diane Prince led the school between Chacko's departure four months ago and the arrival of Ogbuehi this week.
During an interview, Ogbuehi, 53, said he is looking forward to leading the school, and is excited about what it could grow into in the years to come.
"My goals are –– No. 1–– the re-affirmation of the school's AACSB accreditation, but that's just a short-term goal," he said. "My long-term goal is that I want to make the Clayton State School of Business recognized as one of the top programs in the metro-Atlanta region, as well as nationally."
Ogbuehi said that he would like to add 10 new full-time faculty members to the school (going from the 38 current full-time faculty members, to 48 full-time faculty) by 2013, and increase internship opportunities for students by working closely with business leaders.
He also wants to expand the number of international studies opportunities available to students. In his professional career, he said, he has made international-studies contacts in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
"I will leverage my relationships in Europe, Latin America and Africa to establish international studies programs on those continents," he said. "Our students, today, need to obtain a truly global perspective through their education."
Ogbuehi said he was born, and raised, in Owerri, Nigeria, but came to the United States after he finished high school, to attend college. He said he received bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from the University of Kentucky, at Lexington, and his doctoral degree in marketing from the University of Memphis. He said he was the first person in his family to earn a college degree.
Clayton State's new business school dean said he has been working in higher education, specifically dealing with business education, for more than 20 years. He said he previously served in teaching and administration positions at Illinois State University (in Normal, Ill.), St. Joseph's University (in Philadelphia, Pa.), Bryant University (in Smithfield, R.I.), and Park University.
While he was at Bryant University (where he taught marketing and international business), he said, he served on a team that worked on the school's AACSB accreditation re-affirmation efforts.
Clayton State University College of Arts and Science Dean Nasser Momayezi said the university's search committee made Ogbuehi one of three finalists for the position, because of his "very extensive background." Momayezi was the chairman of the search committee, and he said Ogbuehi bested 57 other candidates for the position.
Momayezi cited Ogbuehi's academic and professional background, and his familiarity with AACSB accreditation and international studies as reasons why he came out as a strong candidate for the business school position.
"I feel he will be able to lead the School of Business to the next level, and improve on what previous deans have done," Momayezi said.
Prince, who said she also was a finalist for the position, said Ogbuehi will have to deal with balancing resources in an era of budget cuts in Georgia. "It's going to be tough to deal with for years to come," she said. She added, however, that the School of Business faculty and staff members are excited about what the future holds under Ogbuehi's leadership.
On his first day on the job, the faculty and staff presented him with a gift basket, that included Clayton State folders and drinking cups, and assorted foods, such as pecans, and sauce made from Vidalia onions.
"We're looking forward to his international experience, and bringing in his new perspective as the School of Business dean," Prince said.