New dean at SIUE business school is a familiar face

June 17, 2013 

Job: Chair, Interim Dean at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business

Outlook: "I'm really excited and looking forward to the challenge."

The interim dean at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business is a familiar face. John Navin has been a member of the faculty since 1991 and serves as the department's chair. He recently talked to business writer Will Buss about new responsibilities:

What do you look forward to the most in your new role?

"I have lots of challenges in front of me. I'm looking forward to doing something new. It's a big step up and an opportunity to actually lead the school. I've been part of the executive team for the last three years it's my turn to be out front and so it's always exciting when you're the one who gets to put your agenda forward."

To this point, what has your role been with the university?

"I've had a lot of different roles at the university, everything from being a brand new faculty member to being active on the budget council and working on strategic planning and I've done economic impact studies for the university. I've been a part of just about every service and committee you can think of. I was on the search committee for the new chancellor last year. I've had roles from all different facets from administration to teaching."

What is your background?

"I grew up in Northwest Ohio and got my undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University. Then, I got my Ph.D. at Michigan State University. I am a Spartan through and through. I started working for the State of Michigan in the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency and I worked for the Department of Treasury. And after that, I came down here and started at my faculty post in '91 and have been here ever since."

How has the university changed since you arrived?

"It's grown by leaps and bounds. When I first came here, there were a few buildings and no residence halls, except for Tower Lake. Now there are four residence halls that have been added and the campus has expanded. The Vadalabene Center has been added on to and there are more classrooms, they have added the student success center and a pharmacy school. The campus has gone from commuter campus in '91 to growing into a top-notch school, and I'm really proud to have been a part of a lot of that. It's nice to see."

What are your goals as you move forward as the interim dean?

"I think our goals are to make sure we're preparing our students for the work environment. I hope to work really close with area employers to make sure our students get the skills they need when they are ready to be hired. It's really important for students to have input from local businesses and companies. We have a business advisory board with those from businesses around metro-east and St. Louis."

What do you enjoy most about your job?

"No doubt, it's the people. SIUE is a great place and the people I work with are absolutely fabulous. I wouldn't trade the friends that I've made and the colleagues that I have had for anything. They are all great people."

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 239-2526.

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