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July 2013

The July 2013 letter from Dean Whiteman

July 2013:

Smeal Alumni and Friends,

The beginning of this month marked the beginning of my second year as dean of the Penn State Smeal College of Business. I want to thank all of you, as well as my administrative leadership, faculty, and staff, for all of your support throughout my first year here at Smeal. I am happy to report that on at least one dimension, not only was it a good year, but a record one—2012-13 was the most successful year for fundraising since the inception of the capital campaign in 2007, at $19.3 million.  Thanks to all our donors for their generosity and loyalty, and thanks to the staff and administrators who laid the foundation for this success before I arrived on the scene.

It has been an exciting year pursuing our operational goals of providing an extraordinary education, promoting research with impact (some notable examples are listed below), fostering a community with distinction, and conducting a dialogue with society. We have undertaken new initiatives that promote each goal, and I would like to take this opportunity to describe a few of them.

Our sustainability initiatives, for example, serve each goal. I signed off on the Sustainability Strategic Plan in November, which maps out recommendations for future sustainability efforts:

  • In the area of curriculum, we are developing new curriculum offerings in sustainability for our undergrads and will be offering the courses for the first time this fall.
  • In research, we’re building a framework to bring together collegiate scholars interested in sustainable business practice.
  • Our students have taken up the cause through student organizations. The Smeal MBA Program’s Net Impact student group achieved gold status from the national organization this year for its activities and involvement. The newly formed undergraduate Net Impact chapter earned silver status in their first year.
  • And we are walking the talk by pursuing LEED-EB certification for the Business Building, along with many other efforts to educate faculty and staff in sustainability measures.

Honor and integrity is a focus for us at Smeal as we continue to build a community with distinction; we know how important it is that we not only produce talented, innovative graduates, but ones that have a strong ethical foundation. We currently have an open search for an Honor and Integrity Director who will focus on the implementation and coordination of initiatives related to our efforts in this area.

With a task force of alumni, we also have been working hard on visioning our future as a top U.S. business school and telling our story more effectively. You may remember the surveys we sent out earlier this year; we have been reviewing your input to decide how best to position Smeal in the coming years.

Though we still have more than a month until all our students return for fall 2013, there’s a lot going on at the college and the University. Stay up to date on our website, and follow us on our social media channels. Also, if you’d like to get involved, there are so many ways to do so. We look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,
Charles H. Whiteman
John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal

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Research Stories from 2012-13