Message from the Dean

Bob Wood

Welcome to Mardi Gras season.  Mobile is the original home of Mardi Gras, and the first krewe paraded last weekend.  Parades, balls, king cakes, beads, and Moon Pies (a long story for another issue) galore for the next four weeks.  The celebration climaxes on Fat Tuesday (February 28); the University closes for an official holiday on that day every year.

It’s a busy time in the Mitchell College.  In January, we began our 50th year.  We’ll mark the occasion with a number of events this fall.  For the time being we’re already in week four of the spring semester accelerating toward commencement on May 6.  The calendar is filling rapidly.

On February 21, we’ll host our first Executive Leadership Series speaker of the semester.  Dr. Stuart Diamond, Emeritus Practice Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania will be our guest.  A Pulitzer Prize winner while with The New York Times, he is the best-selling author of Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life

Later that same week we will be joined by Drs. David Waldman (Professor of Management, Arizona State University) and Pierre Balthazard (Dean of the College of Business Administration, California State University Sacramento) to discuss the neuroscience of leadership with the College, campus, and members of the community.  They’ll also deliver a lecture to the USA Health System staff.

Aaron Beam, founder and first CFO of HealthSouth, joins us on March 28 as our second Executive Leadership Series speaker for the spring.  While CFO of HealthSouth, Mr. Beam was involved in one of the largest accounting frauds in U.S. business history. Mr. Beam will discuss ethical behavior in the business place.

In April, we welcome Mr. James “Jake” Gosa as our Executive in Residence.  Following his graduation from South Alabama, Mr. Gosa joined Owens-Corning Fiberglass.  In 1991 he joined American Woodmark Company, rising to President and CEO in 1996.  He served as Chairman of the Board in 2004 until his retirement in 2009. 

Our second annual Scholarship Banquet is scheduled for April 20.  In addition to recognizing the scholarship recipients, we will announce our first class of Mitchell College of Business Alumni Fellows.  The award recognizes individuals whose personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the highest ideals of the College and University.  It’s fitting that the first class is recognized in our 50th year.

We welcome a spring of innovative activities and student, faculty, and community engagement.  Our local and regional impact continues to grow.  We look forward to you being a part of it.


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