As we enter into the Christmas and Holiday season, we have much to be grateful for and to celebrate, even in the face of a very challenging year for all of us. This is my first holiday season as the Dean of the Paul and Virginia College of Business, and, in that spirit, I extend all of the season’s greetings to you. The winter break is a reflective time and a season of family, friends, loved ones, and a variety of profound personal observances. I wish you peace, health, good spirits, and blessing.
I was recently informed that the PVECOB has maintained its Top 50 ranking for the Online-MBA program from the Princeton Review. We moved from number 23 to number 22, and I am incredibly proud of the work we have done to be ranked amongst the best higher education institutions in the world.
As a new Dean, managing COVID-19’s impact this year has taught me many lessons. I have learned lessons in compassion, understanding, resilience, and the human capacity to adapt. In ways both measurable and immeasurable, COVID-19 has impacted the campus community in positive and sometimes challenging ways. However, I have also witnessed both faculty and staff going above and beyond the call to accommodate and care for our students. I am proud to lead a college of so many dedicated individuals and consider myself blessed to be surrounded by the talent, caring, and ingenuity of my colleagues.
While 2021 holds many unknowns moving forward, I am confident that the college will continue to adapt and achieve excellence and I am thankful for our students, faculty, and staff’s resiliency and determination. The generation-defining global pandemic presented us with both challenges and opportunities, and it has been the catalyst that brought about a sharpening of our acumen, I recognize the college’s benefits in our renewed strengths.
This weekend will be graduation and a time to acknowledge the successful conclusion of an academic journey and mark promising and exciting beginnings for our graduates. With tenacity, focus, and determination, they have completed their academic journey and shown resilience and grace during this pandemic.
In this issue, we share news of the accomplishments and the quality of our students (Valda Kabia, Cesar Vasquez, and Dakota Puga), our faculty (Jillian Yarbrough), our alumni (Dalton Bell), and our donors and stakeholders (Hassan and Jill Dana). I am also pleased to share future opportunities for the college, including access to vital research data for faculty (WRDS and Compustat), scholarship opportunities and successes, and gifts of giving (United Way). Last but certainly not least, we pay respect and homage to Dr. Terry, previous Dean of this college and now Executive Vice President and Provost of West Texas A&M University. Overall, the college is in great spirits and continues its arc of growth and success.
I hope that you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, and I invite your feedback and comments. Most of all, I see our newsletter as a way of communicating with our vital stakeholders and informing the community such that they share in the achievements, accomplishments, and developments of a dynamic and thriving college. To serve the interests and needs of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business stakeholders is my greatest imperative.
As we head into 2021, I am optimistic, and I look to the future with hope. Our college continues on the right track to provide compelling education opportunities in an engaging, innovative, and impactful business. I am also very grateful for how the faculty and staff in the college have risen to one of the most profound challenges we’ve faced, worldwide, in many generations.
I look forward to putting the challenges and disruption of COVID-19 behind us and to forge a path of exciting growth and broadening horizons. Together we can achieve excellence and success.
With kind regards,
Dr. Amjad Abdullat
Dean and CIS Professor
Paul and Virginal Engler College of Business
If you have a story that you would like to be considered for future newsletters, contact Lynsee Bjork.