Ole Miss business dean passing torch

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Published: September 14,1998

Dr. Randy Boxx, dean of the business school at the University of Mississippi, announced his resignation several weeks ago. He will leave at the end of June, saying that he was ready to pass the torch.

“Going into every academic year, I`ve always done some personal and professional assessment of the goals established to accomplish between the faculty and me in our school, and that is certainly what I have done over the last year or so,” Boxx said. “The goals have been accomplished and it was the time to pass the torch, so…on Aug. 28, I met with the faculty and told them about my decision.”

Of the 27 years Boxx has worked at the university, 21 years were served in the dean`s office. He has served as dean for the last seven years and discussed the objectives accomplished by the faculty during this term.

“As we were going through the re-accreditation process with ACSB, we knew we needed to establish a strategic plan for the school,” Boxx said. “It was our objective to take UM`s very strong business program in the state and region into the national marketplace so we established a mission for the school, a set of core values along with strategic goals and strategies.”

The curriculum was completely reviewed on the undergraduate and graduate levels, resulting in a totally new two-year MBA program. The doctoral program is currently under review, and should be revised within the next few months, he said.

“We have been on a journey to position our school in the national marketplace,” Boxx said. “We are well on our way to accomplishing that objective.”

“Another objective the faculty and I set was related to the physical facilities in which we work. Since 1961, the business school has occupied Connor Hall. That building served us very well, but was not conducive to implementing the kind of technology that our students and faculty needed. A few years ago, we decided we needed to build a new complex and renovate the old building. Over the last three years, we have built two new buildings for the business program and we have also done a renovation of Connor Hall,” Boxx said.

The $22.6 building program received $14.7 in state funds and the balance was raised through private funds, he said.

“Several years ago, we knew we needed to put more technology into not only the curriculum, but also into the classroom of the business program,” Boxx said.

The business school has achieved its goal to develop strong relationships with government officials, foundations and alumni, and to strengthen relationships with business and industrial communities around the state, he said.

“The faculty and I have built an extremely strong foundation for someone else to build upon,” said Boxx. “But there`s always an emotional attachment to what you have set for yourself in terms of goals. And certainly there is also the emotional attachment after putting in roughly 70 hours a week to push those goals. From that energy and effort, though, comes a great deal of satisfaction that we did do what we wanted to do.”

After next June, Boxx said he may return to classroom teaching or research, but has not ruled anything out.

“The one love I have always had is teaching my students,” he said. “For all these many years, I have been able to teach one course per term. I want to very seriously consider classroom teaching and reinvigorate the research agenda I have been pursuing for some time. As I have told so many faculty members and administrators who come to my office for counseling and guidance, one thing you always do is keep your options open. Never close the door on opportunity.”


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