New dean ‘perfect fit’ for Neeley, professor says

New dean perfect fit for Neeley, professor says

The new Neeley School of Business dean is a perfect fit for TCU because of his ties to the university and his record of research, the chairman of the Neeley dean search committee said.

Homer Erekson, dean and professor at the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for six years, will replace Dan Short as dean of the Neeley School of Business this summer.

“He really fit the job description,” said George Low, chairman of the Neeley marketing department and the Neeley dean search committee. “He will help improve the reputation of the Neeley School of Business in Dallas-Fort Worth and with alumni.”

Erekson graduated from TCU in 1974 with B.A. degrees in economics and political science. He also serves as a member of the national alumni board.

Low said Erekson will help connect the constituencies within the Neeley School and build relationships with other departments on campus.

Erekson said he is excited to help advance TCU and the Neeley School of Business to the next level.

“There’s no better place for me to be right now,” Erekson said.

Erekson said he plans to assess the market niche for TCU’s MBA program and continue connecting students with faculty and giving them more experiential learning opportunities.

“All business schools need to be market focused,” Erekson said. “I will help develop programs that are market focused.”

The 14-member dean search committee recommended four of the more than 30 applicants for the position of Neeley dean based on the candidates’ applications, references and interviews. Provost Nowell Donovan selected Erekson.

“During the past few years, the Neeley School has made considerable progress under the more-than-able leadership of extraordinarily capable deans,” Donovan said in an e-mail to TCU faculty and staff Tuesday. “I am sure that Dr. Erekson will continue the upward trending, building as he will from such a solid foundation.”

Short worked with Erekson at Miami University for seven years and said TCU will quickly grow to love Erekson.

“He is wonderful in working with people to get agreement on new directions,” Short said. “He’ll come with a different set of ideas and perspectives.”

Although Short is stepping down as Neeley dean, he is not leaving the department. Short will teach one course next fall and teach financial accounting full time in fall 2009.

“It’s a life cycle,” Short said. “I love being the dean but I also love the classroom.”

Short said he is ambivalent about his change of position.

“Some moments I’m elated and some moments I’m depressed,” Short said.