The Binghamton University School of Management (SOM) has found its next dean.
After a nationwide search that began last fall, BU has chosen Shelley Dionne, Ph.D. ‘98, to become the next dean of SOM, starting June 9. Dionne first became a part of SOM in 2001 as an associate professor, rising the ranks to become a professor in 2017 and then being named SOM’s associate dean of faculty development and the Ph.D. program in 2018. During her tenure at BU, Dionne has also served as both associate director of the Bass Center for Leadership Studies and faculty athletics representative for NCAA Division I sports.
In a May 25 Dateline Announcement, Dionne said her appointment was an honor.
“I couldn’t be more honored to serve the School of Management as dean,” Dionne said. “As I told the search committee, there is only one dean position in all of higher education I would consider: [BU’s] School of Management. I have found a home and family at the SOM that I would never consider leaving.”
Former provost and executive vice president for academic affairs Donald Nieman described how Dionne became the preferred candidate.
”Shelley prevailed over a very strong pool of candidates, demonstrating that she is the right person to lead SOM in its next phase,” Nieman said in the Dateline. “She loves SOM, appreciates all that is great about it and has the ability to work with the faculty and staff to make a great school even better.”
The search for a new SOM dean began after previous Dean Upinder Dhillon announced his impending retirement last August, which was moved up to April following a late-stage cancer diagnosis. Dhillon, who had served as SOM dean for 21 years, passed away later that April. Dionne cited her previous experiences working with Dhillon as well as the rest of SOM as her foundation for being dean.
“Working with Upinder Dhillon these past four years was an excellent foundation for understanding the challenges of being one of the top public business schools in the country,” Dionne said in the Dateline. “But SOM has an amazing faculty and staff that continues to innovate business education to challenge our outstanding students. I look forward to working with SOM faculty, students and staff to continue to create new programs that provide a unique value to our students, and to working with our SOM alumni to collaborate on how to achieve even higher levels [of] success in the coming years.”
BU President Harvey Stenger said he had been impressed by Dionne’s work in her previous administrative roles under him at BU.
“I have worked with Shelley in her capacity as our NCAA faculty representative and as associate dean, and I have consistently been impressed with her strong work ethic, intelligence, scholarly ability, vision and commitment to excellence and to [BU],” Stenger said in the Dateline. “She will be a great dean and take SOM to new levels of success.”
In the wake of Dionne’s appointment, some students voiced their opinions on what they want to see from the new dean. Lukas Ladekarl, a junior majoring in business administration, said he hoped Dionne would carry on the work done by the previous dean.
“For the upcoming dean, Shelley Dionne, she should continue building upon Dhillon’s success by maintaining the strong relationship with [BU] alumni and continue giving students the resources for career development,” Ladekarl wrote in an email. “There are also some changes that could be made to improve [SOM]. Some of the changes that I would like to see as a student in SOM would be incorporating real-world applications in classes and have professors update their curriculum more often to showcase modern concepts.“
Lisa Jose, vice president of the BU Marketing Association and a junior majoring in business administration, said she wants a greater focus on lesser represented areas of business.
“My hope is that there is a new emphasis and appreciation on the variety of concentrations within SOM outside of accounting and finance,” Jose wrote in an email. “This new leadership could pose a great opportunity to shine a light on and provide more resources toward other areas, such as marketing, to cultivate even more unique interests and career paths within SOM. I wish the best of luck to Dean Shelley Dionne and am excited to see what this journey holds for SOM and all of its students.”