Faculty & Research

Ernest L. Owens

Assistant Professor : Management Department

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Ernest L. Owens, Jr., Ed.D., M.B.A., C.P.P.M., P.M.P., Six Sigma Black Belt specializes in project, operations and strategic management. He is an assistant professor of business, the lead faculty in project management in the Center for Business Excellence and vice chair of the Opus College of Business faculty. In the Executive MBA program, he has taught Organizing Capabilities, Strategic Management and Leadership. Since 1991, he has taught executives, graduates, undergraduates and corporate professionals in strategic, project and operations management. He also has been an adjunct member of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management  and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, teaching management, operations and strategic information systems. Owens is a visiting professor at the Universite of Caen in Normandy, France, where he teaches leadership and project management.

Owens’ research area is project management. He is a reviewer for Project Management Institute International (PMI) Research Conferences. His curriculum design for project management and operations courses is service learning based, where students are involved with organizations and leaders such as former Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission, North-end Resident Redevelopment Council and Minnesota Opportunities Industrialization Council. 

As a consultant, he has developed project management training programs with Imation, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Ameriprise Financial, NRP, Aspen Research, E-Funds, Tenant Corporation, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Fair Isaacs and PMI Minnesota. Owens received quality achievement awards from Unisys for his cost reduction efforts, where he was credited with saving the firm $21 million. Owens has received the Eleven Who Care Award and WCCO Good Neighbor for community service as well as The Jefferson Awards, a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. He also has received the National Leon H. Sullivan Award from Opportunities Industrialization Center of America as an outstanding national volunteer.


Academic Background

B.S., industrial engineering, Northeastern University
M.B.A., University St. Thomas
Ed.D., leadership, University St. Thomas

Research Specialties

  • Goal displacement
  • Information technology
  • Project management
  • Service learning
  • Strategic management

Current Research

  • Project managers as fiduciary
  • Project management through service learning
  • Project management office
  • Effective project notebook tools
  • Project management through MS project

Major Works

  • Owens, Ernest and  S. Ramlall, "Creating and Sustaining Economic Growth Through Human Resources in the Caribbean," International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management 5:3 (2005): 227-239.

Current Community Relationships

  • Board member and treasurer, East Metro Opportunity Industrialization Center (OIC)
  • Strategic planner Minnesota State OIC
  • Consultant project management - Mayo Clinic, NRG, Tennant, Lifetouch, Piper Jaffray, US Bank, St. Thomas