Eclectic dean's Opus School wins kudos

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Star Tribune columnist Neal St. Anthony profiled Opus College of Business Dean Chris Puto.

His eclectic background shaped his thinking about what should constitute a well-rounded business school. When Puto arrived in 2002 at Minnesota's largest business school from dean of the business school at Georgetown University, the mandate was clear: St. Thomas, best known then for part-time business faculty with a wealth of street experience, wanted to be the first private university win accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The certification was awarded last week, years after the debate ended over whether St. Thomas would remain largely a practice-oriented business school program or become an institution with a core of full-time faculty with PhDs who also produce academic research.

"I bridge these worlds of business and pointy-headed academic people," Puto said the other day, armed with statistics and findings supporting UST's newfound standing. "We have hired 52 full-time business faculty members, for a total of 105 [since Puto arrived] from big national schools such as Northwestern, Wharton, Stanford, Duke, Minnesota and Nebraska. We also have 135 adjunct faculty."

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Originally published: 01/11/2011, Star Tribune