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Dr. Christopher Puto to step down as dean of Opus College of Business

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dr. Christopher Puto has announced that he will step down as dean of the Opus College of Business and as holder of the Opus Distinguished Chair at the University of St. Thomas, effective June 30. He will be on a sabbatical before returning to the faculty in 2013.

Puto's tenure of nearly 10 years as dean has been a time of growth and achievement. Most notable was his direction of the succesful effort to earn accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. Other milestones include the combination of graduate and undergraduate divisions into the College of Business, the establishment of a full-time MBA program, the doubling of the number of full-time faculty members, the opening of Schulze and McNeely Halls and the revitalization of the Family Business Center.

Under Puto’s leadership, St. Thomas has continued to emphasize business ethics education and has the largest collegiate business ethics faculty in the United States. The college established the Veritas Institute in 2007 to foster ethically and socially responsible conduct in organizations; the following year the institute and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures received gifts of $8 million and $2 million, respectively.

Puto said the timing is right to step down as dean and more actively engage in teaching, research and consulting.

“I am heartened by the transformation that has occurred during the past 10 years,” Puto said. “Our faculty and staff have succeeded in recruiting outstanding students during exceedingly difficult times for business schools. We now have in place the physical plant, the future generations of scholars and a culture of excellence that await the next generation of leadership to guide us to new levels of prominence and accomplishment. Our vision of excellence in educating highly principled global business leaders is well in sight.”

Dr. Susan Huber, executive vice president and chief academic officer, praised Puto’s service as business dean and said few other individuals could have led the AACSB accreditation effort.

“Chris faced a huge challenge when he became dean,” Huber said. “The Board of Trustees was convinced AACSB accreditation was necessary for the long-term success of our business programs, and Chris carefully developed a strategy. We will always be indebted to his vision, his planning and tenacity in pursuing and achieving accreditation.”

Huber said she will appoint an interim dean for the 2012-13 academic year, during which there will be a search for a permanent dean.

Read more about Dean Puto's announcement in the University of St. Thomas Bulletin Today.

University of St. Thomas Press Release, 02/22/2012