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School of Business dean tapped for QU’s top job
Mark Thompson, Dean of Quinnipiac’s School of Business, will become the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs when Kathleen McCourt retires at the end of this semester, President John Lahey announced in a statement.
McCourt has been the university’s senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs for seven years.
A Cheshire resident, Thompson has been at Quinnipiac for 10 years, five of which he served as Dean. Throughout his tenure, he helped the School of Business garner widespread recognition, including Association to Advance Collgiate Schools of Business accreditation. Thompson served as an assistant dean for five years before taking his position as Dean. He also directed the university’s MBA program for three years.
“I think the reason the school of business has been successful is not because of me, but because of the variety of people involved,” Thompson said. “What we had was full commitment among the faculty. It really is taking groups of people and having them work together for the betterment of the school.”
Thompson’s Quinnipiac career also includes senior membership on both the Dean’s Council and the university’s Planning Council.
“It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of our School of Business Dean Dr. Mark Thompson as our new senior vice president for academic and student affairs,” Lahey said in a statement, “He knows Quinnipiac extremely well, has helped to shape our vision and plans for the future and has all of the abilities to help lead us in the implementation and execution of these plans. Most importantly, Mark enjoys a very high level of respect among his colleagues in the faculty and administration and possesses a very open and collegial management style ideally suited for Quinnipiac University’s strong sense of community.”
A graduate of Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in finance and economics, Thompson’s resume includes professional experience both in the field of teaching and finance. He also holds a P.H.D. in economics from Georgia State University.
In the statement, Lahey noted Thompson’s “strong commitment to students and a student-oriented environment”, which, he said, will “serve him well in our continuing efforts to integrate the academics and student life areas of the university, both of which are equally important components of this senior vice president level position.”
In the interview, Thompson revealed plans to collaborate with students to accomplish this objective.
“When I became Dean of the school of business five years ago, there was very little opportunity for students to have their voice heard in terms of where the school of business was going and some of the initiatives we might undertake,” Thompson said.
“What I really like about this particular position is that it is the senior vice president for academic and student affairs, and I think that’s an appropriate way to do things, because it does reflect the full life of the student in the classroom and out of the classroom.”
“I think having someone who can bring those two sides together in a way that benefits students is advantageous to the university and certainly the student body. I’m very excited about that component of the job in particular, because the reason I’m in higher education is because I thrive on my interaction with students.”
Thompson embraced the challenges posed by his new position with enthusiasm, citing his longevity at Quinnipiac as an advantage.
“I’ve been here for 10 years, and the nice thing about that is that I know most of the people I’ll be working with,” Thompson said. “There’s certainly a learning curve for me in terms of being able to better understand some of the other areas outside the School of Business, but that learning curve is not as high as it would be for an outsider coming in.”
Thompson’s resume extends far beyond his time at Quinnipiac. The former Dean spent time at Marshall University, where he was an assistant professor of economics. He has also taught at Morehouse College and spent three years as a savings manager for a savings bank in Massachusetts.
Thompson commented on McCourt’s legacy at Quinnipiac.
“One of the things I really appreciate about Kathleen McCourt is her integrity,” he said. “There’s no question that she is of the highest integrity of just about anyone I’ve worked with over the years.”
Thompson’s own experiences as a student influenced his decision to enter the teaching profession.
“I was inspired by a faculty member that I had when I was an undergraduate, who really turned me on to economics in particular,” he said. “My entire motivation for wanting to go into higher education is very much the students, and their betterment, and being able to work with them in a way that hopefully sets the stage for whatever it is they set out to do.”