Kolbe welcomed as business school dean

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PHOTO/Richard Kolbe
PHOTO/Richard Kolbe

Staff Writer

The Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics announced Richard Kolbe as its new dean.

“As a dean, we would ask people to serve from within the college of Business and Economics,” Executive Vice Chancellor Jann Joseph said. “And then we would look for people across campus who, from a culmination of their experiences would have, I would say, would bring good insight into what you would want in a dean.”

Nine people served on the committee tasked with selecting the new dean, Joseph said.

“The committee decided, along with our consultant, a pool of 10 for our first level of interviews, which we did by Skype,” Joseph said. “From that, we picked four to come to campus.”

The final four applicants came to campus the first week in October. Kolbe accepted the position on Oct. 25.

“We worked to get the announcement out within a very short time, which you do once you have an acceptance,” Joseph said. “If you wait and you procrastinate, you lose good candidates, because it is very competitive for deans right now.”

Joseph feels that Kolbe would be a good dean for the campus overall.

“For me, the biggest thing that I saw in my selection of him, again this is with input from the committee, what he projects, as I would say, integrity,” Joseph said. “I found him to be very truthful, very straightforward. I feel that he is a person who has a right combination of charisma and experience and skills, that he would be able to sit at a table or meet any of our community leaders or businessmen and immediately start a conversation that could engage them around the work that they are doing in the community and how his service with us aligns to what they are offering as businessmen.

“So that we can look at our programs and say, ‘What are we doing well? What can we do differently?’ I felt that he was going to bring to the campus a person with a vision to grow our programs to the next level. A person who was willing to say as he did, when he talked to me, ‘What about your programs make them exceptional and excellent?’ And his vision for quality is something I admired. Those are some of the keys thing I felt came across in the interview.”

Kolbe has served as a dean of the Haile US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University and as associate dean for faculty at the College of Business at Kent State University.

Kolbe has a Ph.D. in marketing, a master’s of business administration and a master’s of science in marketing from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor’s of science in business administration from the University of Nebraska.

While Kolbe was not available for an interview, he did comment via email.

“I am very excited to be joining a business school where faculty and staff are deeply committed and focused on student success. The Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics clearly strives to deliver transformative educational experiences for its students through high quality, innovative and affordable programs—a truly twenty-first century educational approach. The faculty in this School are accomplished and intellectually engaged professors who work as mentors and partners with their students.”

“Given my background as a first generation, commuter student, I can relate to many of the needs and challenges IUSB students may face in balancing their educational and personal lives. I intend to work hard to help as many students as possible achieve an outstanding university education by graduating from the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics in a timely manner with one or more of our quality programs.”

“This is an exciting time to be joining this Business School, and I look forward to many years of successful outcomes working with the students, faculty, staff, IUSB leadership and regional business community.”

Kolbe will start in the spring semester.

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