News & Views‌

UNI Biz 2020 magazine kicks off our 40th year

November 2, 2020 - 2:32pm
Leslie K. Wilson
University of Northern Iowa business college 40th year seal

We’re in such unprecedented times, or at least that is what we tell ourselves.

Interviews with past Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) presidents reveal that, perhaps, much is still the same. A dive into the Northern Iowan newspaper archives finds previous pandemics, calls for social change, campus protests, budget challenges and technology disruptions on curriculum and society. I could not be more proud of our 40-year evolution anchored in an unwavering focus on student success. Faculty help students achieve more than many of them ever thought possible. It’s who we are.

Student success drove our pandemic response decisions. In less than two weeks, our 2020 spring semester moved from predominantly face-to-face to 100% virtual. Meetings moved to Zoom. The fall term started early, a combination of online (26%) with in-person classes in large rooms to afford social distancing. We’ve upended the spring schedule, canceled spring break and delayed the start while also adding virtual options over the extended eight-week holiday break. As I write this, past mid-term, face-to-face classes continue. Will we make it through the semester? Regardless, our 40th year moves forward, pandemic or not!

I am the last dean of this college to have worked for all previous deans. I transitioned from an instructor who was intimidated by our first dean, Robert J. Waller, to developing a fast friendship with the dean before me, Farzad Moussavi. I look forward to celebrating with my colleagues, probably post-vaccine, to recognize where we have been and where we are today. But more, I need your stories, our alumni, about your business college journey to share with my colleagues. Just as shared in this issue, pictures tell the story of how far we’ve come. Reach out to me. Please help us celebrate.

Author

Leslie K. Wilson headshot

Leslie K. Wilson

Dean Leslie K. Wilson was previously the associate dean. In that role she provided direction and leadership with regard to maintaining the College's AACSB accreditation, transitioning the College through three sets of standards. In addition, she was the MBA Program Director for the campus program, expanding across the state, in Hong Kong, and mainland China helping the program earn a Top 100 Part Time MBA by U.S. News & World Reports. Between 2003 and 2006, she received over $300,000 in Business and International Education (BIE) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education and served as the grant manager for those two grants.

Wilson is a tenured professor in the Department of Management. Her interests in supply chain, information systems development processes as well as teaching pedagogy has resulted in nineteen journal article publications in such journals as International Journal of Production Research, Supply Chain Management International, Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Journal of Information Systems Education, and International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management. In addition, she has over 25 presentations or proceedings. Before coming to UNI, she worked seven years as an independent contractor, developing systems for small businesses.