WSU Names Len Jessup As Dean of Business And Economics
May 8, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University has named one of its own, Len M. Jessup, to be the new dean of its College of Business and Economics effective July 1.
WSU Provost Robert Bates made the announcement to CBE faculty, staff, and students in a special meeting Tuesday afternoon. Jessup’s selection was the result of a six-month, nationwide search for a new college leader. Former Accounting Chair and Professor Glenn L. Johnson, CBE interim dean for three years, is retiring at the end of June following 23 years with WSU.
"I am very pleased that Dr. Len Jessup has accepted the position of Dean," said Bates. "His broad knowledge, keen insight and strong leadership skills will be invaluable as the College of Business and Economics moves to new levels of excellence."
Jessup came to WSU in June 2000 as the assistant director of the School of Accounting, Information Systems, and Business Law to be in charge of the college’s most popular major: Management Information Systems. Jessup also became the first Philip L. Kays Distinguished Professor in MIS.
"I feel deeply honored at being chosen as the next dean of the WSU College of Business and Economics," said Jessup. "I am appreciative of the confidence and trust people have placed in me."
"WSU's new 'world class, face to face' tagline really resonates with me. In fact, the quality of faculty here, and the balance of their excellent research and commitment to quality teaching, was a major part of what attracted me to WSU two years ago as a professor.
"I envision the day when our business program is considered among the elite in the country and I look forward to the opportunity, as dean, to work with everyone – the president, provost, college, students, alumni, and industry partners -- to make it so."
One of his first initiatives, he said, will be to guide the college in completion of its accreditation review and strategic plan development. Faculty/staff task forces will be established immediately to help realize those goals.
During his career, Jessup has received numerous teaching awards; published 29 journal articles; edited professional journals; and participated in and chaired several conferences, workshops, and panels, among many other activities. His wife, Joy Egbert, assistant professor in the WSU College of Education, is his frequent co-author and researcher.
Jessup wrote the popular MIS textbook Information Systems Foundations with MIS Professor Joe Valacich. They are co-organizers in December 2003 in Seattle the premier conference for information systems academicians--the International Conference on Information Systems, commonly referred to as "ICIS."
The new dean earned his doctorate in management and organizational behavior, with a minor in MIS, from the Univ. of Arizona-Tucson in 1989. As a researcher, he has concentrated on groupware, wireless collaboration, electronic commerce, and technology-supported learning and decision making. His MBA with a major in business administration and an emphasis in management, and his bachelor’s degree with a major in information and communication studies and a minor in business administration, are both from California State University-Chico. Jessup is from the Bay Area in California.
From 1995-2000, he taught and researched as an associate professor of information systems at Indiana Univ.’s Kelley School of Business. He also chaired their technology committee, co-directed the digital communications academy, and captained the MBA Integrated Core Teaching Team for several years.
At the Univ. of Idaho from 1994-95, Jessup was an associate professor of information systems in the College of Business and Economics, and helped build the Teams, Technology, and Performance Research Center. He also held faculty appointments at Cal State-San Marcos from 1990-94 and Cal State-Long Beach from 1989-90, and was a research and teaching associate at the Univ. of Arizona-Tucson and Cal State-Chico.
Under Jessup's leadership, the WSU MIS program has been benchmarked as the leader in the Northwest in several categories, including faculty research productivity and curriculum quality. The MIS program has drawn record numbers of outstanding students to the business discipline. A total of 244 MIS degrees have been or will be granted to undergraduates at WSU’s August and December 2001 and upcoming May 11 commencements; at any given time, about 500 students are majoring in MIS at WSU. MIS is also a specialization in the MBA program; 15 doctoral students work under the program's 15 tenure-track faculty members and six lecturers in Pullman and at WSU Vancouver, Spokane and Tri-Cities branch campuses. Also, new through WSU’s Distance Degree Programs, job- and place-bound learners can now earn a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in MIS.
Twice yearly, as head of the MIS program, Jessup has hosted an MIS advisory board to gather industry input on several student-related matters, such as contemporary curriculum needs, internships, and placement opportunities.
In addition to his teaching, research, and administrative duties in MIS, Jessup, with Valacich, has spent the past year working with graduate and undergraduate students to develop an innovative teaching and learning experience: a wireless classroom. An award from the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium funded the project. An industry partner in that, Connexion, a Boeing spin-off, will soon make a $100,000 gift to kickoff the "Connexion Wireless Classroom of the Future" in the WSU MIS program.
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