Two members of the business faculty at Western Carolina University are starting the new year in new positions, as Leroy Kauffman, dean of the College of Business, recently appointed directors for the university’s Master of Business Administration Program and its Center for Professional Selling and Marketing.
Michael E. Smith, assistant professor of management and international business, is the new director of Western’s MBA program. James DeConinck, professor of marketing, is director of the Center for Professional Selling and Marketing.
A member of Western’s faculty since 2000, Smith teaches strategy and supply chain management at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has taught supply chain management and operations management classes as a visiting professor at Michigan State University and Portland State University. Smith spent more than 15 years in executive management before turning to teaching and research aimed at promoting business performance through systemic management of inter- and intra-firm relationships.
In his new role, Smith oversees the recruitment and advisement of MBA students, monitors courses, schedules classes in Cullowhee and Asheville, promotes graduate education to area businesses, and builds contacts that can lead to placement of Western’s MBA graduates.
DeConinck, who teaches sales management and negotiations at Western, joined the College of Business faculty in 2002. He previously taught at Central Missouri State University and the University of Dayton, and worked for 10 years in private business, including stints as a warehouse supervisor for Sears, an account manager for NCR Corp., and a sales representative and sales manager for a small telecommunications company. DeConinck has provided business consulting and training services to numerous companies.
As director for the Center for Professional Selling and Marketing, DeConinck is responsible for a facility designed to enhance Western’s instruction in sales and marketing techniques through a state-of-the-art calling center, video conferencing and other hands-on practical applications for students majoring in business. Beginning operation within the Center for Applied Technology in the fall of 2004, it provides students with real-world business communication and business-to-business selling skills.
Phil Little, former director of the MBA and Master of Accountancy programs, will be continuing as director of the Master of Accountancy program.
For information about the College of Business at Western, call (828) 227-7401 or visit the Web site at http://cob.wcu.edu/.