Interim provost announces leadership changes in College of Business

Western Carolina University will launch a national search for its next College of Business dean following the announcement this week that Hai-yang Chen, dean of the college since Feb. 1, 2019, will be joining the faculty in WCU’s School of Accounting, Finance, Information Systems and Business Law.

Interim Provost Richard Starnes announced the change in leadership for the College of Business in a message to WCU faculty Tuesday, Dec. 3. Chen will be assuming the faculty position effective Jan. 1.

A.J. Grube, interim associate dean of the College of Business, will serve as acting dean of the college effective immediately and through the end of the fall term, Starnes said. Debra Burke, professor of business administration and law, will assume the role of interim dean of the college effective Jan. 1.

“With her long experience in college leadership, I know that Dr. Burke will work effectively and collaboratively with faculty, staff and college leaders to continue to serve our students, maintain college momentum, and prepare for accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business,” Starnes said.

“I thank Dr. Chen for his contributions to the College of Business, and I thank Drs. Grube and Burke for their willingness to serve in these roles,” he said.

A search for a permanent dean will begin immediately, and more information on this process will be forthcoming.