The key to moving forward is to do two things simultaneously – to lift existing faculty to new levels, and to bring in additional faculty who are experts in these areas. Another goal is to make sure we have the people and processes to keep our programs as innovative and dynamic as possible. If we rest on our laurels, our programs will be obsolete.
We’re talking about the central role of a dynamic curriculum, which is a faculty-driven phenomenon. I can motivate and provide resources, but at the end of the day, it takes creative, innovative faculty to assure that our college’s programs are state-of-the-art.
Q. What other goals do you have for the College of Business, outside of the classroom?
Research universities like FIU are collections of exceptional investigators. These universities are generating intellectual property (IP) that can change people’s lives. One of the roles of a college of business in today’s economy is taking a lead role in the translational process of converting great IP into real companies that produce life-changing products and services. This is something I did with success as dean of the business school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
As a dynamic, contemporary business college, we will play a role in that translational process at FIU. That will mean a lot of cross disciplinary activities, heavily focused on the relationship between medicine, engineering, the sciences and the College of Business.
Q. It seems that you have a particular interest in healthcare. Please tell me about that, and will that field be a priority at FIU?
Innovation and entrepreneurship will have a significant impact on our ability to manage healthcare successfully. The College of Business has a significant commitment to the study of healthcare management, and to the next big development: managing big data.
We have a new program in health informatics, managing the massive amount of healthcare data. Managing the data pieces that come out of one human being will be a huge challenge. How do we manage that data to improve health?
Q. Research has also been important to you in the past. Please tell me about that and how you plan to bring that to FIU?
FIU is a research-based university. It is a university that understands that we have multiple charges. We have to be disseminating information to students, to help them learn, and grow, and have the opportunity for a great future. We have an equally important responsibility to support the creation of new knowledge and disseminate that new intellectual property. This is what comes from the faculty, and this is what changes lives.
Now, I can’t guarantee that every piece of research will change lives — but some will. If a reasonable percentage turns out to be outstanding, then the process of investment in research is well worth it. That’s what universities do. We educate and create knowledge. We can’t do one without the other.