Business executive named UMSL dean

Charles Hoffman has been named dean of the College of Business Administration at UMSL. He will begin Sept. 1. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Charles Hoffman believes what made him successful as a business leader are the same attributes that will propel him in his new position as the dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Hoffman, who most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Covad Communications, the national broadband carrier, will begin his new position as dean Sept. 1. He will fill the role left by Keith Womer, who has now returned to the classroom. Michael Elliott, associate dean and director of undergraduate studies for the college, has served as interim dean since July 1.

“Business is an honorable profession,” Hoffman said. “When I look back on my business career I don’t think about stock price increases or net income improvements, but I do think about, and often hear from, people I was able to influence and mentor. The exciting thing about business is people and organizational development that leads to great results. One of my goals at UMSL is to help students realize that’s what business is all about.”

Hoffman, a resident of Clayton, Mo., feels this new role will aid UMSL because he understands business challenges and has a great deal of practical business experience.  And, as a UMSL alumnus who earned a BSBA in 1974 and an MBA in 1976, he can connect with both alumni and students.

“I’m a champion for UMSL. I’m a product of UMSL,” he said. “No one cares about the college more than I, so I feel it’s really a perfect fit.”

Glen Cope, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UMSL, said Hoffman’s connection to both UMSL and the business community made him the ideal choice for the position.

“Charles Hoffman is a business innovator who understands and appreciates what our business college does well now and can do better in the future to educate the next generation of business leaders and support our regional economy,” Cope said. “I’m confident in his ability to grow and expand the college to meet the ever-changing field and the needs of our students.”

UMSL’s business college has more than 100 full- and part-time faculty members and 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students. The college has nearly 27,000 alumni – 19,000 of whom live and work in the St. Louis region. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

With the college’s outstanding faculty, Hoffman’s plans for the college include:

  • Engaging business executives and alumni to increase student internships, practical experience and job opportunities
  • Preparing students to meet the evolving needs of business, with well-developed leadership and technical skills
  • Ensuring that the curriculum thoroughly covers the ever-increasing globalization of business
  • Bringing together faculty and staff to provide efficient, high quality delivery of a broad liberal education
  • Overseeing the construction, completion, and efficient use of a new building for the college

Hoffman began his business career with IBM, later joining Southwestern Bell to build its first wireless business in St. Louis. Subsequently, he built and ran networks in Boston, Washington D.C. and the country of Mexico.

He then joined Sprint PCS as president of its Northeast region. That position led to his first public company CEO position with Rogers Wireless, the national carrier in Canada formerly known as Cantel. From there he joined Covad Communications as CEO.

Since the sale of Covad in 2008, Hoffman has served on national and international corporate boards and on several UMSL committees, including the Chancellor’s Council, the College of Business Administration Leadership Council, and the Capital Campaign Steering Committee.

Media Coverage:
St. Louis Business Journal 


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