Joan Phillips

Joan Phillips will serve as the new dean of UMSL’s College of Business Administration after being identified through a nationwide search. Phillips is currently serving as the dean of the Andreas School of Business as Barry University and will assume her new position on March 15. (Photo courtesy of Barry University)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has tapped Joan Phillips to become dean of the College of Business Administration through a national search launched late last summer.

Phillips has been serving as the dean of the Andreas School of Business at Barry University in Miami since 2018 and has nearly 25 years of experience working in higher education. She is a widely published marketing scholar with expertise in research methods, consumer behavior and political marketing.

She will assume her new position on March 15 with Dean Emeritus Keith Womer continuing to serve as the interim dean until that date.

“We are excited and delighted that Dr. Joan Phillips will be the next dean of our College of Business Administration,” Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Marie Mora said.“Exciting things are happening to stimulate inclusive prosperity throughout the St. Louis region, including in the business community, and we expect our College of Business Administration to be a leader in this space, such as with UMSL’s recently launched Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Accelerator.

“With her business background, experience as a collaborative academic administrator, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Dr. Phillips is the ideal leader at this time to actively cultivate inclusive partnerships in the business community and enhance research and scholarship opportunities that will result in hands-on transformative experiences for our students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.”

Phillips found herself drawn to UMSL as the only public, research university in the St. Louis region.

“I’m very attracted to urban, metropolitan universities and am really excited about engaging with the community,” Phillips said. “Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion are other passions of mine, and I’m committed to providing a powerful, transformative experience for students.”

A first-generation college student from Upstate New York, Phillips had that type of transformative experience at the State University of New York at Albany, graduating with a degree in political science. She worked in the marketing industry for almost a decade, holding positions in publishing and consulting, before pursuing an MBA at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Phillips believes higher education has a responsibility to ensure students are ready to meet the demands of the workforce.

“Universities, and business schools in particular, are best when they’re aligned with the needs of and serving society,” she said. “You look at where the jobs for this region are, and they should be the areas that we specialize in while still giving students a broad-based education. We want to provide a strong foundation in all areas but specialty training in the areas of business that are emerging and will continue to serve the region.”

As Phillips noted, UMSL’s College of Business Administration already has taken steps to ensure it’s providing students the knowledge and training they need. It has implemented innovations in the curriculum around business analytics, supply chain management and information systems, as well as entrepreneurship. The college also maintains its dual accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for all its business and accounting programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Phillips is looking forward to engaging with the St. Louis business community to learn about what actions the college can take to meet industry needs into the future.

Her new position is bringing her back to the Midwest, where she has spent the majority of her academic career since earning her PhD in marketing and statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Phillips has held faculty appointments in marketing at Michigan State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University Chicago from 1996 to 2018. In 10 years at Loyola, Phillips held several administrative positions, including associate dean, department chair and graduate program director. She also served on the University Budget Review Team and chaired the Academic Innovation Team.

Starting in 2015, Phillips spent a year as a fellow of the American Council on Education with a placement at Purdue University Northwest and worked closely with the chancellor and vice chancellors charged with merging two public universities into a new university with two locations.

That experience helped prepare Phillips for higher leadership positions, and Barry University named her dean of the Andres School of Business in 2018. There, she’s been responsible for approximately 1,200 students. She also has led successful AACSB reaccreditation, united faculty to develop and launch a new online MBA program and integrated sport management, public administration and emergency management programs into the business school.

Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik

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