Michigan State’s B-School Dean Jumps To St. Thomas

“Stefanie is an insightful and big-picture thinker with a wonderful background and a world of experience and connections to make things happen at St. Thomas,” said Richard M. Schulze, founder and chairman emeritus of Best Buy Co. Inc. and a benefactor who chairs the Opus College of Business Strategic Board of Governors and sits on the university’s Board of Trustees. “She will build on the foundation at the business school and reach fully into the business community for meaningful partnerships.

“Her interest on building an entrepreneurial focus adds value throughout the university, as well as providing leadership to the importance of competitive advantage for students wanting to control their own destiny. I am pleased she is coming to St. Thomas to focus on the added dimension of high-quality inspiration throughout all our colleges.”

Dean Stephanie Lenway is on the board of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) and is a fellow and past president of the Academy of International Business. She has served as a consultant on global innovation strategies for firms such as 3M, Nokia, Applied Materials and Honeywell.

NO. 1 REASON FOR TAKING THE JOB? ST. THOMAS PRESIDENT JULIE SULLIVAN

If you ask Lenway why she chose to become business dean at St. Thomas, she’ll tell you “the No. 1 reason is St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan.”

Both Lenway and Sullivan have Ph.D.s in business and many years of experience teaching and leading university business programs. “That’s a huge plus,” Lenway said. “When Dr. Sullivan and I first talked on the phone, I knew immediately that she is really someone I could work with.”

Lenway also is excited to work with the St. Thomas faculty. “Dean Chris Puto has assembled an outstanding faculty during his years at St. Thomas, and leading the Opus College of Business to its AACSB accreditation was a tremendous accomplishment.”

“St. Thomas’ AASCB accreditation was critical to my decision to accept the university’s offer,” Lenway said. “It means that the Opus College of Business is focused on continuous improvement and is preparing students for the careers of tomorrow.”

NEGLECTING HER DOUBLE BASS

Dean Stephanie Lenway has followed St. Thomas’ evolution as a university since the 1980s and says “when I was at the University of Minnesota we used to talk about the ‘old St. Thomas.’ Now we see the ‘new St. Thomas.’ The old UST was primarily a teaching college. The new UST is now seen as an integrated university, emphasizing teaching, research and service.”

Lenway is looking forward to returning to Minnesota, meeting friends, colleagues, “and especially working with the business community.” She is a musician but admits, “I’ve been neglecting my double bass lately.”

She and her husband, Thomas Murtha, have a home near Minneapolis’ Loring Park and they enjoy walking the lakes and attending Twin Cities cultural events. Murtha joined the Opus College of Business in 2013 as a Distinguished Service Professor of Management, and has a long record of service on nonprofit boards. They have one adult son, Morgan Murtha, who works in the hospitality industry in Los Angeles.

The Opus College of Business has 98 full-time faculty who teach in Schulze Hall, which opened in downtown Minneapolis in 2005, and in McNeely Hall, which opened on the university’s St. Paul campus in 2006. The college’s 1,145 graduate students are enrolled in seven master’s programs and its 2,300 undergraduates can choose from 13 business concentrations. Another 4,100 participants attend executive-education classes each year. The college has more than 31,000 alumni and an endowment of $85 million.

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