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

Dean Stephanie Lenway

Dean Stephanie Lenway

For Dean Stephanie Lenway, it’s something of a coming home party.

Lenway, business dean at Michigan State University, will become dean of the Opus College of Business and hold the Opus Distinguished Chair at the University of St. Thomas on Aug. 1. The new job marks a return to the Twin Cities where Lenway spent 21 years at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson school of Management.

The new job will be Lenway’s third deanship. She will succeed Christopher Puto, 71, who has been dean of St. Thomas’ business programs since 2002. Following a one-year sabbatical leave, Puto plans to return to the university as a member of the Opus College of Business faculty.


While Lenway, 63, hasn’t formed specific initiatives for the Opus College of Business, “I’m interested and tremendously impressed with what St. Thomas has done in areas such as entrepreneurship, health care and ethics,” she said in a statement. “And certainly I’ll be exploring opportunities for online education. There is a growing demand for it.”

During her four years as dean of Michigan State’s Eli Broad College of Business, Lenway built a global network of academic partners to create teaching and research opportunities for faculty and students. She helped launch Broad College’s first completely online degree program, a master of science in management, strategy and leadership, and led the development of a master’s in business analytics and several online certificate programs.

Dean Stephanie Lenway is a researcher, author, consultant on global technology innovation, and for the past 33 years has been a university business professor, department chair or dean. Lenway began her teaching career in 1981 as an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 1984. That year her doctoral dissertation on the politics of international trade received the Best Dissertation Award from the Academy of Management and was published by Pitman.


Twenty-one of her professional years were at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. She began teaching there in 1984 as an assistant professor of strategic management and organization and rose through the ranks to become chair of her department and, from 2002 to 2005, associate dean. She was dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2005 to 2010, and has served as the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State since 2010.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she received a bachelor’s in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master’s in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her M.B.A. and Ph.D. in business administration are from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

“We are pleased to welcome Stefanie to the University of St. Thomas. She has the leadership qualities, energy and vision we were looking for,” said Dr. Susan Huber, executive vice president and provost of St. Thomas, said in a statement. “With her 30-plus years of experience in higher education, especially here in the Twin Cities, she is ideally prepared to build on the Opus College of Business’ academic achievements and to lead it in service to the region’s business community.”

“Stefanie is a strategic, creative thinker who sees opportunities and knows how to take advantage of them,” said Dr. Julie Sullivan, president of St. Thomas, in a statement. “She is very collaborative and will work closely with people across campus and with the business community. She is particularly interested in entrepreneurship and building international programs and relationships. She knows this area well, having been a faculty member and administrator at the University of Minnesota, and will strengthen our networks in the community.”