SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2016) – Dr. James Curran has been named dean of the College of Business at USF Sarasota-Manatee, dropping the title of “interim-dean” conferred on him after former Dean Robert Anderson retired at the end of 2014.
“It has been an honor to work closely with the faculty of the College of Business to provide a world-class education for the students of this region. It was also very gratifying to have them show so much confidence in me as this change was being considered,” Dr. Curran said of the appointment, which went into effect last week.
Dr. Curran’s appointment was made by Dr. Terry Osborn, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, after consultation with fellow faculty, community members and USFSM senior administrators.
“As he assumed that role (of interim dean), it became clear to his fellow faculty and USFSM administration that he was a leader who would position the college for even greater growth,” Dr. Osborn said.
Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said the appointment: “I am very pleased that Dr. Curran has agreed to serve as the dean of the College of Business. During the past year he has done an excellent job as Interim dean of both the College of Business and the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership. He has demonstrated strong leadership and management skills through a challenging time of transition, and I appreciate his continued commitment to the university.
“Dr. Curran is a valued member of our institution’s leadership team, and I look forward to working with him in the future to achieve our institution’s strategic goals,” she said.
Dr. Curran received his PhD and MBA from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University.
He joined USF Sarasota-Manatee as an assistant professor in 2005, teaching marketing. He rose to become an associate professor in 2010.
The results of his research have been presented nationally and internationally and have been cited more than 1,100 times by other researchers.
Prior to academic life, he held sales and marketing positions with four large international precious metals firms, spent time consulting and managed his own manufacturer representative business.
As dean, he said he expects to continue reaching out to expand the college’s relationship with local businesses.
“We want to build stronger relationships with the business community in the Sarasota-Manatee area so that we can become more of a resource for them,” he said. “Not only do we have great students who need to learn more about the career opportunities in this area, but we also have an incredibly talented faculty who can provide a wide variety of services to businesses that can use some assistance. We are always looking for opportunities to work with firms in the area through things like guest lectures, class projects, internships, mentoring and networking events.”
“We are at a critical time for the College of Business,” Dr. Curran said. “Our enrollments continue to grow and we have some wonderful young people counting on us to provide them with a useful and meaningful education. Over the past few years we have built a powerful faculty and we must continue to attract and retain talented faculty members to serve our students in the best possible ways. This takes resources and sometimes getting those resources can be challenging.”
Dr. Curran was also named interim dean of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership about a year ago. He will remain in that position until the successful completion of an executive search underway now.
“This is also an exciting time for the College as we build some key programs,” he said. “Our MBA program has grown substantially over the past year or so. Our accounting students continue to perform extremely well on the CPA exams. There are more jobs in accounting available in this area than we have students to fill them, so there are some wonderful career opportunities in the accounting field.
“We just moved the Information Technology major into the College of Business and plan to expand the program to take advantage of the synergies between IT and the traditional business courses,” Dr. Curran added. “We have been able to work with local industries to develop new courses in risk management and project management and help prepare our students for careers available here. With a little bit of help and support, I am confident that the best is yet to come for the College of Business.”