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Mudd Monthly: August ’23

by Örn Bodvarsson, August 2, 2023

Dear Members of the Atkinson Community,

Welcome to the first issue of our new school year! I hope you all have had a wonderful summer and were able to find more than adequate time to “chill” and enjoy the marvelous summer we have in our part of the world. I know many of you have been traveling, and I hope those adventures have been fulfilling, fun, safe, and free of any travel maladies. Mary and I always take a two-week vacation in late June/early July and this year we went to Italy and Greece. As I write this we are on our way to my hometown of Reykjavik, Iceland. We will be in Iceland for 12 days – eight days with the members of the Willamette Alumni tour group. I’ll be serving as the Willamette host of the group and will give a few presentations about Iceland during the tour. Several of the tour guests are Atkinson alumni. After that, Mary and I will spend four days on a short vacation up in Northern Iceland.

We have a busy and exciting year ahead and I look forward to welcoming all of you back to the Salem and Portland campuses. I especially look forward to joining you in welcoming four new faculty — Anusha Ramesh (who is returning for a second gig with us — yay!), Jane Machin, Pritha Dutta, and Foong Soon Cheong (who has been with us since May). Our other new faculty member, Shelter Teyi, will be delayed because of the lengthy visa approval process. We are working to help him expedite that process and hopefully we will have him on the Atkinson team before too long. New colleagues on the staff team arrived this summer as well. Earlier this semester we welcomed Katrina Garcia to Atkinson, who is working with us from Career Development and Marley Nicassio, our new MBA recruiter who is working with us from the Office of Graduate Admissions. Soon we will complete searches for the Director of the Executive Development Center and the Office Manager & Events coordinator positions. We are also planning to soon launch a search to fill Jennifer’s line. I will keep you all abreast of the developments with those searches.

We start Atkinson’s 50th year: Newly re-accredited by NASPAA; ready to implement a new and bold strategic plan; poised to continue the great work we’ve been doing in management education for the last half-century while leveraging our educational model to build out innovative new programming; and continuing to grow our BSBA program. We will have the largest full-time faculty (25) we’ve had in years and a very talented staff team to support them and our students. When we gather on August 25 for our Fall Semester retreat, we’ll talk about some big projects for the new school year, including starting our work to secure re-accreditation by AACSB in 2025. For all these reasons, I’m really looking forward to starting my third year as your Dean.

This is the last issue that will be prepared by Jen Bush, our Director of Marketing Communication. I want to thank Jen for her contributions to Atkinson the past five years and for her work on the Mudd Monthly. I wish her well in her new position with the State of Oregon. Marley has stepped forward to offer to help out on an interim basis with the newsletter. I’m grateful for Marley’s help and look forward to working with her.

I will see you all later this month. In the meantime, enjoy the last weeks of summer and take good care.

All the best,

Örn Bodvarsson Signature

Örn B. Bodvarsson, Ph.D,
Dean, Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.