Business and Technology dean switch up

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Halleigh Hawkins, Staff Writer

Wayne State College will hire a new dean for the School of Business and Technology, beginning July 1 when Vaughn Benson steps down to return to teaching.

Steve Elliot, the vice president for Academic Affairs, said the school is looking for a candidate that can facilitate “a connection between the academic programs.”

“A dean is going to be working with the school faculty and staff that are there,” Elliot said. “As far as recommendations, all of their supervision and evaluation and anything else of that nature, supervising the budget, any kind of budget oversight with the school, allocation of funding, facilitating budgetary needs, in addition to facilitating anything as far as the accreditation curriculum. It is a pretty big job.”

The successful candidate will be responsible for the School of Business and Technology, which also includes the new Center of Applied Technology building. The new dean will also assist the vice president for Academic Affairs with issues related to curriculum policy.

“As far as what we’re looking for, we’re looking to find an individual that perhaps has some background in engineering or engineering technology; computer science; industrial technology or a related field, and someone who has some business and industry experience and potentially developing partnerships with business and industry as well,” Elliot said. “And then understanding the educational side as well, so if someone has that kind of experience and they’re interested in higher education this will be a good job to apply for.”

Advertisements for the position state a preferred candidate will have experience in higher education teaching and/or administrative experience, which includes supervision of faculty and facilitation of program assessment, as well as a terminal degree in business, engineering or engineering technology, computer science, industrial technology, or a related field.

Benson held the position since 2002. He graduated from Wayne State College with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, then earned a doctorate from the University of Nebraska. He has been employed at WSC since 1974. Prior to education, Benson worked in public accounting. He has been awarded numerous awards for business education and accounting.

“I have decided to step down from my duties as dean of Business and Technology,” Benson said. “I have been dean since 2001 when Wayne State created a dean’s position. Prior to that I, from 1982 to 2001, was a division chair. This is my 46th year at Wayne State College. I have spent my whole professional career here basically. I have decided to step down and they have allowed me to go back to teaching and so starting in the fall I will be professor Vaughn Benson. I am looking forward to that.”

According to Benson, the best thing about this position and what made it stand out to him was the ability to direct and focus people’s attention where they want to go and how they were going get there.

“The programs have grown, we have added a lot of different aspects,” he said. “We’ve got the program accredited, so I am very pleased with what we’ve done.”

Benson said he is proud of the faculty and staff and thankful to have their support in continuing his professional career at WSC.

“When you’ve been here as long as I have, and if you take a look at the turnover that we haven’t had in the School of Business, many of my faculty members have been here for 30 years or more, too,” Benson said. “Can’t really ask for much more than to have a leadership job working with your friends and people that want to see you help them move the programs forward, so I have been blessed for the opportunity to be their leader and to take responsibility and dealing with many of the things that faculty and administrators have to.”

Dean Vaughn Benson steps down to continue teaching