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Martz, Reid  appointed to interim provost, dean positions

ISSUED: 23 April 2021

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix has announced Dr. Ben Martz, dean, College of Business and chair, Department of Business Administration, will serve as interim vice president for Academic Affairs and provost while the university searches for a candidate to fill the position on a permanent basis.

Martz will begin the interim position June 1. He replaces Dr. Scott Beard, who suddenly died in March. Dr. Kathleen Reid, associate dean, College of Business, and chair, Department of Economics and Finance, will serve as interim dean for the College of Business.

“The leadership and vision of Dr. Ben Martz and Dr. Kathleen Reid will provide essential stability to advance our institutional mission,” said Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd’s president. “I am profoundly grateful for their willingness to accept the additional responsibility and serve in these key leadership roles.”

Martz earned a B.B.A. in marketing from the College of William & Mary and an M.S. in management information systems and a Ph.D. in business from the University of Arizona. At Shepherd, he has worked with the alumni-led Business 2020 initiative, a public-private partnership that raised $660,000 to revitalize Shepherd’s business program and develop a College of Business. Martz serves as the director of the Shepherd Entrepreneurship and Research Corporation (SERC), a nonprofit organization with a mission of helping facilitate research, innovation, and entrepreneurship that includes oversight of the Agricultural Innovation Center at Tabler Farm, and the Stubblefield Institute.

Reid received her B.A. in mathematics from SUNY Plattsburgh and her Ph.D. in economics from Pennsylvania State University. She has served as chair of the Department of Economics since 1990, leading the change from the Department of Economics to the Department of Economics and Finance and helping develop a concentration in financial economics. She has been associate dean of the College of Business since August 2018.  Reid prepared the reaffirmation of accreditation self-study and led the College of Business through a successful site visit in February of 2020.  The IACBE accreditation has been approved through 2027. The leadership required for this successful reaffirmation process demonstrates her level of understanding, both academic and professional, to be successful in this role.

The history of forming the college:

The creation of the COB in 2017 was a formal consolidation of Shepherd’s business oriented academic majors: Accounting, Business Administration, and Economics & Finance, as well as the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – into a single academic unit. This organizational change allows for business-oriented departments, faculty, and programs to obtain a synergy for the stakeholders we serve.

As of fall 2018, approximately one fifth (19.5%) of the Shepherd student body was in one of the college’s majors or minors.

The COB has three majors: Accounting, Business Administration, and Economics; six concentrations: General Business, Entrepreneurship, Financial Economics, Financial Planning, Management, Marketing, Risk Management and Insurance; and seven minors; Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Management, Marketing, and Innovation. The Shepherd University Masters of Business Administration (MBA) accommodates those students looking for a graduate business education. Here again a student may opt for a general MBA or for a more specialized program in Public Administration, Health Administration or Sport Management.  This breadth of programs allows a student at Shepherd to find the level of business education that he or she feels best suits his or her needs. I encourage you to look through the University Catalog by visiting the departments linked through the menu on your left.

The program changes we have implemented over the past two years are starting to impact the curricula. For example, there are more quantitative classes than ever before. These were added at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  We now have in place multiple problem solving, financial literacy, and innovation oriented classes. In fact, going one step further, there is a new Innovation Minor available to all Shepherd students.

Why this addition of quantitative and creativity skills? There are many national surveys from Forbes, the World Economic Forum, and IDC of employers that identify these as skills employers are looking for when they look for new employees!

Another skillset we have added is based around financial literacy. The class is designed to provide an overview of definitions, techniques, and tools for the average person to navigate the day-to-day financial world. Life financial situations such as mortgages, lease versus buy, compound interest, credit management, etc. will be covered. This class FINC 250 – Financial Literacy and Well Being has also been designated as a “wellness” class and can be used to satisfy that university core requirement.

I believe that these curriculum changes demonstrate our commitment to prepare students for the future by being responsive now to the changes employers desire by building the skills employers are looking for and the skills for students to succeed in life.

Finally, we have added some changes that we hope will help students as they navigate to graduation. The Help Desk in White Hall 213 is returning for a second year. Undergraduate students may receive walk in help from MBA graduate students on any business classes they have questions about. In addition, we have added a full time advisor for our freshman and sophomore students who complements the student’s faculty advisor. This position provides students more access to dedicated advising and to help him or her work through the paperwork that always seems to come up.

How does one teach problem solving or creativity? Granted there is a lot of debate in this area, but one thing is consistent; creativity, measured by number of ideas generated,  increases when students are provided an environment wherein they are exposed to both learning creativity techniques and to applying them.  As with all things taught, we see they are learned when the learner demonstrates its use. Using an exercise from the problem solving and creativity class, below are three Wuzzles. Wuzzles are simply word puzzles created by positioning words (and sometimes symbols) in such a way as to create a phrase of saying. The left most wuzzle represents the phrase “Get your act together” as the words, “get,” and “your,” and “act,” are placed next to each other, without spaces (therefore – together) to create the phrase. I leave the other two for you. If you need help, you are welcome to come by White Hall 202 or call the front desk (304)-876.5367 to ask for hints.

Again, I encourage you to look through the majors and minors;  take advantage of lectures and presentations; talk with our faculty;  look at student groups for career networking opportunities; all, with the intent to explore topics and ideas for broadening and improving your career opportunities.

Ben Martz
Dean, College of Business
White Hall 202
Shepherd University
PO Box 5000
Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443

Tel: 304-876-5367