Search for interim dean underway after Business school dean leaves for South Carolina

Dean Joan Gabel rebranded the Business school and helped launch the execMBA program.

Less than a month before fall semester, the University of South Carolina announced that MU’s Trulaske College of Business dean Joan Gabel will become the next provost.

She’ll start the job Aug. 24, pending approval at the USC Board of Trustees meeting Aug. 7, according to a news release from USC. Gabel has served as the business school dean at MU since 2010.

“I am very proud of all we have accomplished together and I thank all involved in our success,” Gabel said in a statement. “My family and I have so enjoyed our time in Columbia and I look forward to seeing what’s next for this great institution. This is an exciting time for my family and I appreciate the outpouring of support.”

During her tenure at MU, Gabel had many achievements including securing state funding for the Applied Learning Center through the Missouri Higher Education Capital Fund.

Gabel said in an April 22 Maneater article that the Applied Learning Center will provide space for “facilitated, experiential learning and research,” including areas dedicated to the practice of entrepreneurship, real-time trading and marketing. The $22.3 million center will be built on the southeast corner of Rollins Street and Tiger Avenue.

Gabel spearheaded the “We’ll Show You” campaign, which rebranded the business school during the school’s centennial, according to her biography on the school’s website. She also developed a strategic plan, updated the BS, BA and MBA curricula and expanded diversity and inclusion opportunities.

The execMBA program and the Entrepreneurship Alliance were also launched under Gabel’s leadership, according to the biography.

MU spokesperson Mary Jo Banken said in an email that Provost Garnett Stokes will accept nominations for the interim dean this week and hopes to have an interim next week.

When announcing the appointment, USC President Harris Pastides highlighted Gabel’s success with funding the Applied Learning Center among her other accomplishments.

“As the University of South Carolina takes on greater statewide, national and global leadership roles, it is imperative that our new provost bring the advanced skills and vision necessary to keep our remarkable momentum moving forward,” Pastides said in the release. “Joan Gabel is that person. I know the Carolina family will join me in welcoming this innovative and dynamic leader to our community.”

The move will be the highest position Gabel has held. She has previously worked at Georgia State and Florida State. At Georgia State, she served as interim Director of the Institute of International Business. Later on at Florida State, Gabel was the director of International Relations and chair of the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate & Legal Studies.

At South Carolina, Gabel will oversee the 16 schools and colleges on USC's Columbia campus, the university libraries and the online campus, Palmetto College, according to the news release.

Gabel, an Atlanta native, has ties to the South Carolina area as well. Her family owns a Charleston-area coastal home, according to The State. Her husband graduated from Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina.

“We still have family in South Carolina, so in some ways this feels like a homecoming,” she said in the release.

Gabel was up against three other finalists for the job: Kate Miller, Texas A&M University’s geosciences dean; David Brennen, University of Kentucky’s law school dean; and Chaden Djalali, University of Iowa’s liberal arts dean all visited South Carolina in the past two months.

Gabel is the third dean to to leave their post since Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin became the chancellor in February 2013. Journalism school Dean, Dean Mills, announced his retirement in February 2014 and served until the new dean was named in April 2015.

The College of Engineering has been conducting a search for their new dean, a position that has been vacant since September 2014. The four finalists visited campus in April, but Stokes has yet to hire a new dean.

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