June 8, 2023

Silicon Business

Business 500

St. Thomas taps entrepreneurship chief as next dean of Opus College of Business


Laura Dunham, an entrepreneur-turned-professor, has been named dean of the Opus Higher education of Small business at the University of St. Thomas, the next-most significant business college or university in Minnesota.

Dunham for the final 5 many years has been associate dean in cost of the Schulze College of Entrepreneurship in just the business enterprise higher education. She succeeds Stefanie Lenway, who led the Opus University of Organization since 2014.

“The Opus College or university desires an entrepreneurial chief, who will proceed to create a culture of innovation in all corners of the faculty,” Lenway explained in a assertion. “Laura is this entrepreneurial chief with deep working experience building plans in the Schulze School that have received national recognition.”

With Dunham at the helm, the Schulze College grew practically three moments in sizing as measured by the range of majoring students and general credit rating several hours taught. Entrepreneurship is now the fifth-premier significant at the College of St. Thomas.

In that time, the Schulze College went from unranked to No. 23 on the Princeton Review’s listing of undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. Dunham aims for St. Thomas to be amid the leading-rated Catholic business faculties.

“We have a definitely wonderful school and employees who are committed to educating our college students and supporting our neighborhood,” Dunham stated in an interview. “What is actually wonderful about the rankings is that they enable individuals know about our do the job.”

Dunham joined St. Thomas 19 decades ago soon after co-founding a studio theater as a younger adult. She assisted develop interdisciplinary encounters at the St. Paul-based college, including a workshop for initially-yr college students that matches, for occasion, engineering pupils with finance majors on projects.

Dunham worked with some of the university’s major benefactors, including Ideal Buy founder Dick Schulze and Liquid Investments CEO Ron Fowler, to build 4 business enterprise competitions that reward pupils with scholarships and seed money.

A lot more not too long ago, she helped the Schulze College develop associations with the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Economic Development Heart and other people to produce far more options for prospective learners and business leaders of color in Minnesota. As a outcome, Opus School commenced to attract a much more diverse pool of candidates to scholarship plans and maximize school variety.

“We are definitely fully commited to building an setting that appeals to a much more varied set of students,” Dunham explained. She pointed out that the Twin Cities area, like much of the nation, faces a shortage of expertise and a populace that is increasingly diverse.

“We have to have to make absolutely sure most people is getting entry to academic opportunities,” she mentioned. “It is a moral crucial and an financial vital.”

Lenway will keep on being at the Opus Faculty, turning into a school fellow in its Company in a Digital Entire world initiative.


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