December 10, 2022

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

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Laura Dunham, an entrepreneur-turned-professor, has been named dean of the Opus Faculty of Small business at the College of St. Thomas, the 2nd-premier business faculty in Minnesota.

Dunham for the past 5 several years has been affiliate dean in demand of the Schulze College of Entrepreneurship in just the small business university. She succeeds Stefanie Lenway, who led the Opus Faculty of Company because 2014.

“The Opus College desires an entrepreneurial chief, who will proceed to build a lifestyle of innovation in all corners of the school,” Lenway reported in a statement. “Laura is this entrepreneurial leader with deep working experience generating applications in the Schulze College that have acquired national recognition.”

With Dunham at the helm, the Schulze College grew nearly three moments in sizing as calculated by the selection of majoring pupils and all round credit rating hours taught. Entrepreneurship is now the fifth-largest significant at the College of St. Thomas.

In that time, the Schulze School went from unranked to No. 23 on the Princeton Review’s listing of undergraduate entrepreneurship packages. Dunham aims for St. Thomas to be amongst the major-rated Catholic small business educational facilities.

“We have a really fantastic college and team who are devoted to educating our students and supporting our community,” Dunham mentioned in an interview. “What is good about the rankings is that they let folks know about our operate.”

Dunham joined St. Thomas 19 many years in the past following co-founding a studio theater as a younger grownup. She helped develop interdisciplinary encounters at the St. Paul-based college, which include a workshop for first-year learners that matches, for occasion, engineering learners with finance majors on jobs.

Dunham labored with some of the university’s prime benefactors, including Ideal Invest in founder Dick Schulze and Liquid Investments CEO Ron Fowler, to develop 4 enterprise competitions that reward pupils with scholarships and seed capital.

A lot more lately, she helped the Schulze University acquire relationships with the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Financial Development Middle and other individuals to produce a lot more possibilities for future college students and small business leaders of coloration in Minnesota. As a final result, Opus University started to entice a extra diverse pool of candidates to scholarship plans and boost school range.

“We are seriously fully commited to building an surroundings that attracts a far more various set of pupils,” Dunham stated. She pointed out that the Twin Metropolitan areas location, like a great deal of the place, faces a scarcity of talent and a inhabitants that is more and more various.

“We will need to make absolutely sure everyone is obtaining entry to instructional prospects,” she explained. “It is really a moral imperative and an financial crucial.”

Lenway will keep on being at the Opus University, becoming a faculty fellow in its Small business in a Digital World initiative.

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