Dr. Richard Skolnik has been named dean of the School of Business. A faculty member at Oswego since 1998, Skolnik was chair of the accounting, finance and law department and MBA director, and has served as interim dean since July.
"One of my main areas of focus will be external," the new dean said. "We will be bringing together local businesses and alumni with students and faculty, and creating an environment of engagement."
Skolnik's goals also include increasing diversity and global awareness among business students. A glance around his office gives a sense of his commitment to these goals. A globe sits atop his bookcase and a world atlas is handily within reach, just under a painting by a Dominican artist who is a personal friend of his.
In announcing Skolnik's appointment, Provost Susan Coultrap-McQuin praised him for his "thoughtful, collaborative leadership style." As interim dean, she noted, he engaged faculty in accreditation activities, collaborated with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations on several projects and built new connections with external groups.
"The dean can be a facilitator to bring people together for good things to happen," said Skolnik. "When local industry leaders have an opportunity to meet our students, they can offer them positions. When faculty get together with business people, there can be consulting and exchange of ideas. Alumni and potential donors will be able to hear about what activities are going on here, and further potential for development and the creation of partnerships."
Skolnik said he is excited about reaching across campus to create collaborations. As interim dean, he oversaw the launch of Oswego's five-year psychology/MBA program, and he'd like to see other such programs created that will build upon the natural strengths of Oswego.
He likes the synergy when colleagues in different disciplines come together, such as the Advertising and Promotions class, where communications students work with business students to create advertising campaigns.
Real world projects that help students practice their skills are important to Skolnik, and he'd like to increase students' interaction with alumni and industry leaders. One initiative will see industry leaders like Marcia Thompson-Young '81, managing director and CAO risk management with Citi Markets & Banking, using video conferencing to address business classes. "It's one way for our alumni to connect with students without having a huge cost of time involved with coming back to campus," he said.
Skolnik said he enjoys the interaction between alumni and students, such as he experienced when he attended this month's New York City Career Connections.
Skolnik, who worked in Malaysia at an earlier job, is passionate about international initiatives. A visiting scholar from China is on campus now doing research in accounting, and another Chinese scholar and a doctoral student from Pakistan are also scheduled to visit Oswego. The dean plans a short program in China for Oswego students as well.
"It's an incredible opportunity for our students to gain the perspective of others and provides a stronger global education for our students," he said.
The new dean is also committed to building a larger awareness for SUNY Oswego outside of the local area, whether it be internationally or in Central New York. He is "very excited" about the Metro Center and the MBA program's new focus on Syracuse. "It will raise our level of involvement in the fabric of Central New York."
Skolnik said he enjoys working with the leadership and other colleagues at the college. "I believe in Oswego's vision," he said. "I have confidence in the direction that SUNY Oswego is going."
He said he has an "enthusiasm for possibilities," and hopes to be a positive element in moving the institution forward.
A native of Michigan, Skolnik earned his bachelor's degrees at the University of Michigan, and a master's degree and doctorate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He said that the education students get at Oswego compares favorably with larger institutions.
"The amount of access to faculty is superior to larger institutions, and the mentoring our students receive is at a higher level," he said.
The new dean noted that when he travels and meets alumni around the country, he is impressed by the number of alumni who want to give back to the college, because they had such a great experience. "After launching successful careers, they want to connect with students and provide them with some of the mentoring they received here," he said.
— Michele Reed
Dr. Richard Skolnik
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