It’s been a busy year! We’ve said farewell to Dr. Mitzi Montoya, who was named provost and executive vice president of Washington State University, a move advancing her career of leadership in higher education. We wish her the best in her new leadership role. The college has welcomed Dr. Jim Coakley into the interim dean role while the university conducts a national search for a new dean.

Coakley brings nearly three decades of experience as an administrator and professor, and a much longer commitment to OSU, having arrived as a teenager right out of high school to complete his undergraduate degree. He graduated in 1970 after studying mathematics and the relatively new computer science option.

Coakley returned to OSU after 20 years in the United States Air Force, serving as a fighter pilot, flight instructor, and many administrative positions including two tours in the Pentagon. While in the Air Force, he earned both an MBA and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

In addition to his teaching, Coakley served on the executive team as associate dean for academic programs, leading the college through curricular changes and responding to the needs of industry, and a number of noteworthy accomplishments.

  • 1,081 students received an undergraduate business degree in June 2019, a 50% increase from four years ago. After we eliminated professional school, streamlined degree programs, and removed obstacles for admissions, undergraduate student enrollment grew 24%.
  • Our seniors, the Class of 2020, enter the fourth year of Blueprint, our 12-course series on professional development, career advising and financial literacy. They are the first class to fully experience this award-winning curriculum model focused on the college-to-career transition.
  • Our part-time MBA program improved by 44 slots in the US News and World Report rankings. It’s now 57th in the nation and the No. 1 part-time program in Oregon.
  • InnovationX, the Center of Excellence for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, had 51 business teams last year representing nine colleges. 35% of teams had a female founder, and 41% were led by students of color – noteworthy achievements in the entrepreneurship community.

We are very excited for what the next will bring, and the challenges and opportunities we’ll embrace together as a college and a community.