UNCG Campus Weekly

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Dean Weeks to Step Down in 2011

050510Feature1_WeeksDr. James K. Weeks, who has served since 1990 as the dean of the Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG, will step down from that position at the end of the next academic year.

Under Weeks’ leadership as dean, the Bryan School has expanded international activity, added six new degree programs, established research centers and increased its endowment sixfold to more than $24 million. Of the more than 19,000 alumni of the school, roughly half received their degrees during his tenure as dean.

“Many of you have heard me introduce myself over the past 20 years by saying that I have the privilege and pleasure of serving as dean of the Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics,” Weeks told an April 30 meeting of faculty and staff. “It has been a great honor to be dean of the school named after Mr. Bryan and to lead a dedicated team of faculty and staff taking this school to higher levels of excellence.”

He has not decided what he will do after he steps down. “I’m in the very early stages of exploring what the next chapter of my professional life will be. I’m not closing the door on any opportunity to make a difference,” he said.

During his tenure as dean, the school began offering bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship, international business and marketing; a master’s degree in information management and technology; and doctorates in economics and information systems.

In addition, two Bryan School research centers – the Center for Business and Economic Research and the McDowell Center for Global Information Technology Management – and the university-wide North Carolina Center for Entrepreneurship were established.

“Jim Weeks is an institution. He is part of the fabric of UNCG and of the Greensboro community,” said UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “Jim served on the search committee that recommended me for the chancellor’s position – in that capacity he represented the academic deans and conveyed in very persuasive terms the mutually supportive relationship between this university and the community.”

“Jim will be missed. We will search for someone to succeed him, but no one will be able to replace him.”

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin will appoint a search committee of faculty, students, alumni, university administrators and local businesspeople early in the fall semester to find the Bryan School’s next dean.

Weeks joined UNCG as an assistant professor of operations management in 1976 and was promoted through the faculty ranks to professor in 1988. Prior to becoming the dean, he served as associate dean and director of the MBA Program.

He led the effort to earn international accreditation by the premier accrediting agency for business schools, the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Initial accreditation was earned in 1982 and has been maintained ever since. The most recent accreditation review, completed in April, recognized the continuous improvement and excellence of programs throughout the business school.

“Jim Weeks has been the face of the Bryan School for two decades, and his leadership has been transformational,” Perrin said. “The highly successful re-accreditation this year by the AACSB is testimony to the quality of the academic programs and student experiences developed under Jim’s leadership.”

The average tenure for a business school dean is five years, according to AACSB International. The length of Weeks’ tenure as dean is a tribute to his success, said Jim Melvin, president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation.

“Jim has done a great job as dean,” Melvin said. “Not only has he done a great job with the school, he’s been a significant player in the region’s economic development. You couldn’t ask for more. I think Mr. Bryan would be extremely pleased with his service.”

The globalization of the school includes an undergraduate degree in international business studies and bi-lateral agreements for student and faculty exchanges and articulations with degree programs with business schools across the globe.

That expansion of international programs reflects Weeks’ shrewd leadership, said Sue Cole, an MBA alumna and Bryan School Distinguished Alumni Award winner. His easygoing demeanor can sometimes mask his fierce devotion, she said.

“He has a true passion for his students, for his faculty and for his school. He’s engaging. He’s got a twinkle in his eye, so you can’t help but smile when you talk to him,” said Cole, a principal with Granville Capital Inc.

To better connect with alumni, Weeks initiated the Bryan School Alumni Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award, and led fundraising efforts in two capital campaigns for the school.

Jim Morgan, a High Point attorney and chair of the Bryan School’s Business Advisory Board, praised Weeks’ contribution to the local economy, citing research the school has conducted for economic development organizations related to the region’s industry clusters.

“We’ve been so blessed to have him here because of his accessibility,” Morgan said. “He’s well-connected, listens very carefully and helps the business community. I hope whoever follows him is in that same mold. He’s been a vital supporter of our economic development in the Piedmont Triad.”

Weeks, 64, has published numerous articles and a book and has been recognized nationally for his research in operations management. He has consulted with major corporations and has conducted numerous seminars and management development programs throughout the nation for a variety of universities and business organizations.

Weeks has served his profession at the international level as an advisor, mentor and peer reviewer for numerous U.S. and non-U.S. business schools. He serves on the AACSB International Maintenance of Accreditation Committee. He is also a member of the board of governors for Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.

Throughout his career, Weeks has been an active member of local business, economic, educational, civic and religious organizations. He serves as a member of the Moses Cone Health Systems Board of Trustees, and on advisory councils and boards of several closely held regional business firms including Biscuitville Inc., Brady Trane and Samet Corporation.

A native of Fayetteville, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Methodist University, an MBA from East Carolina University and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.