As Connecticut overhauls its public college and university governance with an eye on better preparing students and furnishing employers with a better pipeline of talent, there may be no more important cohort than the deans charged with aligning their institutions with those needs.
From the new Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University’s emerging North Haven campus, to Norwalk Community College, to a city in north Cameroon, the Fairfield County Business Journal examines the work of a few key players working to foster outside connections inside the campus walls.
Dr. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University’s Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine cleared two key hurdles, with the Connecticut Board of Education approving a license for the new school, and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) granting it preliminary accreditation.
The Netter School of Medicine plans to matriculate its first class of 60 students next fall in North Haven, with a focus on cranking out primary care physicians who will hang their shingles in Connecticut.
Dr. Bruce Koeppen is founding dean of what will be Connecticut’s third medical school after Yale University and the University of Connecticut, with Koeppen previously dean of academic affairs at the UConn School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of Chicago and also holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois.
Koeppen is also tasked with forming clinical partners, with his first major deal with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.
As early as February 2011, Koeppen was looking ahead to the day Quinnipiac would clear the some 140 standards under which LCME grants preliminary accreditation.
“As they move through the curriculum, the LCME will be keeping a close watch to ensure that everything goes smoothly,” Koeppen told “The Hour” broadcast by Central Connecticut State University. “When that first class graduates – we’re now looking out at 2017 – then the school is eligible for full accreditation. It’s only when that first class graduates.
“I have actually been involved with accreditation of medical schools for over 20 years,” Koeppen added. “I have done site visits of medical schools, including three of the new medical schools that have started up in the past couple of years. So I feel very comfortable in knowing what needs to be done.”
David Levinson, president, Norwalk Community College
No dean here – rather, president of one of the largest community colleges in Connecticut – but David Levinson is swiftly becoming a figure mapping out the collegiate paths for students through Connecticut’s public education system. After Gov. Dannel P. Malloy hired Robert Kennedy last year to lead the new Connecticut Board of Regents, Kennedy in turn appointed Levinson as vice president for community colleges.
Levinson has led NCC since 2004 and organized a capital campaign for the school’s new Science, Health and Wellness Center. He is currently serving a three-year term as a commissioner of the New England Association of Schools and College’s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, the regional accrediting body. Among other organizations, he is a director of the Connecticut Campus Compact, the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, and The Workplace Inc., southwest Connecticut’s workforce investment board based in Bridgeport.
Levinson is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, and holds a master’s and Ph.D. degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
As he crafts a better pipeline for Connecticut companies, Levinson is getting experience in the trenches even while pursuing his regent work.
“Last fall … I taught a college-level freshman seminar course that was conjoined to a college-level technology literacy class and a developmental English course,” Levinson recalled while testifying earlier to the higher education committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. “The three faculty members, myself included, had a common syllabi … in one another’s classes and showed great consistency to the 18 students that were enrolled. And what emerged from that was a very powerful cohort model where the students provided tremendous support to one another.”
John Chalykoff, dean, Welch College of Business, Sacred Heart University
The Massachusetts transplant Chalykoff takes the reins of a Sacred Heart University (SHU) college named for a rather more-famous Massachusetts man who sojourned awhile in Fairfield County – former General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch, for whom SHU named its business school.
Chalykoff previously was an associate dean at Boston University, where he oversaw undergraduate and graduate programs, admissions, and the career center at BU’s School of Management. His BU research interests have included privacy issues in e-commerce and the implications for higher education of the “knowledge economy.”
He holds a doctorate in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College.
Among other efforts at BU, Chalykoff organized an international case competition for business school students, with the Welch College similarly in recent years looking to bolster its own entrepreneurship and business studies through student competitions and other means.
“One you do this year after year … a buzz develops,” Chalykoff said in a 2010 interview discussing the BU case competition. “They’re going to slog through 24 hours. It’s a challenge that they haven’t done before, so they’re really excited about it.”
Lloyd Gibson, dean of the University of Bridgeport School of Business
Not to be outdone by its neighbor a few miles north, the University of Bridgeport School of Business is working to expand its own entrepreneurship programs under Lloyd Gibson, its new dean and a onetime community bank CEO.
Most recently, Gibson was dean of education at Stratford University in Falls Church, Va. Prior to that, he was director of the MBA program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., where he led a center for entrepreneurship while teaching the subject along with management, strategy and quantitative methods.
Before moving to academia, Gibson worked for 28 years in the banking industry, including 14 years as CEO of three different community banks, most recently New Asia Bancorp in Chicago, which was acquired by Cathay General Bancorp.
Gibson holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in information systems and communications from Robert Morris University.
“Dr. Gibson’s experience as a CEO and as a dean and director at two other universities – particularly his success in the area of innovative entrepreneurial programs – makes him an ideal choice to lead our dramatic expansion of the business school,” said Neil Salonen, president of the University of Bridgeport, in a statement published by the school. “We are strengthening its focus on workplace preparedness, and we will be hiring a number of new faculty members and initiating programs under his leadership.”
Bill Taylor, associate dean, Fairfield University School of Engineering
If Fairfield University is best known for its Jesuit traditions with its intellectual rigor and missionary heritage, the school had a prominent standard bearer this year on both fronts in Bill Taylor, associate dean of the School of Engineering.
Taylor was back on campus to welcome students for the fall semester, having recently completed an eight-month mission aboard to help the Catholic University of Cameroon-Bamenda get its own engineering school up and running.
Even more extraordinary, the over 60-year-old Taylor undertook the trip on a Fulbright Scholarship, one of just about 40 nationally to win the scholarship to perform engineering projects abroad.
The school’s disciplines include mechanical, electrical, civil, and agricultural engineering, as well as petroleum and chemical engineering. Taylor was one of just two to hold the rank of full professor in his tenure in Cameroon, of 16 engineering school instructors and lecturers in all.
Before arriving at Fairfield University eight years ago, Taylor chaired the electrical engineering course of study at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and previously was director of the School of Mathematical Sciences and Engineering at New Mexico Highlands University. He holds a doctorate from the University of California, Davis in biomedical engineering.
“This is wonderful to have (the Fulbright) at this point in my life,” Taylor said on the eve of his trip, as quoted by Fairfield University. “We have a house waiting for us in Bamenda and I’ll need it for the 200 pounds of books I’ve shipped over there.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.