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September 20, 2014
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Business School names interim dean

The Ithaca College School of Business has selected James Simpson, distinguished professor emeritus from the University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Business Administration, as its interim dean effective July 1. He is replacing Mary Ellen Zuckerman, who now serves as provost and vice president of academic affairs at SUNY Brockport as of July 1.

Simpson is the principal research scientist at the university’s business administration school, having retired in 2011 after a teaching and administrative career at Huntsville that began in 1990. After holding the position of chair of the Department of Management and Marketing, Simpson served as the interim dean of the College of Business Administration from 2008 to 2010, when he helped Huntsville earn reaccreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, an international recognition of excellence in business programs.

Simpson said he will help prepare students and faculty for when a team from the AACSB visits the college Sept. 28 to assess the college for reaccreditation.

“I have been and will continue for the next couple months to spend a lot of time on that,” he said. “That’s very important.”

Simpson has published his research in journals such as the International Journal of Information Management, and he has visited universities in Europe and Asia as a professor and scholar. He holds his Ph.D. in marketing and applied statistics from the University of Alabama.

He said the move from Alabama to Ithaca, a drastic change in landscape and atmosphere, happened very quickly.

“A week ago, I was fly-fishing in Idaho, and today I’m sitting in the business school,” Simpson said.

Although he has never worked at a liberal arts college before, Simpson said, his primary objective is to understand the culture and goals among the students and faculty at the college.

“In a roughly short period of time, I will have a pretty good understanding of where we are and where we need to go, and then I’ll develop a plan for moving us forward for a year,” he said.