JMU names Mary Gowan to lead one of nation's top public business schools

by Bill Wyatt


Mary Gowan helps a female student navigate a Bloomberg business computer terminal at JMU's College of BusinessDr. Mary Gowan, an expert in human resources management, is set to lead one of the nation’s top public undergraduate business schools as the new dean of James Madison University’s College of Business.  Gowan becomes only the third female dean among the 15 top public undergraduate business schools nationally.

Gowan, the former dean and professor of management at the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University, is looking forward to the college’s continued contributions to local, regional and national business communities.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the College of Business at James Madison University,” Gowan said.  “The college is well regarded for its innovative and cutting-edge programs that are the direct result of the collaborative efforts of an excellent faculty and staff supported by the JMU administration... I am looking forward to being part of the continued upward trajectory of the college.”

With a median starting salary of $58,000 for College of Business graduates, JMU ranks among the top public business schools in the country in return on investment.  Forty percent of students have accepted an offer of employment before commencement and more than 90 percent of College of Business graduates accept full-time employment in a business field within six months of graduation.  With more than 25,000 alumni nationwide, the James Madison University College of Business counts many influential industry leaders among its graduates.

Gowan has extensive consulting and executive education experience with private and public organizations in the areas of leadership, human resources management and organizational behavior.  Her clients have included Lockheed Martin, Harris Teeter, Marriott, Sears, Bank of America, Wachovia and the cities of Charlotte, N.C. and El Paso, Texas.  Additionally, she was a professor in the executive MBA program at LG Electronics’ headquarters in South Korea.

Gowan is praised for her leadership, vision and energy.  She has received numerous awards for her teaching, research and professional service.  Her research focuses on corporate reputation and career transitions. 

JMU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jerry Benson is enthusiastic for Gowan to start her tenure.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Gowan to James Madison University.  We look forward to her dynamic leadership as she guides the College of Business to even greater accomplishments and successes.” 

Maribeth Herod (’82), a senior vice president at Bank of America and chair of the JMU College of Business Executive Advisory Council, touted the future of the college under Gowan’s leadership.  “She will do an outstanding job taking over such a successful program and leading the JMU [College of Business] to the future.  The college will benefit from her strategic vision, approach and attitude.  She is definitely JMU quality and I look forward to supporting her going forward.”

Gowan will assume her position as dean on July 1, 2013.

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Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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