Robert D. Reid
Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
Former dean, JMU College of Business
For 16 years, the fiercest—and friendliest—champion of JMU's College of Business was Dean Robert Reid, who joined JMU in 1986 as director of the hospitality and tourism department and later headed the marketing department. Reid understood that superior business education hinged on developing both theoretical and practical aptitudes. He knew that no single discipline could be fully grasped without understanding how it related to other disciplines and that success would be elusive without a sharp acuity for interpersonal communication. When Reid became dean in 1996, he championed a class to integrate multiple components of business in one course. The 12-credit class, COB 300, merges four disciplines—finance, marketing, management and operations. Over a semester, students develop a business plan and defend it in a culminating business plan competition, which is supported and judged by members of JMU's Executive Advisory Council. Reid also instigated development of the Interpersonal Effectiveness Institute to sharpen students' critical soft skills. As a result of Reid's leadership and the relationships he cultured as dean, the reputation of JMU's College of Business skyrocketed, earning consistent rankings among the top five percent of undergraduate business programs in the nation. Today's JMU COB graduates are savvy, successful and, perhaps most telling, much sought after by Main Street and Wall Street, and every enterprise in between.
In 2012, Reid accepted a position as executive vice president and chief accreditation officer for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
"I think the change to the COB 300 model has fundamentally changed the culture of the undergraduate core curriculum from a series of courses you have to take to something that people actually sit up and pay attention to."