Provost's Office: Announcing the New Dean of Opus

Executive Vice President and Provost Eddy Rojas shared the following in an email to the University of St. Thomas community on May 17, 2022.  

It’s my privilege to announce that Dr. Laura Dunham has accepted our offer to become dean of the Opus College of Business. A talented teacher, active researcher, sought-after consultant and mission-driven leader, Dr. Dunham is poised to build on Opus’ legacy of preparing highly principled, global business leaders committed to advancing the common good.

Dr. Dunham has served as associate dean of our Schulze School of Entrepreneurship since 2017. Under her leadership, the Schulze School experienced a nearly threefold increase in the percentage of incoming first-year students declaring an entrepreneurship major, tripled the number of credit hours taught within the Entrepreneurship department and tripled the number of students participating in the school's co-curricular programs. Entrepreneurship also has grown to become the fifth largest major at St. Thomas.

She partnered with major benefactors, including Dick Schulze, founder of Best Buy, and Ron Fowler, CEO of Liquid Investments, to launch or grow ground-breaking programs with national followings. These include the Schulze Innovation Scholarship, e-Fest and the Fowler Business Competitions. In her tenure, the school also went from being unranked to being recognized by the Princeton Review as the nation’s No. 23 undergraduate entrepreneurship program, the nation’s top Catholic and Minnesota’s top undergraduate entrepreneurship program.

Known for her energy and optimism, Dr. Dunham has been with St. Thomas for more than 18 years, starting as an assistant professor of entrepreneurship in 2003 and rising to associate professor in 2009 before serving as Opus faculty vice-chair, chair and department chair. Among our faculty scholars who are leading the nation in teaching and researching ethics education, Dunham is a nationally renowned and respected scholar with a recent article she co-authored appearing in the Harvard Business Review, and others in the Journal of Business Ethics and Case Research Journal.

You can read more about Dr. Dunham on the Newsroom. 

I want to extend my sincere thanks to our search committee members who spent many months on this process, which resulted in the selection of an exceptional candidate. I give special thanks to the committee co-chairs: Aaron Sackett, PhD, professor of marketing and School of Law Dean Rob Vischer.

I also ask you to join me in thanking Stefanie Lenway, Ph.D. for her leadership as dean since 2014. During her tenure, she led a strategic focus to principled leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation in the business of health care. Through a transformative redesign of our MBA programs, she’s opened new doors for the college and its students. Although Dr. Lenway is leaving her role as dean, we’re excited that she’ll continue to be part of the college as a faculty fellow for external outreach and business development on the Business in a Digital World Initiative team.