Dean Lenway on differentiators for the Opus College of Business brand

Shortly before beginning her new job on Aug. 1, Opus College of Business Dean Stefanie Lenway spoke with Twin Cities Business about how she intends to lead the college and connect with the Twin Cities business community.

Here is an excerpt from the article in the September 2014 edition of Twin Cities Business:

A new strategy for St. Thomas?

Lenway, 64, is a native of the San Francisco Bay area, but developed deep roots in Minnesota during her work at the Carlson School of Management.

“My goal is not to replicate Carlson, but to make St. Thomas something distinct in the market and attractive on its own merits,” Lenway says.

During the interview process for her new job, she adds that she was impressed with the breadth of the St. Thomas offerings in entrepreneurship. Best Buy founder Richard Schulze and his late wife donated $50 million to support the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.

Based on her initial analysis, Lenway notes that entrepreneurship is a differentiator for the St. Thomas business college brand.

“I think you bring entrepreneurship to health care and combine it with the university’s mission to create principled leaders,” Lenway says. “Health care needs ethics, health care needs entrepreneurship, and it’s a sector in transformation.”

She anticipates spending a good chunk of her time off-campus talking with business leaders, including those in the health-care sector.

“I’d love to connect with the Mayo Clinic,” she says. “St. Thomas also has a very strong relationship with UnitedHealthcare, which I’d like to build. That’s a start. I do think the college will have to do some careful strategic analysis to figure out what part of health care to focus on, because it’s [a] huge [field].”

In the past few years, she explains, “I have been working at Michigan State in analytics and on the IBM Watson efforts to create decision-support mechanisms for different parts of medicine like oncology.”

Former Dean Christopher Puto, in a separate interview, talked with TCB about the condition of the college.

Read the entire article at Twin Cities Business.