Opus College of Business sign in Minneapolis.

Former Dairy Queen CEO to head College of Business’ Center for Family Enterprise

The University of St. Thomas College of Business recently named former International Dairy Queen CEO Michael Sullivan Sr. as its new Opus Distinguished Chair for the Center for Family Enterprise.

The College of Business also announced a new academic Department of Decision Sciences that will be led by longtime St. Thomas faculty member Dr. Leigh Lawton, and introduced six new faculty members who are teaching undergraduate and graduate classes this semester.

Sullivan spent 14 years at International Dairy Queen as president and CEO. He also spent 25 years practicing business and franchise law with Minneapolis-based Gray Plant Mooty, including 10 years as the firm’s managing officer.

“Michael drives success in all avenues of business management and leadership,” said Dr. Christopher Puto, dean of the College of Business. “He will be a superb ambassador for the Center for Family Enterprise and will play a substantial role in maintaining and expanding our relationships in the business community and beyond.”

Department of Decision Sciences

The new Department of Decision Sciences will be staffed by a team of eight faculty members. Housed jointly on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, the department will work and research in conjunction with St. Thomas' newly announced Sun Center of Excellence for Integrating Information Technology and Business. At the undergraduate level, the department will offer the operations management major.

“This move completes a process that gives St. Thomas students and faculty the best technological and data comprehension and analysis tools available,” Puto said. “Students can now focus their course of study on management information systems and operations management, learning the increasingly important role that technology plays in effective management today.”

New College of Business faculty

The College of Business announced the appointment of six new faculty members:

Regina Anctil joins as an assistant professor in the Accounting Department. A Ph.D. graduate of the University of Minnesota, she is a specialist in managerial accounting in decentralized organizations and budgeting and coordination issues. She has had work published in scholarly publications including the Journal of Accounting Research.

Michael Garrison joins as a professor in the Legal Studies in Business Department. His areas of research include employment, real estate and e-commerce law as well as issues related to accountants’ liability. Garrison earned his juris doctor with distinction from the University of North Dakota School of Law and has had work published in scholarly journals including Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal.

James Heyman joins as an assistant professor in the Marketing Department. A master’s and doctoral graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, he has a research focus on consumer behavior, judgment and decision-making, and fairness and over-confidence. His most recent work is published in the journal Psychological Science, and his current research involves the social aspects of labor markets, the effects of perceived fairness on purchasing behavior, and the connection between consumer trust and brand value.

Mary Maloney joins as an instructor in the Management Department. Her research specialties focus on international and cross-cultural management, social networks, and global, virtual and cross-functional teams. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and holds a master of international affairs degree from the Columbia University School of International Affairs. Maloney has received several fellowships, including the Juran Fellowship, the Carlson School of Management Dissertation Fellowship and the McNamara Fellowship for Women.

Avinash Malshe is an assistant professor in the Marketing Department. The recipient of a presidential graduate fellowship and the Excellence in Research Award from the University of Nebraska, Malshe holds undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Bombay in India.

John Sailors joins St. Thomas as an assistant professor in the Marketing Department. Holding a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Sailors spent several years on the faculty at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor's School of Business Administration and has led marketing research initiatives in private industry. Sailors’ research specialties are in consumer behavior and marketing strategy.