Dean of Paul College resigns, looks to Congress
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 02:09
The Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics will lose its leader of the past six years come Nov. 1, 2013, as Dean Dan Innis plans to step down in order to return to the Paul College in a research and teaching role as a faculty member.
Innis joined the University of New Hampshire administration back in 2007. Since his arrival from the University of Maine – where he served as dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Economics from July 2002 until July 2007 – Innis has helped the college secure its largest gift ever, $25 million, and oversaw the building and opening of the new business school, the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.
“Ultimately, my goal has always been to improve the student experience and to develop a business college that would position graduates for personal and professional success,” Innis said in an email to Paul College students Wednesday, Sept. 18. “With the help of the great people of UNH, I think we have done just that.”
One element that has impacted Innis’ decision to step down from his post is a potential United States Congress run that he is actively exploring. According to Innis, he was approached back in July 2013 about a congressional bid – an idea that he thought, at the time, was “crazy.”
Yet as time passed and he discussed the idea with friends and family, it started to sound more reasonable.
“The more I talked to people, the less crazy it sounded,” Innis said in a phone interview.
While a decision has not been reached as to whether he will run for office, he said “it is difficult to explore a run for national office while continuing to effectively run the Paul College.”
In the mean time, Innis will be transitioning to the faculty of the Department of Hospitality Management, where he will be conducting research in addition to making occasional appearances in the classroom. The desire to interact with students was another reason why Innis has decided to step down as dean.
“I haven’t been with the students as much as I would like,” Innis said.
Provost Lisa MacFarlane will appoint an interim dean who, according to Innis’ email, “will likely be in place until next summer.” MacFarlane will also be conducting a national search to find a long-term replacement for the position. The replacement will begin work in the summer of 2014.
When approached for comment about Innis’ transition, the university pointed to comments made by MacFarlane in the Campus Journal, UNH’s faculty and staff newsletter.
“The new business college is already transforming the university’s graduate and undergraduate business education,” MacFarlane said. “It is a giant step forward for our students, allowing us to expand our capacity in business programs from 1,700 to 2,500 students. Dean Innis was an integral part of making it happen. We are grateful for his commitment to our students and for his six years of service.”
Innis was grateful for his time as dean of the Paul College, as he said that UNH is a pretty special place. His role as dean was a position where he was able to “learn a lot about being a leader.”
In his email to students, Innis also made a point to mention that his commitment to UNH will continue to be strong.
“My commitment to [the students], and to UNH, will never waver,” Innis said.