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Grand Valley names new dean of business college

  • Diana R. Lawson

Posted on January 06, 2014

Grand Valley State University Provost Gayle R. Davis has announced the appointment of Diana R. Lawson as dean of the Seidman College of Business. She replaces H. James Williams who left Grand Valley to be president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lawson is currently dean and professor of Marketing at the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She received her Master of Business Administration and Ph.D from Kent State University. She also has a master’s degree in physical education/exercise physiology from Kent State and a bachelor’s degree in physical education/sports medicine from State University of New York at Cortland.

“Diana’s thorough familiarity with business college leadership and superior understanding of the complexities of universities were qualities that made her rise to the top,” Davis said. “Her ease with people and her interest in community involvement will serve her well in her new role. She has the creativity and drive Grand Valley needs as we push our academic programming forward to meet the needs of students and businesses in our state.”  

Both President Thomas J. Haas and Davis noted Lawson’s ability to connect the community with a thriving business college as an area that set her apart from other candidates. Haas added: “I am impressed with the wealth of experience Dr. Lawson brings to the table. She has a good balance of undergraduate and graduate perspectives with a vision for relevant strategies that will help attract and retain the talent we need in Michigan. She is the right fit for Grand Valley.”

Lawson joins the Seidman College shortly after it opened a new facility in downtown Grand Rapids named after Grand Valley founder L. William Seidman in fall 2013.

“I am honored to be selected as the next dean of the Seidman College of Business,” said Lawson. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to continue advancing the rigor and relevance of programs and enhancing the college’s capacity to serve as a leader in business education regionally, nationally and beyond.”

Lawson will begin her duties July 1, 2014. Economics professor John Reifel will continue his service as interim dean until then.

The Seidman College of Business, located in the L. William Seidman Center on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus, serves more than 3,000 students with nine undergraduate and three graduate programs.

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