Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gayle R. Davis announced that longtime economics professor John Reifel will take over as interim dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, effective February 1. Reifel is taking over for H. James Williams, who is leaving to become president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Williams’ last day is January 31.
Reifel earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree and doctorate from Michigan State University. He came to Grand Valley in 1971. He earned the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1996, as voted by his Seidman colleagues. He is a member of the American Economics Association and the Ferrysburg Planning Commission. Reifel also served as interim dean for the Seidman College in 2003 before Williams was hired.
“Professor Reifel has the academic background, the knowledge of Grand Valley and the right experience to serve as interim dean of Seidman College,” Davis said. “We are opening a magnificent new facility for the business college in May, and John is the right person to lead us during this exciting transition. Grand Valley’s Seidman College of Business is nationally recognized, and we know we are poised to serve our students even better in this new building and with our dynamic faculty.”
Davis said a national search will be conducted for a permanent replacement for Williams over the course of the next year.
The new L. William Seidman Center will open May 6. The center is named for Bill Seidman, founding chair of Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees and former FDIC chair. The center will support the college’s growing reputation as one of the premier business schools in the Midwest. In its 40-year history, the Seidman College of Business has grown from 145 students to more than 3,000.
For more information, contact the Seidman College of Business at (616) 331-7100.