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Auburn University at Montgomery to welcome new College of Business dean

Auburn University at Montgomery to welcome new College of Business dean


Auburn University at Montgomery to welcome new College of Business dean

Auburn University at Montgomery will welcome Ross N. Dickens as its new College of Business dean in July.

Dickens, who has served as dean and professor of finance at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s College of Business and Global Affairs since August 2013, will assume the deanship on July 1.

“Dr. Dickens emerged from a strong group of finalists,” Auburn University at Montgomery Provost and Vice Chancellor Mrinal Varma said. “We were particularly impressed by his accomplishments as a scholar and a leader. Given his strong background in the area of experiential learning, Dr. Dickens will be able to create new opportunities for students and will guide the College of Business to new heights of academic excellence.”

Dickens will succeed Rhea Ingram, who will return to a faculty role after serving as dean since August 2011. Auburn University at Montgomery earned placement on the Princeton Review’s list of the “Best Business Schools of 2019, as well as recognition from U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs. AUM is among the top one percent of business schools internationally by virtue of its accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

a man wearing a suit and tie

“We appreciate Rhea Ingram’s service as dean and her efforts to improve the quality of the college’s programs during her tenure,” Varma said. “Our search committee, led by Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Sameer Pande, did a fantastic job in identifying strong candidates and in guiding our selection process.”

Dickens previously held faculty positions at the University of South Alabama, where he served as chair of the Department of Economics & Finance, and Louisiana Tech University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Presbyterian College, an MBA from the University of North Carolina and his doctorate in finance from the University of Tennessee. Before attending graduate school, Dickens worked in the banking industry, beginning with First National Bank of South Carolina and then moving to South Carolina National Bank after its purchase of FNBSC.

Dickens said he sees tremendous upside in AUM’s College of Business given its location in a state capital and its proximity to an assortment of industries and governmental entities.

“The thing that really impressed me is the size of the school and the potential given its location in a larger city market,” he said. “With Montgomery being such a vibrant area, especially with Hyundai coming in and also being so close to the Air Force base, you really have an opportunity to make yourself known and to see some of that growth come back to your college,” he said. “There’s definitely a chance to move the needle.”

A native of Atlanta who grew up in Birmingham, Dickens has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as “Contestable Markets Theory, Competition, and the United States Banking Industry.” He has served on several editorial review boards for academic journals and recently completed a term of service on the Financial Management Association’s Board of Directors.

Dickens said he and his wife, Michelle, are excited about returning “home” to a state where they have strong connections. His daughter, eldest son, mother, mother-in-law, two sisters and multiple nieces and nephews all live in Alabama.

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