Newman University has named Jill Fort, Ph.D., as its new dean for the School of Business effective January 2020.
Fort is excited to begin her role as dean in a strong program that includes a fully online MBA degree that can be completed in 12 months.
“My goal is for us to be the No. 1 private School of Business in the state of Kansas and we are going to do this strategically with the future growth of our new and most recent programs,” said Fort. “With all of this new development and growth potential, I’m very blessed and excited to be offered the opportunity to join the School of Business team.”
The growth she is referring to includes two new recent undergraduate programs — business and strategic intelligence and data analytics, a revamped online undergraduate organizational leadership program and new online concentration offerings for those that are unable to attend on-ground classes by way of Newman’s Interdisciplinary Studies program.
“I am really looking forward to working with a great group of people and the possibility of pushing all the programs in our area to new heights.”
Fort began her career at Newman in 2005 as an assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and full professor in 2018. She has also served as division chair of the social sciences and humanities and the NCAA Division II faculty athletic representative.
In 2016, Fort received both the Newman University Teacher of Excellence Award and Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) Faculty of Distinction Award. She was honored with the Advisor Excellence Award in 2014 and 2017. She was also awarded an NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Fellow in 2016 and was named Heartland Conference FAR of the Year for 2018-19.
Kim Long, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said she is confident Fort will be a great addition. Long said after a recent dean search, Fort came highly recommended by the search committee for the School of Business dean position.
“Dr. Fort is a very strong, capable individual and I know that she will serve the faculty, staff and students of the school very well,” said Long. “The criminal justice program, as well as sociology, will follow Dr. Fort into the School of Business. We are excited that Fort will continue teaching within the criminal justice program part-time.”
Fort said criminal justice will fit nicely within the School of Business since it is a pre-professional degree for many careers.
“Criminal justice will be able to uniquely tag team, even as a minor, with our business data analytics and business and strategic intelligence programs,” explained Fort.
“All three of those majors — criminal justice, business and strategic intelligence or data analytics — mesh together really well. We have a lot of our criminal justice students who will find it fascinating to be able to record crime and hotspots of crime and deal with the data analytics side of it. Developing those skills will make our graduates uniquely qualified in the job market.”