In the business of building community

College of Business names new dean

New College of Business dean, Sean Rogers, aims to make URI’s college the lead business school in Rhode Island. PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Peirson | Contributing Photographer

Sean Edmond Rogers will take up the position of dean of the College of Business starting June 4.

Rogers, who currently serves as the University’s vice president of Community, Equity and Diversity, wants to continue his efforts to create an inclusive community within the College of Business.

“Any work we do in the College of Business needs to be welcoming and inclusive for all students,” Rogers said. “We want to make sure we are serving everyone deserving of a business education and that they are not feeling excluded from internship opportunities, career opportunities or opportunities to learn about topics or participate in certain discussions.”

In this new role, Rogers wants to ensure the shift is not an individualistic effort, but a community decision that includes students, faculty and alumni.

“It’s very important to get in, talk to the students, talk to the faculty and staff, talk to our supporters, our stakeholders, our alums, and understand what’s working well and what are some areas that we need to improve but that has to be a collaborative effort,” Rogers said.

It is still very early in the process as far as concrete plans, but Michael Patatanes, a third-year innovation and entrepreneurship major provided insight into what he’s looking for in the new era of the college.

“I would like the College of Business to organize more events where the students can formally meet the dean and introduce themselves,” Patatanes said. “This would allow the students to be more comfortable in their college and be able to speak up when needed.”

Additionally, Cassie Hill, a third-year marketing and finance major enjoys her classes but is looking for more support in the internship department.

“With the new dean, it would be amazing if there could be new programs to help students find internships,” Hill said. “Although we have a career fair, it would be cool to have a co-op program as well.”

According to Rogers, the College of Business is at a pivotal place for improvement, celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

“I want to solidify the College of Business as the leader of business education in the state of Rhode Island,” Rogers said.

In the future, Rogers wants to push the University to be a leader in the northeast, especially among public universities.

Hill noted that there are a lot of strengths currently in the college that she wants to see continued.

“I like the variety of classes that cover all different topics within business that are related to the major,” Hill said. “I also like how we have so many experienced professors that are willing to give advice about their past careers.”

The new collaborative efforts in the business school will aim to keep what works and make improvements that benefit all groups involved, according to Rogers. He wants to keep the program well-respected so it can set precedents for nearby schools in the future as well, and that students having an active voice in their academic experience is important in preparing them for a career in business.