TOPEKA ― Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the University of Kansas School of Business, met with Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Pat George today in Topeka to discuss the Kansas economy and how the School of Business can contribute to the state's economic development goals.
It was the first-ever meeting between the two officials, who covered various topics related to economic development. Much of the discussion focused on the state's key industries – including engineering, professional services, energy and the life sciences – and KU's crucial role in preparing students for careers in those fields. The two also discussed the Bioscience and Technology Business Center at KU, which includes two business incubators in Lawrence and a third at the KU Medical Center; opportunities for future partnerships; and how KU can help drive entrepreneurism and job creation in Kansas.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to discuss ways in which the University of Kansas School of Business and the State of Kansas can make a coordinated effort for the Kansas economy," Bendapudi said. "Our school plays a vital role in educating the next generation of business leaders. We also contribute to economic development through our programs in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. It is a pleasure to meet with Secretary George to discuss ways in which KU can help create a more prosperous Kansas."
"The Brownback Administration has placed a strong emphasis on working more cooperatively with higher education institutions across the state, especially in regards to economic and workforce development," George said. "Kansas has many priorities that involve the KU community, and Dean Bendapudi and I had a good discussion about the best ways to work together to meet our shared goals."
Today's meeting was the latest leg of a summer-long whirlwind of appointments for the new dean. Since arriving in Lawrence in Aug., Bendapudi has visited with numerous School of Business faculty and staff, as well as university officials, business leaders, alumni and donors from throughout the state. Next week, she travels to Wichita and Tulsa, Okla., to meet with alumni and business leaders, including QuikTrip president and CEO Chet Cadieux.
Bendapudi took over as dean on Aug. 1, returning to KU where she earned her doctorate in marketing in 1994. Bendapudi has been a professor of marketing at Ohio State University. She has also served as chief customer officer and executive vice president at Huntington National Bank. Bendapudi began her time at Ohio State as an assistant professor in 1996, before becoming an associate professor in 2002. Previously, she was an assistant professor of marketing at Texas A&M University.
KU's School of Business is one of only 177 schools with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation for its school and its accounting program. The school is home to 54 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 56 staff and has an operating budget of $18.6 million. The school consists of four academic areas – finance, economics and decision sciences; accounting and information systems; marketing, entrepreneurship and law; and management – with an enrollment of more than 1,000 undergraduates, 581 master's students and 34 doctoral students. For details, visit www.business.ku.edu.