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Dean's Message

Business Education: Reimagined


The official naming of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University is a tremendous advancement in our realization of business education for the future. It is evidence of our commitment, our passion and our purpose to reimagine how business education is provided to students and the indelible future imprint they will put on the business world. How? Because at the Chambers College, we do things differently.

We have arrived at the future through the visionary portals of two renowned alumni: John Chambers, for whom our school is named and the former chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems; and Robert L. “Bob” Reynolds, president and CEO of multinational companies Putnam Investments, Great-West Financial and Great-West Lifeco U.S., Inc. These two WVU business school alumni have enabled the creation of a business school where innovation and real-life opportunities abound; where experiential environments and academic connectivity thrive; and where our identity is defined in the information economy.

We are differentiating ourselves in the way we deliver innovative business education, which will also be reflected in our new, state-of-the-art structure on WVU’s Downtown Campus. We are transforming the business landscape because we are building a business school that will be a simulation of the business world. This transformation started more than two years ago, and encompasses who we are with whom we aspire to be. Thus, what will set us apart is combining our WVU identity with the bold, innovative distinctions of John Chambers. 

While we are a flagship institution, we will think exponentially and take risks. We are land-grant, and we will create our own wave of innovation and startups in this digital economy. We are one of only 114 of the highest research activity universities in the nation, and we will dream the big dream. The innovative momentum that the Chambers name brings will further enable our business school to drive WVU, our state, our nation and our world into uncharted business and economic territory on the power of doing things differently. That is why we continue to build an environment where innovation can thrive, and where we continue our momentum and discovery into new frontiers. We will foster a start-up culture because we want to create businesses and take risks. We want to create our own moon shots.

The manner in which we deliver business education and the tools we use to deliver it will have an exceptional impact on our students, an impact that will be seen and measured in the opportunities to which those students are exposed. The idea that students will learn in an atmosphere where functional and empowered academic instruction is galvanized by education through interaction with real-world industry. This is our passion, our purpose. This approach will propel the John Chambers College of Business & Economics to unprecedented heights in business education and provide previously unimagined opportunity.

While our College was originally called the College of Commerce upon its founding in 1951 and changed to the College of Business and Economics in 1972, our business school now takes a substantial turn in its history as it takes its new name. John Chambers has seen incredible success, never forgotten his West Virginia roots, propels himself and others with a unique and positive energy, and looks to fuel the future with innovation and forward thinking. It will be our everyday goal to mimic those characteristics, and to aspire to be a leader in business education in the Digital Age.
I invite you to join us in celebrating the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, and to be a part of something special. This is business education — reimagined. Mountaineers Go First.

Javier A. Reyes,
Milan Puskar Dean