Two experienced West Virginia University administrators will take the lead in the key areas of business education and innovation for the University, following today’s (June 16) announcement that Milan Puskar Dean of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and Vice President for Start-up West Virginia Javier Reyes will become provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Reyes’ appointment begins Aug. 16, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
“I want to thank Dean Reyes for the energy, vision and leadership he has brought to his tenure here at West Virginia University,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “We are now uniquely positioned to continue building upon his efforts to transform how we think, how we work and how we improve our economy across the state.”
Joshua Hall, associate dean for research and economics department chair in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, will serve as Milan Puskar dean for a two-year term, effective Aug. 16. Hall is an expert in regional economics and institutional analysis, an award-winning professor and experienced academic leader.
“Dr. Hall is a hard-working, creative and authentic leader with an outstanding academic record,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said. “He is well regarded by his faculty colleagues, and I’m confident he will provide the Chambers College with strong and steady leadership during this time.”
In addition to his dual associate dean and department chair roles, Hall is a tenured professor and alumnus of the Chambers College, earning his doctorate in Economics in 2007. He returned to WVU and the Chambers College in 2013 as an associate professor of economics. He has served in a number of administrative roles, including directing the Center for Free Enterprise and Academic Leadership Fellow in 2018-2019.
During his time as department chair of economics, Hall started the online MS in Economics degree geared to state and local economic policy, a 3 + 3 program with the WVU College of Law, giving qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to earn their bachelor's degree and law degree in six years instead of seven years. He also increased the number of economics majors and minors.
Hall is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on state and local public finance, economic freedom, economics of education and the teaching of economics. He is author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and editor or co-editor of over a dozen books.
“I am truly honored to serve as the Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College,” Hall said. “When I came to WVU for my doctorate, I was able to experience first-hand the University’s commitment to its students, the state and the business community. When I returned as a faculty member, I was struck with how much the College had grown in scope, research and stature while never losing its focus on students, the state and the West Virginia business community. The trajectory of the College has accelerated tremendously under Dean Reyes’ leadership, and I look forward to working with our students, faculty, staff and alumni to continue the success of the College and fulfill the expectations of a business school at an R1 institution.”
In addition to his role as dean of the Chambers College, Reyes also played an integral in the University’s job creation and innovation efforts as the vice president for Start-up West Virginia. Retired Adjutant General Jim Hoyer, who previously began work with the University in January, will take on a new role as a vice president effective Aug. 16, working on the start-up activities previously led by Reyes.
In his role at the University, Hoyer will continue to assist Gov. Jim Justice and the Joint Interagency Task Force on pandemic response efforts, as well as working directly with Gee and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop on efforts relating to start-up activities, job creation and the continued development of strategic partnerships at the University, for the benefit of the University and the State.
“West Virginia and the University are in a key position to expand opportunities and leverage its assets to bring new jobs and prosperity to our citizens,” Hoyer commented. “I am excited to help play a part in executing a plan to achieve our potential, working with President Gee and the rest of the team of experts across the University.”
“Jim Hoyer is known for his integrity, creativity, capability and his love for the State,” Alsop noted. “We are lucky to have him, and I look forward to continuing to work with the General, President Gee and other University experts to continue to make progress at our University and in our State.”
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