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Hall prepares for new academic year with new leaders, associate dean team reorganization

Hall prepares for new academic year with new leaders, associate dean team reorganization

Josh Hall is preparing for a new academic year that will signal the official start of his deanship by strategically aligning his leadership team to provide focus to core operational areas: graduate programs, undergraduate programs, outreach and innovation and research.

Hall was announced as the next Milan Puskar Dean June 16 when Javier Reyes was named as the next provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Reyes begins his next chapter at UIC Aug. 16, the same day that Hall will assume his role as dean. Reyes and Hall are working closely together to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

As part of the new associate dean team configuration, Michael Walsh will partner with Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs Rebel Smith to provide leadership to the Undergraduate Programs team, filling the position held by Graham Peace for six years. Walsh will continue to lead the Marketing Department as Chair.

Peace, who has served as faculty in the College since 2000, stepped down from his associate dean role June 30 to focus more on his health and family. He will continue to lead the MIS department as Chair.

“It has truly been an honor to lead the student mission of the Chambers College for the past six years as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs,” said Peace. “I have no doubt that Dr. Walsh and Dr. Smith will continue to lead our students into the future with heart and dedication.”

Walsh, who has grown the Marketing major exponentially over the past seven years during his time as Chair, has provided a strong focus to the student experience both in and outside of the classroom.

“I am looking forward to continuing the great work achieved by Dr. Peace and working with Dr. Smith and her team to continue the strong momentum of the Undergraduate Programs team, as they have achieved record-breaking enrollment for our business majors for the incoming class of 2021,” said Walsh. “As we move into Reynolds Hall in 2022, we have an incredible opportunity to help our business students dream bigger, learn by doing and prepare them for the jobs of the future in an innovative and collaborative space.”

Walsh will join Naomi Boyd and Virginia Franke Kleist on the associate dean team.

Kleist will continue to provide leadership to the Graduate Programs office and global initiatives. She is expanding her duties to absorb the promotion and tenure and academic affairs responsibilities previously assumed by Peace. She will also return to the research mission of the College, with a focus on supporting faculty pursuing externally-funded research.

Boyd will continue to provide leadership to the Innovation and Outreach teams, tying the strategy of the Centers to the academic mission of the College and positioning them to support our land-grant mission in ways that are measurable and impactful. She will also continue to lead the Finance department as Chair.

As Hall transitions to Milan Puskar Dean, Feng Yao will fill Hall’s previous role as Economics Chair to continue the curricular innovations begun with the 3+3 program and new online MS in Economics. Yao brings 13 years of experience to his role, including acclaimed research in theoretical and applied econometrics. 

The administrative units of Development, Strategic Communications, Strategic Initiatives and the Business Office will report directly to Hall, in addition to the academic department chairs and the academic incubator. 

Hall looks forward to the year ahead and getting to work with his team.

“Our leadership team is ready to usher in a new academic year that will be strongly focused on continuing to support our student mission and grow learning opportunities for our students as we transition into Reynolds Hall, ensuring our new building will be equipped with the right alumni and corporate partner support to make it a pillar of innovation and experiential learning, in addition to growing our external research footprint,” said Hall.  

All operational changes are effective immediately.



CONTACT: Heather Richardson

Assistant Dean for Communications, Engagement and Impact

WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics


Chambers College