Christopher Shook named new dean of Gordon Ford


Jeremy Chisenhall

Christopher Shook has been selected as the next dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business, Provost Terry Ballman announced in an email on Monday.

“I am grateful to the GFCB Dean Search Committee chaired by University Libraries Dean Susann deVries for their hard work and diligence throughout this process,” Ballman said in the email. “Dr. Shook is an excellent choice for the GFCB Deanship, and he is very excited about joining WKU. I would also like to thank Dr. Cathy Carey for her dedication and service as interim Dean this year.”

Shook is currently a professor of management serving as the dean for the University of Montana College of Business in Missoula. He has a doctorate in business administration from Louisiana State University and is a certified public accountant, according to Ballman’s email.


“I’m just so thrilled, and I’m honored to join the team,” Shook said. “The strategic plan really resonated with me. Caboni’s emphasis on students first really resonated with me. I’m really excited about the student demographic.”

Shook said he is well aware of WKU’s budget concerns amid the Comprehensive Academic Program Evaluation, but he is coming into the job seeing it as an opportunity.

“I know that there are challenges forthcoming, but I am confident that we can rise to meet them,” Shook said. “Higher education — the whole industry is changing dramatically and is facing challenges, but if we face those challenges and rise to the occasion and put emphasis on the students, we will succeed … students are my number one priority.”

Shook has previously discussed his passion for putting students first. He held a forum at WKU on March 15 where he was introduced as a candidate for the position, and he used the forum to talk about his “Dean for a Day” program at the University of Montana.

“I traded places with a student, I went to his or her class,” Shook said at the forum. “It was really helpful for me to put myself into their place.”

Shook also talked about his desire to maximize the value of a college education for students of the business college. His forum presentation focused on increasing the value of higher education in the business college. His primary objective is to increase benefits and decrease cost.

“The perceived value of higher education is in decline,” Shook said. “We need to tackle this perception.”

Shook will assume his duties as the new dean of the business college on July 1.

Digital Managing Editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745- 6291 and jeremy.chisenhall921@ Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.