Dean of Gordon Ford to step down in June


The dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business said he will step down from his current position effective June 30.

Jeffrey Katz has been the dean for nearly seven years after starting at WKU in June 2011. He said in an email he has enjoyed spending time with students and working with the faculty and staff of the college.

“My daily interactions with our students in the hallways of Grise Hall, at the DSU for lunch and events, and through the work with our Student Advisory Council members are truly wonderful,” he said. “Also, I very much enjoy learning about all of the meaningful and important work being performed by our world-class faculty members.”

Katz came to WKU from Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration where he worked as a professor of management and served as the associate dean for graduate programs. He received his doctorate in management from the University of Florida.

Katz said being chosen as the dean of Gordon Ford was a surprise, but something he has enjoyed.

“I am very proud of the terrific students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Gordon Ford College of Business,” he said. “Together, I believe, we have created a very special place where student-focused, applied business education occurs and students are prepared for long-term career success.”

Provost David Lee said Katz will return to the business college next spring to teach in the department of management.

“Jeff has been an absolutely outstanding dean,” Lee said.

Katz said he plans to retire sometime in the next five years, but he has always wanted to return to teaching before retiring.

“Being in the classroom drew me into becoming a professor, and I look forward to returning to spending more time with our students there,” Katz said.

He will return to teaching January 2019. He said the faculty in the college have been supportive of his transition, and he does not expect to have problems transitioning back into a teaching position.

“Over the past several years, and especially over the past several days, my colleagues in that department and across our college have graciously offered their full support,” he said.

Katz is the fourth dean to leave or be eliminated from WKU this academic year.

Sam Evans, the dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, announced in August he will be retiring after 28 years at WKU. He has served as dean since 2003.

It was announced in January that Neale Chumbler, the dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has accepted a position as dean of the University of North Texas’ College of Health and Public Service. His position will start July 1.

Dennis George will no longer serve as the dean of University College because the college will be eliminated starting July 1.

News editor Emma Collins can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Emma on Twitter at @_mccain_emma_.