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Aug. 8, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab




New SRU dean ready to expand college’s reputation, expertise


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – On the job for less than two months, Kurt Schimmel, new dean of Slippery Rock University’s College of Business, Information and Social Sciences, has been spending time meeting department chairs and students and tackling a number of projects he said will move his college forward locally, nationally and internationally.

            “It’s a big job, but I’m having fun,” he said as he looked at a desk already piled high with multi-colored files to be read, sorted and filed.

            Schimmel said his focus is to on achievement of his college’s mission while enhancing its reputation across the spectrum.

            Thus far, Schimmel, who previously served as associate dean of the School of Business at Robert Morris University, said he has been getting familiar with the campus and has already begun work to complete or begin work to obtain accreditation for departments within his college.

            In his new role, Schimmel supervises the college’s 85 full- and part-time faculty and 15 staff members in the departments of communication, computer science, professional studies, safety management, criminology and criminal justice, military science and the School of Business. He also oversees SRU’s connections to the Regional Learning Alliance and the Center for Government Contracting Assistance.

            “We have also been working to get a new crime scene for our criminology and criminal justice department up and running. We are hoping the facility will meet all of the faculty’s – and students’ – needs,” he said.

            Time has also been spent reviewing the University’s recently completed strategic plan, “Reaching for 2025 and Beyond,” and seeing how the college can help meet the goals outlined in the report, Schimmel said. “We want to make sure our goals and progress are in line with the overall plan for the University”

            Specifically, Schimmel said he plans to work directly with the accreditation plan for SRU’s School of Business from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.

The new dean spent considerable time while at Robert Morris University helping develop its plan that led to a successful accreditation. His work included writing the AACSB Maintenance report for 2008-09. He also worked on revising the Robert Morris business school curriculum that eliminated 24 concentrations, majors and masters degree. The current program offers seven concentrations and four masters degrees, which align with AACSB standards.

            Schimmel said he was, “Happy to say I am here. I was looking to step up to a new level in my career, and this is a great opportunity.”

            The new dean said he enjoyed starting during the summer, which gave him an opportunity to get to know the campus, the faculty, staff and students at a time when operations are not as hectic as during the school year. “I look forward to working with faculty and bringing my experience in engaged learning environments to help the students at Slippery Rock University build a strong foundation for future careers,” he said.

            He said his strong points include cultivating relationships with various board of visitors and advisory boards, which he hopes to continue at SRU. He said he would also work to cultivate relationships with the business community, other colleges and universities and potential donors, and he expects SRU’s business lecture series to continue – and expand.

            Schimmel earn his doctorate in business administration from Cleveland State University after earning his masters in business administration in marketing and management and his bachelor of arts degree in journalism at the Duquesne University.

            In addition to his work at Robert Morris, Schimmel served as director of graduate studies at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University where he helped develop the curriculum for the integrated marking communications master degree program.

            His teaching experience includes serving as a professor, associate professor and assistant professor of marketing in the School of Business at Robert Morris University, where he designed an undergraduate e-marketing course, a graduate strategic e-commerce courses and served as adviser to more than 20 marketing students each semester. He conducted primary and secondary research for publication, served on three masters thesis committees and as adviser to Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity.

 “I am committed to providing faculty with the resources to maintain practical and academic currency and qualifications in order to enhance student academic achievement so they can have successful careers and become future leaders with integrity,” he said. “This commitment includes identifying and obtaining the financial resources and support to foster and grow streams of relevant research, as well as develop faculty through professional and academic conferences. To the fullest extent possible, I am committed to the business community, and I encourage and support faculty’s active engagement with business leaders and participation in the business community. This engagement with the business community helps faculty share applied knowledge with the students and assists in resource generation for the school.”

He was instrumental in receiving a $500,000 Massey Grant for the development of a FBLA [Future Business Leaders of America] student training and competition in sustainable business practices and a $500,000 PNC Foundation Grant to develop a trading center for the School of Business at Robert Morris. He received a $91,000 WVU distance learning, matching grant to develop an online integrated marketing communications graduate certificate program.

He has prepared numerous refereed publications, monographs and book chapters, and has offered multiple presentations in the areas of electronic commerce and service-learning

Schimmel received Merit Scholarships in 2004 and 2005 and the Highest Merit for Teaching, Research and Service honor in 2001-2003. He received the Faculty Advisor Direct Marketing Association Maxi Competition third place team award in 2000 and the first and second place team awards in 1998. He was the faculty research adviser for the American Advertising Federation, Campaign Competition in 1997, taking first place on the regional team and fifth place nationally, and he was named an American Marketing Association Doctoral Fellow in 1995.

            His college- and university-level activities include such accomplishments as serving as chair of the School of Business benchmarking committee, the board of visitors, executive council, assurance of learning committee, planning council, faculty qualification committee, undergraduate curriculum committee, interdisciplinary integration committee, mission statement committee, middle states accreditation committee, Council for Higher Education Accreditation award committee, university planning committee and new faculty forum.    

            When not behind his desk, Schimmel said he enjoys skiing and likes to exercise. “And, I love to cook and eat.”


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. -