By: Cory William Berlekamp
A new semester brings new leadership to the College of Business.
At the start of the spring semester, Dr. C. Damon Osborne assumed the position of Interim Dean for the College of Business at the University of Findlay after Dr. Kevin Renshler’s sudden resignation from the position. In doing so, Osborne has taken on the responsibility for overseeing the administration until a permanent dean is hired.
At one point an interim dean as well, Renshler was hired as acting dean of Findlay in December 2015. After two years, he made the decision to leave the University with notice given halfway through fall semester.
UF Professor Dr. Yaseen Alhaj-Yaseen says he is not sure of Renshler’s reasons for leaving. “If you ask me to pinpoint that reason, I don’t know why but it is my understanding that it was personal,” said Alhaj-Yaseen. “I respect that his decision he did not share with others.”
Yaseen is the Assistant Professor of Finance and the Director of Graduate Programs for the College of Business at the University. After coming to Findlay in 2014, he has been here for the entire time that Renshler was acting dean.
“When you see what he did to the undergrad program, when you see what he had in mind for the MBA program,” Yaseen said, “I think he did a very, very good job sending us on a track that will lead, in the long run, to success. There is no doubt about it.”
Back in 2015 when Renshler was hired, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Darin Fields, expressed his enthusiasm about the new addition to the program in a Findlay Newsroom article.
“Dr. Renshler is an excellent choice for long term leadership of the College of Business,” said Fields. “Working with our dedicated faculty and staff, he will bring a strong sense of urgency and innovation to our programs, and an approach centered on student success at every level.”
Although Renshler’s departure was considered sudden by many of his colleagues, Dr. Osborne is ready to fill the position until the University finds a permanent dean. Osborne trusts in the faculty of the College of Business to be hands on during that time.
“There are already strong leaders in this area so I can come in and do a lot of the day to day administration,” Osborne said. “The College of Business right now is working on assessment in the programs and that is right in my wheel house as an education faculty member and a former dean for that, I am willing to step up to the plate for challenges like that.”
Osborne has a Ph. D in Education, a M.S. in Education and a Bachelors’ in Music Education. Along with being the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Osborne accepted the position but does not wish to follow in the footsteps of Renshler in becoming the full-time dean.
“When Dr. Renshler left at the end of the semester, Dr. Fields asked me if I’d be willing to step in to this role in an interim basis,” Osborne said. “We are looking at this semester, maybe the end of the summer until we can formalize a plan to do a serious search like we do for all of the colleges for deans like that.”
He expresses the seriousness in hiring a new dean and the steps that the school goes through in doing so. There are interviews and meetings that are attended by Dr. Fields, Dr. Osborne, and faculty from the College of Business. The applicant must then be approved by the President of the University of Findlay Katherine Fell and the Board of Trustees.
“The person that you hire is the person that will be the coach, the team leader of that whole college and they set the tone,” said Osborne. “You must make sure that you get somebody that can fit with University of Findlay, with the College of Business and fit with the faculty, it is a challenge.”