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David Shields is new business dean

May 18, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A Texas educator with extensive administrative experience and a track record in developing and leading successful MBA programs has been named dean of Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business.

Dr. P. David Shields, associate dean for graduate and professional programs at the University of Houston's C.T. Bauer College of Business and professor of accountancy and taxation, will take the reins of WMU's business college Aug. 1. His appointment also includes a position as a tenured professor of accountancy.

Shields has been in his current role at Houston since 2004. His background includes a four-year post as director of the James C. and Cherie H. Flores MBA Programs and the James C. Flores Endowed Chair of MBA Studies at Louisiana State University. During his time at LSU--from 2000 to 2004--he also served as interim associate dean for academic programs and then associate dean for MBA and executive education.

"We are delighted that Dr. Shields has accepted this leadership role at WMU," said Dr. Linda Delene WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "His background includes a wonderful mix of community and business involvement, scholarship, and visionary initiatives as well as experience in administration and the strategic development of programs. These are the key leadership qualities we were seeking."

Shields earned a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, with concentrations in accounting and psychology. A Certified Public Accountant in Ohio since 1975, he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio State University.

The Ohio native says he has long been familiar with WMU and was attracted to the University by the academics, the quality of life and the potential he sees for the college to develop a national reputation and make a more substantial contribution to the business and economic development of the region.

"I want the Haworth College of Business offerings to be known as among the finest undergraduate and master's programs in business in the country," he says. "And I think the college can be a catalyst for the continuing resurgence of Southwest Michigan. We'll need the support of the local business community to become a great business school, and I believe we have a lot to offer the community in return."

Shields began his career as a staff accountant for Coopers & Lybrand, and after moving to higher education, held faculty positions at the University of Michigan, the University of Florida, Rice University, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston. He was a professor of accounting at Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management, for four years before moving to LSU.

While leading the graduate business programs at both LSU and Houston, he developed a number of new programs, including an MBA offered in both Houston and Beijing that is focused on global energy management and an executive MBA that is offered in conjunction with the Texas Medical Center and is focused on health care administration. In addition, he was the founding professor of Houston's Entrepreneurship Program, and he launched a professional MBA program at LSU.

Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan, Shields notes, are full of potential for business programs tailored to the area's strengths--entrepreneurship, pharmaceutical development and the life sciences. He says he also sees possibilities for the business college to collaborate with such diverse disciplines as engineering and the fine arts.

"I'll be spending a lot of time early on just listening carefully," Shields notes. "There's a wisdom in an organization, and my first job will be to learn that wisdom about the college and identify and articulate the strengths that already exist."

In addition to his experience in leading business education initiatives, Shields has been an active researcher and author. He was the principal investigator on a number of federally funded research projects in the area of environmental cost accounting. His work included initiatives funded by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The author of a number of professional publications, he has been a member of the editorial boards for five professional journals: Advances in Accounting, the Journal of Cost and Managerial Decision Making, Accounting Horizons, the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, and Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory. He also served as associate editor for two special issues of the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy that focused on "Accounting and the Environment."

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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