By Sean Callahan, News Editor
Dr. Gary Quinlivan has been the Dean of the McKenna School of Business at Saint Vincent College since 2001. He has taught as a professor at SVC since 1981. However, upon the conclusion of the 2022 spring semester, Quinlivan announced his retirement from the position of Dean.
Dr. Michael Urick, Professor of Management and Operational Excellence, started as the new Dean of the McKenna School of Business at SVC on July 1. Urick has been teaching at SVC since 2012. Although the position change has been eventful and bumpy for Urick–in part due to more new faculty and staff members also learning their duties–he is grateful for Quinlivan’s help in transitioning to Dean and is passionate about his new role.
“Over the summer I wondered if this was the right choice. But once the students came, I saw how my role as Dean could impact them, and it made my job feel worth it,” Urick said. “It made it clear to me that this is a service-oriented role, one that I’m glad to have accepted.”
Urick emphasized service over status for his outlook on his role as a dean. He wishes for students to be successful, heard, and to gain a good education. Additionally, he explained the importance of collaboration, and how he has consulted staff and faculty members in the McKenna School individually and listened to their needs. According to Urick, it is conversation that led to the successful implementation of new ideas.
“We have to respond to changes. We can’t just do things because they’ve worked before. We have to think about new ways of reaching students,” Urick said.
In regard to new ideas, Urick cited face-to-face and online course format changes, gaining employer insight on skills needed from students, and new program ideas that are responsive to student needs as examples.
When asked about new programs and opportunities, Urick revealed that a new Operational Excellence Lab will be opening in 2023, on the first floor of Aurelius Hall. Rather than just talking about operational excellence tools in the classroom, students now have the opportunity to engage in hands-on experience because of the lab.
He also expressed excitement for a search for new faculty members to add on to an “already phenomenal” employee list, and the increased social media presence of the McKenna school on different platforms such as Instagram. While he appreciates the recognition SVC as a whole receives due to icons such as Fred Rogers or the Pittsburgh Steelers, he is persistent in the belief that there is more to the college that should be highlighted.
“We are so much more. We have a phenomenal education here at SVC. I want to make sure we get word out about the quality we can provide to students,” Urick said.
Urick said that if he had to give one piece of advice to any student, it would be to never rule anything out. He recalled his own previous experiences, shifting from accounting to human resources, to academia, to returning to SVC as a professor, and now becoming a dean.
“You never know where life is going to lead you. It’s about being open to possibilities and being open to things you might be unsure of,” Urick said.