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Meet Erica Wagner, Ahlbrandt Professor & Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs
Meet Erica Wagner, Ahlbrandt Professor & Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs

The School of Business is excited to welcome Erica Wagner as the new associate dean of undergraduate programs while her predecessor, Jeanne Enders, has transitioned into her new role directing online business programs at the School. Erica's expertise in change implementation and her dedication to teaching position her well to lead the School during pivotal times in the higher education landscape. We recently took some time to get to know Erica...

Congratulations on joining the School of Business as associate dean. What does this mean for the School?

Thank you. I have been at PSU in the School of Business for four years as a faculty member and so what that means for the associate dean role is that I have enough of an understanding of School of Business culture to be effective. However, I have not been here so long as to believe that the way we do things here, is the only, or best way of working. The School of Business has a history of wonderful associate deans and I hope to continue that tradition.

What do you hope to bring to this position and to the School from your areas of expertise?

My areas of professional expertise include higher education change management, implementation and use of software and accounting. Over the past 10 years I have also studied teaching pedagogies. I have a deep interest in undergraduate education as being a transformative experience. It changed my life and I know that the School of Business changes the lives of many students. My blend of budgetary awareness and deep respect for higher education helps me to straddle the seemingly disparate perspectives found in administration and academic programs. We are forming a task force to redesign the undergraduate curriculum and are looking to launch a marketing campaign that will connect with Portlanders. We are also working hard at creating a quality online undergraduate degree program which launches this fall.

What do you love most about the School of Business at PSU?

The people!

In which areas do you think we have the most potential to grow?

It is time to update our undergraduate programs to be in line with the new standards from the AACSB who are the accrediting body for business education.

What’s something you’d like students to know about you?

Don't let other people define your limits and find mentors. I started at community college and changed my major a number of times. In high school the nuns told me I wasn't smart enough to go to college. I earned my PhD from the London School of Economics and my fist faculty position was at an Ivy League university.

If you can have any other job, what would it be and why?

I would be a full-time writer. I have always loved to read and to express myself with the written word. Or maybe I would make jewelry on a beach in Brazil.