July 25, 2009 8:57:00 PM
Dr. William "Bill" Mayfield has joined Mississippi University for Women as dean of the School of Professional Studies. This comes as a result of combining the College of Business and Legal Studies and Culinary Arts Institute.
Merging the two entities is an idea the university has considered since 2007 when an external consultant made the recommendation, according to Dr. Joyce M. Hunt, former interim dean of the College of Business and Legal Studies.
"All programs in the new school are professional programs with very specific job-related skills as a part of the curriculum," she said.
Two of the programs have external validation of the quality of its programs, faculty and resources. Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and Legal Studies is approved by the American Bar Association. The Culinary Arts Institute is seeking accreditation through the American Culinary Federation. In order for this to occur, the culinary program must have a student-run restaurant that is open to the public.
"Having these professional degree programs together to work collaboratively on areas like student learning outcomes, assessment, accountability and strategic planning makes the process a much more manageable and productive effort," she said.
Hunt added both business and culinary offer an entrepreneurship concentration.
"Working together to achieve common goals, to better utilize resources for similar programs and to collaborate on speakers would be a natural development in this new union. In addition, utilizing the Women''s Center for Entrepreneurship as a critical learning element is essential for all the programs housed within the school -- especially business and culinary."
Mayfield assumed his duties on July 1.
He said, "I''m very pleased to be a part of The W. Creating the new School of Professional Studies is challenging and exciting. Our faculty, our community, and most importantly, our students are the beneficiaries of the new opportunities that will be derived from the synergistic combination of the business, legal studies and culinary arts programs."
Prior to joining MUW, he served as the dean of the College of Business at Indiana Tech University and dean of the School of Business at East Central University. In these roles, he implemented strategic plans, developed new curricula, worked with program accreditation and created innovative faculty-development programs. In addition, Dr. Mayfield has served as president and CEO of a small manufacturing company.