According to the man recently named as dean of the Lutgert College of Business, Robert Beatty, “The students at Florida Gulf Coast University are writing the history of their institution.”
That is a history that Beatty will soon become a part of.
Beatty was recently chosen for the position after a national search that lasted months. His resumé includes information systems work at the Amerada Hess Corporation, project management at the Kellogg Company and 23 years in the United States Air Force.
“I spent four years in the air force after I graduated from college, and then became a reservist. I was involved in nuclear war planning,” Beatty said. “We thought we might have a nuclear war at anytime.”
While in the military Beatty worked as Special Agent and Commander for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, including counterintelligence and computer crimes. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005.
Beatty holds a Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Mississippi State University, along with a Master of Computer Systems Management from Creighton University and a Bachelor of Computer Science from Texas Christian University.
He has worked on the faculty of universities across the nation, including Northern Illinois University, Texas Christian University and Rowan University in New Jersey, where he currently works as the dean of the school of business.
Beatty is attracted to FGCU because of the administration’s commitment to “individual, social and cultural opportunities.”
“Higher education is changing so dramatically across the US and the world,” Beatty said. “It’s not a lot of schools that have such a strong vision for the future, but FGCU is poised to continue its growth. It’s newness allows it to be flexible compared to older schools.”
He is impressed with the amount of service-learning performed by the students each year, as well as the support the school has in Southwest Florida. “People who just live there part time talk about it as their hometown school.”
So what does Beatty have in store for the College of Business?
“My job is to be a servant leader to a number of people: the students, faculty, and staff. We need to be providing students with an amazing educational experience that transforms them and allows them to do what they want to do for a career.”
He wants to encourage career and research development for current faculty, and work with area businesses.
“The University has an obligation to the business leaders, the not-for-profit leaders in the community, to be an engine for economic development. Southwest Florida’s becoming an area for growth − we can see that with the relocation of the Hertz headquarters down there,” Beatty said.
“It’s a very exciting place.”
Beatty is to replace current dean, Hudson Rogers, on July 1. Rogers will be moving on to the provost position at Valdosta State University in Georgia.