Finalists share plans for the future
Posted May 9, 2008
Sher Porter
A forum was held on April 29 to interview candidates applying to the position of Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration. Describing his plans to increase popularity of the college, ULV Associate Dean and Professor of Finance Ibrahim Helou was interviewed and the other candidate, Lance A. Masters, senior vice president of SAGE Scholars was interviewed on April 28. Pictured to the left is Associate Professor of Marketing and Management Constance Rossum.

With great conviction, the final candidates for the position of dean of the College of Business and Public Management argued for their potential contributions to the Search Committee on April 28 and 29.

Both candidates, Lance A. Masters and Ibrahim Helou, expressed their individual visions for the college in two separate community forums held on campus in the Howell Board Room in the Landis Academic Center.

“I don’t apply for a position if I don’t feel that I have the tools and skills needed to make sure I fulfill that position to the utmost possible way,” Helou said.

Helou’s vision of the College is simple: first thing to come to mind when people think about ULV should be the Business school.

Prospects, in regards to the face and transformation of the college in the next few years, were keen concerns among committee members.

Issam Ghazzawi, assistant professor of management proposed the question to Helou, “How do you see the vision of the Business College in five years?”

Moderators Jack Meek, professor of public administration and Constance Rossum, associate professor of marketing and management, opened up the discussions.

Questions were raised regarding Masters’ leadership and style.

He is the current Senior Vice President of SAGE Scholars, an educational funding organization specializing in college savings and tuition planning and would feel honored to return to Southern California and bring his skills, educational experience and personality to shape the college into the leader he believes it has potential to become.

Helou, current associate dean of the College of Business and Public Management since 2003, has serviced the ULV community for 15 years.

Helou is concerned with establishing the college’s name with distinction.

“How do we differentiate ourselves?” said Ibrahim Helou, associate dean of the College of Business and Public Manage­ment.

“When we create a story to tell, we can create a school of distinction.”

Helou believes strong alumni relations will be a bridge to link the college with students to help distinguish ULV as an institution.

Fundraising success is one of many concerns the committee is taking into consideration when deciding on a candidate.

Masters’ record as two-term president at Thiel University has seen charitable support of more than $30 million and increased growth in enrollment.

As a result, under Masters’ leadership financial trends have reversed, costs have been controlled and an increase in student satisfaction and faculty compensation have been met.

He indicated a desire to work with the ULV College Advisory Board to develop fundraising capacity.

Helou’s attempts to revise the MBA or master’s degree curriculum, in response to adverse market conditions resulted in an increase of 107 to 240 international MBA students since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Helou formed alliances with U.S. language schools and traveled overseas to develop a network of recruiters in Taiwan and Thailand.

“The college goes the way the MBA goes,” Helou said. “I, Rita and Julius are responsible for this 105 percent increase in the number of International MBA students.”

Masters is eager to work with ULV because of its student diversity and he is familiar with the area since he is a graduate of UC Riverside, Claremont Graduate University and CSU San Bernardino.

He believes his experience in specialized accreditation will help ULV gain accreditation for many of its programs.

La Verne has the foundation, as a relatively small institution, to capitalize on its potential to establish a name for itself in Southern California and throughout the nation.

Each candidate has a unique and impressive track record of experience within the University and is envisioning making this dream a reality.

The College of Business and Public Management Search Committee is in the process of selecting between Masters and Helou, and will reach a decision in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the candidates anticipate the opportunity to help distinguish a name for the College of Business and Public Management and prominence to the University.

Tiffany Vlaanderen can be reached at

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