University of La Verne officials last week announced the appointment Ibrahim Helou as Dean of the College of Business and Public Management.
Helou has served for the past five years as associated dean to of the CBPM, and he has been a member of the ULV community for the past 15 years.
He will replace retiring CBPM Dean Gordon Badovick.
Helou said he welcomes the challenge and feels tremendously supported by the ULV family.
“One of the things I like the most is that it’s proof there is no ceiling for people on the inside,” Helou said. “There’s always an opportunity for people to go up.”
Top priorities for the CBPM, Helou said, include finishing the outcome assessment and improving the campus and college environment.
Creating a strong and more personal relationship with alumni will also give the college a better edge, Helou believes.
“Our biggest problems are the outreach activities and alumni chapters,” Helou said.
He added that he hopes to work with the science department in creating a science business camp.
The integration is an example of how Helou plans to incorporate many of the schools in the University to cohesively work together.
Unique programs to benefit the region are also a concern to address.
“For our traditional age students, we still teach business from a large corporation perspective, but most of our students don’t end up with large corporations,” Helou said.
Helou said a heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship would be a welcome change to the program.
“It will address the needs of local employers and our students,” Helou said.
The new dean hopes to take the “college from an unknown business school to one that’s on its way to becoming a dominant business college in the region.”
Associate dean of the College of Business and Public Management Rita Thakur, who chaired the search committee, said Helou’s style and achievements for the college made him a great fit for the position.
“Abe is down-to-earth and truly serves the faculty and students,” Thakur said. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.”
When taking into consideration the many candidates interviewed for the position, Helou’s qualities still stood out.
“Normally internal candidates have a disadvantage,” Thakur said.
“We had to weigh what might be viewed as a fresh perspective from talented outsiders against Dr. Abe Helou’s known contributions and his vision of the College,” said Constance Rossum, associate professor of marketing and management and a member of the search committee.
“In the end, Abe emerged as the innovative, passionate, committed challenger who had carefully thought through ways to build on the success of Dean Gordon Badovick’s work,” Rossum said.
Committee members said it was clear that Helou had the trust, love and support of the ULV community.
“I can practically say he grew up at ULV,” Thakur said.
Tiffany Vlaanderen can be reached a firstname.lastname@example.org.