University of West Georgia President Dr. Brendan Kelly and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jon Preston have named Dr. Christopher Johnson the next dean of the Richards College of Business following a nationwide search.
Currently serving as associate dean in the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida, Johnson will assume the new role on July 1 to support the university’s mission of fulfilling talent pipeline needs while contributing to the social, cultural and economic development of the university’s region and state.
“Dr. Johnson is an impressive scholar, innovator and academic leader who will advance the Richards College of Business as we remain committed to the curation of a first-choice university for all our stakeholders,” Kelly said. “He is the ideal leader to take the college to the next level by envisioning new ways the college can enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of our students and connect them directly to opportunities in the Atlanta metropolitan area and nationwide.”
As dean of the Richards College of Business, Johnson will build upon the strengths of the college’s academic programs, curate robust student-centric experiences, expand research and scholarly achievements, and engage the internal and external university community.
“I am thrilled to join the UWG community and lead the Richards College of Business in building upon its strong foundation,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and community and industry partners to continue building programs of excellence for our students and helping meet the talent and workforce needs of a growing region.”
Johnson will lead the college’s faculty and staff to promote the tradition of excellence in teaching and student success in the Richards College of Business; supervise and develop innovative academic programming within the college with an emphasis on experiential learning; and expand research, scholarship and external funding.
“Dr. Johnson is a collaborative leader who will support the Richards College of Business’ mission of transforming lives through education, engagement and experiences,” Preston said. “His talent, commitment and enthusiasm will serve our students – and business and community partners – well, and I look forward to working alongside him as he leads the college to new heights.”
Johnson will also serve as dean during the inaugural academic year for Roy Richards Sr. Hall, the new home for the Richards College of Business that is currently under construction and on track for completion before the fall semester.
“I am humbled to be part of the opening of the new, state-of-the-art Richards Hall, which will further complement the efforts of our faculty and staff in providing our students with a 21st-century business education,” Johnson said.
Preston expressed gratitude to the 12-member team of faculty, staff and local business leaders – led by Dr. Jenny Schuessler, dean of UWG’s Tanner Health System School of Nursing – who conducted the nationwide search that resulted in Johnson’s appointment alongside the Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting firm.
Having earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Alabama, Johnson has served at the University of North Florida since 2003 in various roles, including professor of economics, chair of the Department of Economics and Geography and director of accreditation and assessment in addition to his current position as associate dean.
As associate dean, Johnson has aided in the development of a master’s degree program in management and the creation of a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as guiding the college through its most recent accreditation efforts through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). He has two adult children and one teenager, and he and his wife, Jacquelyn, enjoy traveling, gardening, community outreach and spending time with their two dogs in their spare time.
The Richards College of Business, in support of its vision to become a globally recognized college of business preparing forward-thinking, responsible leaders, serves more than 2,400 of UWG’s more than 13,400 students in an array of undergraduate and graduate programs.