Welcome to the spring 2022 edition of the Business on the Bluff Alumni Newsletter.

This year has again been full of challenges and blessings. In that regard, I have an announcement to share, with some decidedly mixed emotions. I have been truly blessed to serve all of you, as well as our faculty, students and mission as Dean of Business for nearly 7 years (in July). This is the longest period of time I have ever chosen to serve in one position. Why did they keep me so long you may wonder? I think 7 years is probably my limit! As you may have surmised from this lead-in, I am about to depart my position as Dean, and pursue another opportunity – effective on April 1.

For those that know me best, you will know that I am a builder (aka entrepreneur) at heart, and when I am done building something, I tend to want to move on to the next challenge and calling in life. That passion started 20+ years ago when I founded and sold my first company, after that at Marquette, then in Concordia’s school of Pharmacy, and now in the Batterman School of Business. I have enjoyed
a wonderful journey, which included designing/ funding/building our new building in Mequon, naming our school, creating new programs, creating a new organizational structure and culture, further building our brand, building grant funding/research initiatives and – most importantly – building a truly incredible team and serving our students! But, all of this was possible only because of all of you, our faculty and students, our donors, and God’s grace. I want to give special thanks to Theodore (Ted) Batterman, after whom our school is named. Ted was a generous donor to our University and school, and a very successful businessman, who also embodied our values of faith coupled to a humble and entrepreneurial spirit. In this issue, you will see an article about Ted Batterman, who will live on in the hearts of our students for years to come.

While I say this is goodbye from me, that is not really accurate – as the new position I have decided to take, and have been blessed to be offered, is again at Concordia, now serving the broader university as Vice Provost for Research and Innovation. I will be responsible in this role for fostering and supporting grant funding / research and innovation / startups / tech transfer for the university. I’ll also be responsible for university think tanks and many centers, most notably the Free Enterprise Center – which is under Dr. Scott Niederjohn’s incredible leadership. With my new role, the scope of this Center will now be able to expand further to include the entire university.

I will also be responsible for creating and implementing the vision for university alternative revenue sources (i.e. non-tuition revenue), which includes corporate partnerships that produce revenue, spinout companies and student-led businesses, university investments within CU Ventures, as well as managing the Center for Simulation Innovation (CSI). Many of these initiatives fall under CU Ventures, which I hope to grow someday (with Curt Gielow) to be comparable in size and scope to our endowment, a bit like a mini-WARF (research foundation) – and a source of scholarships and grants in the future. In short, I get to build something that feels impactful for our university, our students, our faculty and our mission. In terms of the leadership transition in our school, Dr. Matt Hurtienne has agreed to serve as Interim Dean, until the position is filled.

In terms of activities and developments in our school in the last six months, there has been a lot going on, which you can read about in the pages that follow!

Our annual Liberty, Faith and Economics summit focused on civil discourse around our nation’s Covid response, as well as the impact of social media on civil discourse. Our student-led journal, Quaestus, will be publishing articles this spring about the conference and topics.

We also awarded seed funds to four impressive new student- or alumni-led startup companies, in our CU Launch pitch competition. And, we are now in the midst of our Industry Leader seminar series, as well as what we call the “Economics, Philosophy and Politics on the Bluff Series,” with speakers like Karl Rove, Mary O’Grady (from the Wall Street Journal) and Johan Norberg from the Cato Institute. This is also the year we launched the Concordia Angel Network, associated with CU Ventures, which is already investing in two CUWAA spinout companies. Finally, keep an eye out for our summer Healthcare Economic summit, hosted by the Rx Think Tank. If you have ideas for topics, please share them with me.


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