Dean of Cameron School of Business brings unique life experiences to leadership role
The new dean of the University of St. Thomas Cameron School of Business took an unexpected path to leading the esteemed school. Originally from South India, Dr. Beena George spent time as a stay-at-home mom before rising through the academic ranks to become the fourth dean of the school and the first woman to hold the post. She also brings firsthand knowledge to conversations about her specialties of outsourcing and marketing to the underprivileged customer.
George has taught at St. Thomas for 10 years. As the associate dean of the Cameron School, she contributed to the school’s elite accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Less than five percent of schools worldwide have earned this distinguished hallmark of excellence in management education.
George is the oldest of five daughters, born into a Catholic family in India that stressed the importance of education. Her father is an engineer; her mother has graduate degrees in sociology and social work. And, like George, her sisters have all gone on to earn advanced degrees — in the fields of psychology, engineering, economics and literature.
George graduated from the Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata, India. She received her doctorate in Management Information Systems from the business school at the University of Houston.
Dr. Dominic Aquila, vice president for Academic Affairs at UST, said, “The entire university celebrates Dr. George's appointment, as evidenced by the thunderous applause she received when UST President Dr. Robert Ivany made the announcement…I have worked closely with Dr. George on a range of projects. She does all things well and inspires those who work with her by her work ethic, sharp intellect, joyful spirit and affability. She is exactly the right person to take the Cameron School of Business to a new level of excellence.”
With her background in information systems and outsourcing management, George brings a distinctive perspective and vision to the business school. To achieve the objectives of growth and quality assurance, George has identified three priorities for the Cameron School of Business: She hopes the school will continue to develop and maintain a strong community of learners, where all students are encouraged and supported to achieve their best. The Cameron School of Business will create innovative programs that support the school’s mission and meet the needs of the communities it serves. The faculty will continue their intellectual work to advance ideas that have an impact on practice and address Buy Viagra both business and development challenges.
“As we complete activities in support of these priorities, we will see continued success in educating students to be strong leaders, making ethical decisions that result in business success and sustainability,” George said. While she is excited about her new leadership role, George will continue to teach. “Teaching keeps me in touch with the students and helps me stay in tune with what the faculty is facing,” she said.
George teaches courses on business strategy and the use and management of information technology resources in organizations. In her classes, students are encouraged to share their experiences in the business world, connecting in-class learning with real-life events. Her course on sourcing management was awarded the Innovations in Information Systems Education award by the Association of Information Systems, the premier academic association in the information systems discipline. The course is also recognized by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals as a bridge program for training for certification as a Certified Outsourcing Professional. With her involvement in the IAOP, George has helped put CSB on the map with the IAOP as an Academic Alliance Partner.
George also has a keen interest in “the bottom of the pyramid” theory.
“Millions of people around the world live at the “bottom of the pyramid,” earning less than $1,500 per year,” said George. “To market to these individuals you have to think differently.
“We are developing leaders with critical thinking skills, who will address challenges in an informed and thoughtful manner. As a business school in a Catholic liberal arts university, we want to prepare students to make meaningful contributions to business and society.”
George encourages her students to study abroad to see the world’s challenges for themselves. In 2006 and 2008, she took students to India. During the 2008 program, the students visited a school that had just 100 books in its library. The students returned to Houston wanting to do something to change the situation.
“Seeing those disparities changes students’ way of thinking,” said George. “I love how UST students are ready and open to tackling these types of opportunities.”
George has been married to Kurian, a pharmacist at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, for 29 years. They have three children — two are UST graduates and the third is a senior at UST. When she’s not working or taking care of her family, George volunteers at St. Laurence Catholic Church in Sugar Land.
Beverly Denver is the editor and publisher of Houston Woman Magazine.
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