Eakins steps down as College of Business dean

Dr. Stanley G. Eakins will step down as the College of Business dean after eight years in the role. (Photo credit: ECU News Services)

After serving as dean for more than six years, Dr. Stanley G. Eakins will step down as the College of Business leader June 30. Prior to being named dean in 2012, Eakins served as interim dean starting in 2010.

Dr. Paul Schwager will serve as the college’s interim dean beginning July 1. Schwager is currently the college’s associate dean.

Chancellor Cecil Staton praised Eakins’ direction of one of the university’s largest colleges.

“Under Dean Eakins’ leadership, the College of Business has prepared our students to become the entrepreneurs and business executives who will contribute mightily in whatever role they might play, whether locally, regionally or nationally,” said Staton. “Stan has been an inspirational leader for the university, the college, our alumni and most of all, to our students.

Before being named dean, Eakins served as the college’s associate dean for six years. Before that appointment, he served as chair of the department of finance.

“I’m very proud to have been at the College of Business during a time of extraordinary and exhilarating change,” said Eakins. “The college has worked hard to give our students an engaged learning experience where they can take what they’ve learned, starting with their freshman year, and make an impact on the community.”

“Our team of outstanding chairs, directors and staff are unsurpassed,” added Eakins. “Their commitment makes this place hum.”

Eakins came to ECU in 1990 after receiving his doctorate from Arizona State University. Before focusing on his academic career, he worked in the commercial space as a bank vice president and served as a chief financial officer for a multimillion-dollar construction and development company.

He’s also the author of several textbooks that are currently in use worldwide.

Building Leaders

Under Eakins’ guidance, the college turned its purpose to building leaders “that inspire, innovate, create and positively impact society.” He was instrumental in implementing the college’s Leadership & Professional Development Program, which teaches students 21st-century skills such as professionalism, leadership and communication in addition to the nuts and bolts of business.

Another focus of Eakins’ tenure as dean was entrepreneurship. The Miller School of Entrepreneurship was established in 2015 under his leadership and serves as a regional core for preparing students to take an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset into their communities.

Mark Copeland, a member of the college’s business advisory council and the southwest region transaction advisory services leader for accounting firm EY, was a student of Eakins in 1993, and over the years has spent significant time with him.

He described his former professor as a “strong mentor and partner that brings the best out of his students, faculty, staff and alumni.” He added that watching Eakins grow as a leader has been very rewarding.

“Whether building trusting relationships with alumni, donors, students, faculty or staff, Dean Eakins is 100-percent dedicated to ensuring the best outcome for each of these stakeholders,” said Copeland, who is also a member of the ECU board of trustees. “A productive leader will leave an organization in a better position than what was originally presented. In all areas, Dean Eakins has achieved and exceeded this goal.”

Eakins plans to return to teaching in 2019, as well as focus more on writing textbooks. Outside of ECU, he hopes to increase his travels with his wife, Laurie, who is an instructor in the college’s management information systems department.

As far as stepping down, Eakins said it’s a good time to do it.

“The team that is in place now is unmatched,” said Eakins. “The college is in very strong hands.”

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