Dean Yelkur to take position at St. John Fisher College; Bowrin to serve as interim

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Dean of the College of Business and Management Rama Yelkur will be leaving the nest June 30 to serve as the Dean of the School of Business at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.

“The timing and opportunity prompted the job change,” Yelkur said. “It is the right time and place for my family as our daughter, our only child, goes on to high school this fall.”

In the three years Yelkur has worked at SVSU as a dean, she has played an active role in the College of Business and Management’s visibility and growth.

Yelkur led the college through its first accreditation reaffirmation through AACSB International, which she said only 35 percent of business schools in the country hold. She started the Academia Awards: Best in Business annual event to recognize regional businesses, leaders, faculty, students and alumni.

Yelkur has also been involved with the programs of distinction, the Vitito Global Leadership Institute and Cardinal Business Edge, among others.

“I hope students will remember me as a dean that was passionately committed to their success and that the Dean’s student advisory council continues to play a critical role in the matters of the college,” Yelkur said.

“(I) hope that the community will continue to remember me as the dean that brought businesses to work closely with the Business College through interactions with regional Chambers, Economic Development Corporations and Business leaders,” Yelkur added.

Special Assistant to the Dean Jaime Leyrer has been working with Yelkur for three years.

“I will remember her as a great mentor, someone who has been very supportive,” Leyrer said.

“Dean Yelkur has played a very important role for SVSU and for the heightened visibility of the College,” Leyrer added. “She is very active and present in the community and the Great Lakes Bay Region…She has done so much for us.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Huntley said she also enjoyed working with Yelkur.

“She did a lot of good work in the community raising awareness of the College of Business and Management and engaging with businesses,” Huntley said. “She did a good job ensuring that the college is well-positioned for the next AACSB accreditation cycle, a very important achievement. I wish her all the best in her new position.”

Yelkur said her favorite part of SVSU is the students, some of whom she has worked closely with through her research on Super Bowl advertising and a report on the profile of regional family business.

“The best part of both these research projects was working with students and watching them grow professionally and personally,” Yelkur said.

Associate Dean Anthony Bowrin will serve as interim dean.

“I have the utmost confidence in and respect for Dr. Bowrin,” Yelkur said. “I am delighted that he has accepted the position.”

Huntley said a national search for a new dean will begin in late summer or early fall. According to Huntley, a search team including faculty, administrators and business leaders will be formed, and the position will be advertised. The finalists will be brought on campus for formal interviews in the fall, where they will also meet with faculty, students, administration, and external stakeholders.

Yelkur said St. John Fisher College is a private institution but shares SVSU’s foundation in the liberal arts and professional schools. Also like SVSU, St. John Fisher has a cardinal as its mascot.

“It is a bitter-sweet time for me to leave SVSU,” Yelkur said. “It is with mixed feelings that I say ‘I’ll always be a Cardinal,’ really, I will.”