Markel named dean of the College of Business

The dean of the largest college of business in Alaska will be the next dean of the UCCS College of Business. Karen Markel, currently dean of the College of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage, will begin at UCCS July 6, 2020. 

“I am honored and excited to be selected to lead the college,” Markel said. “The college plays such an important role on the UCCS campus and in the business community. I look forward to continuing to build on that success in partnership with the faculty, staff and students.”

Markel has been dean since 2018 and led all college academic programs and the Institute of Social and Economics Research. She oversees 75 full-time faculty and staff that grant 12 undergraduate and three master’s degrees. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the same as UCCS, which only five percent of business schools in the world have attained. 

At UAA, Markel established student and community advisory boards, secured funding for multiple scholarships and a leadership development program, and developed and executed agreements with Memorial University of Newfoundland and The National University of Mongolia. 

Markel is chair of the University of Alaska Business Leadership Committee and was appointed by the chancellor to co-chair the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer search committee. She is also a member of the task force for the development of a doctorate in leadership. Markel is a board member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, and is an honorary commander at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. 

Markel was previously at Oakland University of Rochester, Michigan, from 2001 through 2018. She was chair of the Department of Management and Marketing for her final six years. Markel oversaw a department with three majors and six minors for undergraduate students and was active within the college’s administrative team that developed and implemented criteria for a new faculty merit system. 

Markel was also faculty director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Programs at Oakland from 2010-13. She led a team of staff responsible for undergraduate academic advising and the ACHIEVE program for business and career exploration and readiness. She secured new donor-supported funding to create a business scholars program and increased the efficiency of undergraduate business program advising. 

“Karen has the leadership experience as a current dean and a proven record of working closely with the business community that I believe will set her up well for success at UCCS,” said Provost Tom Christensen. “She has a strong history of collaboration within her college, across a university and with other organizations that will make her a natural fit on campus.” 

Christensen also expressed his thanks to the search committee: 

  • Greg Augspurger, instructor of information systems, College of Business 
  • Jill Bradley-Geist, associate professor of management, College of Business 
  • Robin Bredl, financial program manager, College of Business 
  • Spencer Harris, assistant professor of sport management, College of Business 
  • Shonda Johnson, transfer credit specialist, Degree Audit and Transfer Credit 
  • Martin Key, assistant professor of digital strategy and marketing, College of Business 
  • James Ma, associate professor of information systems, College of Business 
  • Brian McAllister, associate professor of accounting, College of Business 
  • Mark Paquette, principal program coordinator for Career Development Center, College of Business 
  • George Reed, dean of the School of Public Affairs (search chair) 
  • Blaise Sonnier, professor of accounting and chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance, College of Business 
  • Elissa Unger, associate director of development, University Advancement 
  • Don Warrick, professor of leadership and organization change, College of Business 

The committee received support from Kara Carragher, business and human resources professional for the College of Business. 

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA and distance MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accounting degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit

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