MISSOULA – The University of Montana has named Christopher Shook the new dean of the School of Business Administration. Shook will succeed SoBA Dean Larry Gianchetta, who will retire in June after 41 years at UM.
Shook most recently served as Russell Professor of Management in the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University and previously served as chair of Auburn’s Department of Management. He also has served as the director of Auburn’s Central and Eastern European Studies Program since 2004 and was director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship from 2008 to 2011. Shook will assume his new role at UM by Aug. 1.
“I am so pleased to welcome Chris to UM,” said UM President Royce Engstrom. “He brings a wealth of experience and achievements, and will lead UM’s top-notch business school to even greater heights. We had an outstanding pool of candidates, and I applaud the search committee members for their hard work throughout the process.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the School of Business Administration at the University of Montana,” Shook said. “The strong foundation of programs, people, funding and facilities, built by Dean Larry Gianchetta and the School of Business Administration faculty, were just a few of the things that drew me to this opportunity. The support of the business community and alumni and friends was another. I am particularly grateful for the generosity of Mark Burnham, Eric Sprunk and their families in endowing the dean’s position.
“When I visited campus, the sense of excitement for SoBA’s future was palpable, and I am looking forward to strengthening and building on the foundation by working with other units on campus, the local, state and national business communities, and alumni and friends.”
Shook has actively sought out international opportunities for himself and his students, with stints at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Pau and ESCEM School of Business and Management in France, and the Academy of Economic Studies in Romania. He has practiced as a CPA, and served as senior associate editor for the Journal of Management. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Northern Colorado. He earned an MBA from the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. in business administration from Louisiana State University.
“Moving to Montana seems like a homecoming of sorts,” Shook said. “I grew up in a small rural community in Colorado where my family has owned a ranch for over a hundred years. It is very exciting for me to be moving back ‘home’ to the West.”
Shook will assume his position at an exciting time for SoBA. This past semester, its students scored in between the 92nd and 95th percentile on the Business Major Field Test. Recent figures show Class of 2015 accounting graduates earned the best scores in the state on the national licensure exam. The Board of Regents just approved a new Master of Science in business analytics and the program will enroll its first students this fall. The school recently awarded a record 147 scholarships totaling more than $386,000 at the annual scholarship banquet. That same week, participants in the John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge received over $50,000 in awards. And earlier this month, the school celebrated the opening of Harold and Priscilla Gilkey Building.