New Bauer dean wants school to be ‘less isolated’
The new dean for the Bauer College of Business settled into his office July 1, months after his appointment announcement in March, and hopes to bring growth and new opportunities to the college.
Paul A. Pavlou begins his deanship with a six-month plan in which he plans to identify areas that need improvement and get to know the students, faculty and staff. This will be followed by the introduction of his five-year strategy plan early in 2020.
“I would like to bring together all the key stakeholders in the colleges, all the students, faculty, staff, friends, alumni, board members, and a very comprehensive set of stakeholders,” Pavlou said. “And try to bring them together to think collectively how we need to move forwards in terms of key priorities, areas of excellence and where we want to be at in the future.”
As a young basketball player for a national team on the small Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Pavlou received a full-ride scholarship to Rice University and was given the opportunity to come to the United States where his career blossomed.
Pavlou emphasizes the necessity to provide the same kinds of opportunities to other students who he says may “come from more modest means.”
“My life was transformed by higher education,” Pavlou said. “Specifically because of scholarships and other support I received.”
Pavlou also wants to invest more into the college and expand the educational opportunities for students.
He hopes to further the use of experiential learning techniques and wants to find more ways to prepare students for their future careers beyond traditional classroom instruction.
“I don’t want to skim down on quality and I want to compete with the very top schools in terms of providing the best education, the best training and the best preparation,” Pavlou said.
In terms of Bauer’s influence on campus, Pavlou plans on providing incentives for Bauer professors who find new ways to collaborate with other colleges on campus.
He said the most exciting projects tend to be interdisciplinary
“I would like Bauer not to be isolated; to be part of the broader university community,” Pavlou said. “There is so much to learn and interact with, and I’d like to see this broader collaboration of the broader college.”
Providing students with a high-quality learning experience is part of the goal. Pavlou wants to ensure that students are prepared for the ever changing job market and the many technological advancements that have changed the way people work.
“Having a very strong research program is very important for the college because that means you are at the cutting edge of what the industry does,” Pavlou said.“You can tell it helps students and teaches them the most cutting edge and relevant material, so I think it’s very important.”
To advance the learning potential of Bauer students, Pavlou is looking into partnerships with companies in the Houston area, including the NFL.
“The major sports organizations are looking to analytics, because they have to protect their players.” Pavlou said. “And accordingly, they want to partner with us,”
While Pavlou feels passionate about the many endeavors he plans to pursue at Bauer, he is most excited about the success of his students.
“To help students transform their lives,” Pavlou said, “give them the valuable education, the valuable degree and helping them get their high-quality job and of course, having a successful career down the line and being a proud alumnus or alumna — I think that is what we’re here for.”