Relatively Speaking, A Child Shall Lead Them

August 27th, 2014 Posted in From Our Alumni

by Patty Gelb

RawskiGreg Rawski is a perfect example of how to get somewhere quickly. In fact, one could say that this Rocket has rocketed up the academic ranks.

At the age of 37, Rawski (MBA, ’00; Ph.D., ’05) is one of the youngest, if not THE youngest, dean of an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) institution in the world. Earlier this month, he was appointed Schroeder Family Dean of the School of Business at the University of Evansville in Indiana.

Rawski was promoted internally, having served as associate dean of business at the school. His enthusiasm for creating connections with students, businesses and the community, plus the innovative learning opportunities that he provides for his classes propelled him to the new post.

“I want the school to be known as a place where faculty not only improve student knowledge, but also transform their lives.” said Rawski. “At Schroeder, we are an academic family.”

Rawski’s academic career is rooted in Toledo.

Growing up in Point Place, he attended Cardinal StritchHigh School in suburban Oregon. Following high school he completed his undergraduate work at Bluffton University, studying marketing and management. He then completed his graduate studies at The University of Toledo, receiving both an MBA and a Ph.D. in Manufacturing Management.

He learned early on in his career that he wanted to become a college professor.

“I was always interested in business,” said Rawski. “But it was during my first college class when my peers were sharing their goals and dreams that I realized I had a passion to help achieve them. I knew I could bridge my business and teaching skill sets by becoming a professor.”

IMG_2257During his doctoral work at UT, he taught approximately 15 classes, primarily in operations management and statistics. Even then, it was a lot more than just the classroom work for him. It was about creating connections with students and helping them pursue their dreams. One of his classes received an award through the American Red Cross for raising thousands of dollars for the 9/11 relief effort. Other classes supported tornado victims of Fostoria, cystic fibrosis, and the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

“Anytime your class can perform a service learning project, it creates cohesion and raises the learning environment to a whole new level,” Rawski said.

Rawski knew he wanted to work for a smaller, private school where he felt he could make more of an impact. After receiving his Ph.D., he accepted a position at the University of Evansville. Some 200 applicants wanted the same job.
“I was fortunate to be selected,” he said. “I think that it came down to very strong teaching evaluations from my students at UT. I really appreciated the opportunity to work with them.”

IMG_2711His excellence in the classroom has been acknowledged many times over. He was recognized as the 2012 Exemplary Teacher of the Year among Evansville’s 180 faculty members. Rawski was also the recipient of the University’s top award for scholarship, The Sadelle and Sydney Berger Award. Other awards include the Graduate Teacher of the Year (2012), Global Scholar Award (2011), Dean’s Research Award (2010) and the Dean’s Teaching Award (2007) in the Schroeder School of Business. His faculty office was endowed by retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark and Linda Pillar. Rawski was also chosen to represent Evansville at the New American Colleges and Universities Innovation Summit.

“This recognition certainly stems from the help of my UT professors such as Dr. Dale Dwyer and Dr. Don Beeman, and of course my students,” Rawski said.

The dean also spoke highly of other faculty who helped him at UT including his dissertation advisors, Dr. William Doll and Dr. Paul Hong and his mentor, Dr. George Murnen.

A very prestigious statewide award was bestowed upon Rawski by the Governor of Indiana a few years ago. He was selected as one of 12 future leaders of the state, receiving the 2006 Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders by the Indiana Humanities Council. This award recognizes outstanding young Indiana leaders between the ages of 19 and 29 for their achievements in entrepreneurial, community, education and cultural arenas and for their commitment to Indiana.

IMG_1378Although he’s six hours away, Rawski still maintains close relationships with Toledo. He co-authors research with his dissertation advisors and sent a team of Evansville students to compete in the sixth annual Global Supply Chain Management Case Competition which UT sponsored. He also coached the North Coast Lady Rockets, a girls AAU basketball team placing over 20 girls in college over nine years and reaching the AAU nationals.

As the Schroeder Family Dean of the School of Business at the University of Evansville, Rawski looks forward to growing connections with students and regional companies.

“We have great opportunities for students here,” said Rawski. “What differentiates us is that we create a culture of innovation and really connect with our students. Teaching and research come from the head, connecting comes from the heart.”

His philosophy is working at Evansville. All of the Schroeder School of Business career outcomes and indicators are increasing. In large part because of his efforts as associate dean, their 98 percent job placement rate has gone up 24 percent in the past three years. Enrollment has grown to 260 business majors and their starting salaries have increased 14 percent from just last year. Two years ago they made their first placement with Cisco Systems the top ranked IT company in the world with a starting salary of $100,000. Today Evansville has placed four students at Cisco.

Harlaxton College “The Schroeder School is relatively small but we focus on getting to know the world,” said Rawski. “60% of our students study abroad – and at the heart of that is our British flagship campus, Harlaxton College, owned by the University of Evansville.”

Rawski has taught four international courses in England.

To help connect their students to industry, the school brings in global thought leaders. Recently they have had Steve Forbes, Colin Powell, Calvin Klein, and the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Additionally, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s) came to the school, even bringing free ice cream for everyone.

Some of Rawski’s future goals at the Schroeder School of Business are to raise undergraduate enrollment, while growing starting salaries and brand recognition.

IMG_4670He is married to his wife Lindsay, whom he met in Evansville. Together they have two children; Isabella and Jackson. A third child is due in October.

Rawski spoke with great fondness of his time at UT and the many people who touched his life while he was in school here.

“I just love what I am doing, and Toledo prepared me well for this career,” said Rawski. “I am especially thankful for that.”

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