Christopher Puto announced Wednesday, May 9, that he will remain dean of the OPUS College of Business until a suitable replacement is found.
Christopher Puto announced Wednesday, May 9, he will remain dean of the OPUS College of Business until a suitable replacement is found. (Courtesy of St. Thomas)
Puto announced earlier this year he would be stepping down effective June 30. However, the Rev. Dennis Dease, St. Thomas president, asked if Puto could stick around.
“I’m honored to have been asked, and I’m delighted to be able to say ‘yes,’” Puto said. “How can you say ‘no’ to Father Dease?”
Puto has played a major role in transforming the business school during his nearly 10 years as dean. One of his greatest accomplishments was the accreditation from the Associate to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools achieve.
Along with the accreditation, Puto combined the graduate and undergraduate divisions into the College of Business, established a full-time MBA program, opened Schulze and McNeely halls and revitalized the Family Business Center.
Sophomore Clara Cott said she has enjoyed her experience at the business school while Puto has been dean.
“I’m glad he’s staying around,” she said. “I really like the business school so far, so I think it would be good for him to do that.”
Sophomore Russell Esguerra said that he is thankful for what Puto has done to transform the business school.
“I like the opportunities that come with graduating from the Opus College of Business, being one of the only private schools being nationally accredited,” Esguerra said.
Puto said over the next year the school will focus on building a stronger connection within the business community and expanding on those connections. He said he is looking forward to engaging with the student body and is excited to see St. Thomas continue to grow.
“I committed to Father (Dease) that I will stay as long as it takes to find the individual that the university is happy with to be my successor,” he said.
Kristopher Jobe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.