UF business school director to step down, continue focus on leadership and ethics education

Dr. Brian Ray has announced that he will step down as Associate Dean and Director of the Heavener School of Business at the conclusion of the 2016 Spring semester. Dr. Ray will continue his role as a Lecturer in Leadership and Ethics, and will become Co-Director of the College’s Elizabeth B. & William F. Poe, Sr., Center for Business Ethics and Education Research.

The College is conducting a search for a new director, and Warrington Dean John Kraft said he anticipates the position to be filled in the coming weeks.

“Brian has done an exceptional job leading our undergraduate program, and we wish him well in his new role,” Dean Kraft said.

Dr. Ray, 47, has spent 20 years at the College, and the past 17 years leading its undergraduate programs. Under his leadership, the Heavener School of Business has developed into one of the nation’s top undergraduate business schools thanks to innovative programs such as:

  • Impactful career and leadership opportunities like WarringtonWelcome and the Florida Leadership Academywhere undergraduate business students focus on career exploration and develop important leadership skills.
  • Emphasizing the importance of globalization, and expanding the Heavener School’s study abroad programs to four continents.
  • Collaborating with architects, students, faculty, and staff on the design of Heavener Hall, a state-of-the-art facility for undergraduate business education.
  • Establishing a career and academic peer mentoring program whereby Heavener’s top juniors and seniors advise fellow students on internships and graduate programs.
  • Promoting the creation of more than 30 student organizations, allowing students more opportunities to attain leadership positions.
  • Implementing the requirement that all students complete an internship or study abroad program in order to graduate.
  • Implementing a professional communication requirement that ensures all undergraduates complete a business writing or public speaking course.
  • Advancing the School’s distance learning presence with the creation of an online undergraduate program that has graduated over 1,300 students since 2004.

“Helping undergraduate business students explore their passions has been extremely rewarding. It’s been an honor working alongside Heavener’s team of dedicated student services professionals,” Dr. Ray said. “Dean Kraft and Warrington’s faculty and staff have been a tremendous source of support as together we have developed an array of career and leadership programs, as well as study abroad opportunities, that are competitive with any top business school in the nation.”

Dr. Ray’s service and accomplishments have been recognized repeatedly at the school, college and university levels. Most notably, he received UF’s Mort Wolfson Faculty Service Award in 2011, which recognizes a faculty member who “exemplifies commitment to students through advising and teaching,” and was honored with the C. Arthur Sandeen Award in 2013, given to a faculty member “whose efforts and service have made UF a better place for all students.” Dr. Ray also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from FSU’s College of Education, an award that recognizes “graduates who have distinguished themselves through scholarly, creative, and humanitarian achievement and service to their profession.”

In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Ray serves as a Colonel in the Army Reserve. His current position is Command Chaplain for the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, the largest two-star command in the Army with 35,000 soldiers and 100 chaplains. He is a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, one of the Army’s most prestigious honors for company-grade officers, and the Lowry Award, presented annually to the top company-grade officer in the Florida National Guard.

Since 9/11, Dr. Ray has completed three tours of active duty with service in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait. During his most recent tour in Afghanistan he was awarded a second Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service.

Dr. Ray earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Stetson University (1991), an MBA from the University of Central Florida (1993) and a PhD & EdS in University Administration from Florida State University (1998). He also completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management Development Program (2004), and this summer will graduate with a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War Colle.

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