Queen's announces Dr. Wanda Costen as Dean, Smith School of Business

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Queen’s University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane have announced the appointment of Dr. Wanda Costen as Dean, Smith School of Business for a five-year term effective July 1, 2021.

According to a release from the university, this appointment comes after a comprehensive search, chaired by Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green on behalf of the Principal which included representation and input from faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

“Dr. Costen’s appointment is an incredibly important one for the university and we are excited to welcome her to Queen’s,” says Principal Deane. “She possesses a depth and breadth of experience which includes both academic and leadership skills that will be transformative as the Smith School of Business continues to develop and enhance its reputation for business education.”

Queen's says Dr. Costen brings a unique combination of experience in academia – as a Dean, senior administrator, researcher, and professor– with both a private and public sector management career. At a time when the university is embarking upon a new strategic direction focussed on its impact on the community at a local, national and international level, Dr. Costen is the embodiment of the university’s commitment to foster human talent through the cultivation of the mind and creative spirit and in doing so, create a better world, according to the release. A goal of Queen’s and of the Smith School of Business is to prepare young people to become change makers, inspiring them with bold ambitions for a brighter future.

“Post-secondary education is essential for improving society,” said Dr. Costen. “I believe business education has a responsibility to develop talent with the capabilities and desire to address social problems, while creating economic sustainability in their communities. Our role is to create learning experiences that challenge students’ world views, biases, and beliefs to develop open-minded, courageous leaders willing to take risks for the greater good.”

Dr. Costen is currently the Dean, School of Business, at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta and previously held a senior academic leadership role at North Arizona University, and academic roles at University of Tennessee, University of Nevada, and Washington State University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in only the seventh West Point class with women. Dr. Costen went on to earn her PhD in Sociology from Washington State University as well as an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University.

Her research interests include women and leadership, strategic human resources, racial and gender inequality in organizations, managing diversity, and ethnic minority student experiences, Queen's said. Her teaching expertise includes strategy, leadership and ethics, human resource management, organizational behaviour, employment law, and diversity. In her current role as Dean, Dr. Costen has leveraged her experience as a trailblazer to assist other academics, implementing a new faculty search process to reduce bias in hiring while enhancing equity and yielding highly qualified candidates.

“After interviewing a broad range of interested candidates, Dr. Costen’s leadership skills and passion for business education and research stood out. She also has a track record of fostering funding and partnerships while building cross-campus and community collaborations,” said Provost Green.

The Principal and the Provost offer their most sincere thanks to Brenda Brouwer for her exceptional tenure as Interim Dean at Smith and extend their gratitude to the Principal’s Advisory Committee members for their dedication and service to the university.

Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com