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Franck Braun joined the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in August as Dean of the College of Business, Health & Human Services.
Previously, he was Dean of the BW School of Business and Professor of Business Informatics at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and Department Head and Director of the Master of Science in Information Systems Program at Northern Kentucky. University of Highland Heights. He has held senior positions at United Dairy Farmers, TouchScreen Systems and Klosterman Baking Co.
Braun received a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Miami, an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, and a Doctorate in Management from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
You’re coming to Arkansas from Ohio. What similarities or differences have you observed in the business environment here?
One of the things that attracted me to UA Little Rock was the engagement of the central Arkansas business community. While it was also true that business leaders from Northeast Ohio were involved, I am delighted at the deep personal interest of many longtime business supporters in this university. I am very interested in deepening these relationships and cultivating new partnerships to support and enhance the social and economic well-being of the region, state and beyond.
What do you hope to accomplish as a dean?
One of my main areas of research has focused on the trend of 21st century employers to seek out innovative, creative and enterprising employees. My goal is for our educational programming to provide learners with both conceptual and practical information to improve their decision-making, creative, and problem-solving skills. I focus on our students and their learning environment. We will teach and inspire our students by showing them how to move from intention to intensity in their careers. By uplifting the college and promoting innovative partnerships across the university, region and the world, we will cultivate these students to be full and competent contributors.
What is the biggest challenge for college and how do you plan to meet it?
Professionals notice that their work environment and their sector of activity are constantly changing. Our goal is to evolve beyond the traditional business school structure representing a prescribed format towards one that embodies dynamic curriculum content and delivery models that are much more flexible for each student. The virtual classroom technology we have implemented has enhanced flexible teaching and learning methods. Students can decide on the day of the class how they want to participate.
What continuing education strategies work when people rethink their careers? How could the college react?
By leveraging our lifelong learning landscape and working with my talented teammates like Elizabeth Small, Director of Corporate Networks, we engage industry leaders to better understand their retooling needs. or the development of knowledge workers. We research current and forecasted data on the business ecosystem and create programs that will meet evolving knowledge needs. We now offer leadership training, a range of graduate programs and certificates, and practical certifications that strengthen the workforce in Arkansas. Our multi-track MBA, MSc in Information Systems and Business Analysis, and certificate programs, in particular, are catalysts for professionals looking to advance or pivot. The college has also expanded its programming and scholarship opportunities to expand access to education for lifelong learners.
How does the college strive to meet the labor needs of local businesses?
Because the digital world is changing at such a rapid pace, the skills needed for digital commerce are very different from what they were 20 years ago. To meet these professional needs, we offer a number of graduate certificates including Business Administration, Business Analysis, Business Information Systems, Financial Accounting Analysis, Human Resources, and Organizational Communication and in management.
We have also created a new Leadership Academy that provides personalized and affordable professional development training for the business sector. The Leadership Academy offers a variety of training in areas such as business decision making, people management, and communication through in-person and hybrid learning.
The college has a long heritage of industry partnerships, from our healthcare partners like Saline Memorial or CHI St. Vincent, social service partners like the Clinton School of Public Service, Baptist Health and countless nonprofits. , to business partners in almost all sectors. Interdisciplinary teams work closely with industry leaders to understand their needs, adjust our curriculum to meet those needs, and create a pool of incredibly talented and ready to work graduates.
How could you leverage your background in fintech and data analytics to ensure the success of the university?
My transdisciplinary academic and industrial experience in financial technologies, data analysis and cybersecurity gives me a unique insight into the effective application and innovative use of information and technology. As digitization continues to accelerate, it is essential that we provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need not only to be successful in today’s environment, but also to be able to sense and adapt. to ever-changing industrial landscapes.
During my career as an executive and consultant for multi-division organizations, I have defined, designed and operationalized innovative systems and strategies at the enterprise level. These strategies have met or exceeded the objectives of economic, operational and targeted market growth. I took advantage of emerging technologies, business analysis, process integration and knowledge management practices to improve strategic and operational systems.
My experience in maximizing opportunity through relationship building and organizational development will be used here at UA Little Rock for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Enrollment has been a challenge for the colleges. What role could the college play in UA Little Rock’s enrollment strategy?
The best enrollment strategy is to expand our educational landscape to an environment supporting lifelong learning that continually develops and strengthens alumni. Our learners need to know that they are well positioned for career success and that UA Little Rock is a catalyst for their continued success. Successful, engaged and awesome graduates remain supporters of UA Little Rock in their communities and workplaces. When employers hire and promote our lifelong learners, we want them to know they can expect and get more from UA Little Rock.