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Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship in Bozeman, Montana
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Date Posted 04/02/2018
Graduate Business School -Executive-Dean
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Montana State University invites nominations and applications for an exceptional academic leader to serve as the Dean, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship. The Dean reports to the Provost and provides strategic academic leadership for the College.

Located in the beautiful Gallatin Valley community of Bozeman, Montana State University offers access to limitless outdoor recreation and extensive cultural offerings including the Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman Symphony, Bozeman Intermountain Opera, ballet and theater companies, and numerous art galleries.

In 2016, TimeOut Magazine rated Bozeman #1 on its “The 15 Best Places to Live in the U.S.” List. The website rated Bozeman as the best college town to live in. Bozeman has a vibrant high-tech community that includes biotechnology, laser, optics, and software based companies, all stimulated and maintained by MSU research and graduates. Bozeman has a population of over 37,000 (approximately 90,000 in the surrounding Gallatin Valley).

The desirability of Bozeman has created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is stronger than one would typically expect for a community of this size. In 2016, the state of Montana was recognized by the Kauffman Foundation as the “most entrepreneurial state in the country” based on the number of startups per capita. Bozeman is was rated by the Kauffman Foundation as the 9th most entrepreneurial community in the country in 2017. This strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused on science and engineering and supported by MSU students, faculty and graduates, creates a very vibrant and innovative environment on campus and within the local community.

Montana State University, the state’s land-grant institution, educates students, creates knowledge and art, and serves communities by integrating learning, discovery and engagement. The University enrolls over 16,000 students and has set enrollment records 10 times in the last 11 years. MSU prepares students to graduate equipped for careers and further education. MSU’s low student to faculty ratio means accessible professors and hands-on learning opportunities. Working alongside world-class faculty mentors, students discover new knowledge that helps to improve quality of life around the globe. This supportive and collaborative learning environment helps students succeed in competing for national and international scholarships and awards. In the past year alone, MSU students have received prestigious awards including:


  • Goldwater Scholarship (math, science & engineering)

  • Rhodes Scholarship (to study at Oxford University)

  • Marshall Scholarship (graduate school in the United Kingdom)

  • Udall Scholarship (to pursue careers in the environment)

  • Truman Scholarship (public sector service)

  • Newman Civic Fellow (public leadership)

  • Schwartzman Scholarship (to study at Tsinghua University in Beijing)

MSU is recognized nationally for its prominence in research among leading public research universities. MSU is among the top 3 percent of colleges and universities in the nation for research expenditures (typically exceeding $100 million annually). Because of its high undergraduate profile, MSU undergraduate students get opportunities to do research of national importance on a variety of topics, opportunities that would typically be reserved for graduate students at other universities. That’s one reason why MSU is a national leader in producing winners of the Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier award for undergraduates in math and science fields. MSU research has led to significant discoveries that are changing the world. MSU holds more than 250 active technology licenses. In addition, 92 patents and 35 plant variety certificates have been issued for MSU discoveries with many more pending.

MSU maintains and exceeds a variety of accreditation requirements that were designed to ensure high quality educational standards. MSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. During its most recent re-accreditation, MSU was commended for an “extremely high level of productivity and effectiveness.” In addition to national accreditation, many of MSU’s colleges, departments and programs also maintain rigorous accreditation credentials through discipline specific agencies.

Montana State University embarked upon its current strategic plan “Mountains and Minds: Learners and Leaders” in 2012. The most recent progress report for the strategic plan can be found here

Duties and Responsibilities 

Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the dean is the senior academic and administrative officer of the College, and is responsible for:

  • Leading Staff, Faculty & Students in setting strategic, operational, and financial directions for the College.

  • Developing an effective, collegial environment and plans that support excellence in teaching, research, and service.

  • Promoting the global visibility of the College’s programs, and fostering research and creativity,

  • Partnering with the University and the MSU Alumni Foundation to grow the College’s endowment.

  • Managing the College’s human, fiscal and physical resources.

  • Working closely with leaders of the business community to develop the necessary relationships to ensure that the College connects with student career development and philanthropic opportunities, and that the College is producing graduates who meet the needs of the business communities across the State and nationally.

  • Working effectively with students and faculty as well as with the alumni and other benefactors to enhance the reputation of MSU.

  • Working with other Colleges, fellow Deans and units in the University to promote interdisciplinary programs, projects and initiatives.

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills 




  • Demonstrated scholarly and/or professional achievement with distinction to merit appointment at the rank of professor (award of tenure is subject to the candidate’s overall scholarly achievement and will be made independent from appointment as dean).

  • Demonstrated experience in administration including budgetary and personnel management, as well as strategic planning.

  • Active involvement with developing external funding from private and public sources

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a wide range of constituencies.

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity and fostering an inclusive environment.

  • Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills 

  • A terminal degree in an academic field closely related to one of the College’s disciplines or professions is preferred. However, individuals with substantial business and organizational accomplishment are also encouraged to apply.

  • University wide leadership or C-suite experience.

  • Demonstrated success in developing external funding from private and public sources.

  • An understanding of, and commitment to, the mission of a land grant university.

  • Evidence of experience working across different disciplines and departments on a university campus.

  • The Successful Candidate Will 

    Position Special Requirements/Additional Information 

    This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

    Physical Demands 

    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required

    The Program 

    Bracken Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Business Education

    The Bracken Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Business Education was created in 2002 through a $3 million donation from the family and friends of Gary K. Bracken, a 1961 alumnus. The center facilitates excellence in undergraduate business education through a high quality learning environment and a resource center for business students to focus on career and internship opportunities, student club support, as well as study abroad and other international and fellowship opportunities. The Bracken Business Communications Clinic (BBCC), a part of the Bracken Center, offers one-on-one coaching by business communications professionals to improve students’ writing, speaking, interviewing, and oral presentation skills.

    Jabs Entrepreneurship Center

    In November 2001, the Montana University System Board of Regents authorized the creation of The Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West and a minor program in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. The center established a unique partnership between the College and TechRanch, a technology business incubator in Bozeman. The center moved into Reid Hall in 2010 to expand opportunities for students. Jake Jabs, who one year later made the gift described above, announced in December 2010 that he would give more than $3 million to the college. The gift was earmarked for the renamed Jabs Entrepreneurship Center.

    The Jabs Entrepreneurship Center also includes the Alderson Program for Entrepreneurship. Funded by a generous gift from Jim (1969 alumnus) and Connie Alderson, the program was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the national top 10 entrepreneur emphasis programs in 2004 and 2005.

    The Alderson Program and Jabs Entrepreneurship Center were named by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy as an Economic Development Best Practices Program national finalist in 2005. The Center for Entrepreneurship was also a finalist for EDA’s 2007 Excellence in Economic Development Award. Both the program and center have received several grants from prominent funding organizations including the Kauffman Foundation, Coleman Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Labor and Small Business Administration.

    Additional programs include:

    • Family Business Program: Established in 1994 as an outreach program, the program offers education and information to the backbone of many Montana businesses that are owned and managed by families of Montana. The program has reached out to hundreds of businesses, and honored family businesses across the state at an annual awards luncheon, usually held in the fall.

    • Orser Executive Speakers Forum: The forum is named for David B. Orser, a 1966 MSU graduate who began funding the program in 1988 to inspire business students to pursue careers as innovative, responsible and ethical business leaders. Distinguished guest speakers have included Jonathan Howlett, Director of Advertising for BBC Worldwide, Alan Rypinski, the entrepreneur who launched Armor All, Gerald Grinstein, past CEO of Delta Airlines, and Lyle Knight, President and CEO of First Interstate BancSystem and advisor to Ben Bernanke.

    • Women’s Circle of Excellence (WCOE): The program was created in the fall of 2006. In the spring of 2007, a core committee of alumni and staff hosted the WCOE’s first event, a graduation celebration for graduating female students. In 2008, the WCOE hosted its premier conference, a two-day event that coincided with the 115th anniversary of the college. The theme of the conference was “Links of a Lifetime,” which promoted existing bonds between alumni and friends and fostered opportunities to establish new ones. This conference featured national and local speakers who presented inspirational and educational sessions and events, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.

    The Department 

    The College 

    The Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship offers a Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree in business with four option areas: accounting, finance, management, and marketing. The College offers five minors: accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship and small business management, finance, and international business, as well as an 18-credit business certificate and 15-credit entrepreneurship certificate.

    The College offers a one-year Master of Professional Accountancy program (MPAc). The College is accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

    Small class sizes, a teaching and mentoring philosophy, and a distinct organizational culture enable MSU to create an experiential and personalized learning environment for students. More information about the College is available at and,


    The Mission of the College is to provide excellence in undergraduate and select graduate business education. We inspire creativity, innovation, and growth.

    To accomplish this, the College:

    • Fosters an integrated, experiential, and personalized learning environment

    • Encourages critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, effective communication, ethical decision making, social responsibility and life-long learning

    The College is committed to the teacher-scholar model in which faculty members are simultaneously engaged in teaching and research. The College provides service and outreach to its stakeholders in keeping with this aspect of the University’s land-grant mission.


    The Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship at Montana State University will provide a locally revered and nationally recognized business education for undergraduate students and in selected areas of graduate study. The programs of study will be distinguished by the personalized attention accorded to students, an integrated and contemporary curriculum, and the dedication of the faculty to creating an extraordinary classroom environment and facilitating career opportunities for graduates.

    The College is named for MSU alumnus Jake Jabs, president and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse who donated $25 million in 2011 to the university to construct a new building and enhance the College’s programs.

    Jabs Hall opened in 2015 and is a LEED Gold building designed to promote both formal and informal collaborative learning across multiple disciplines. Housing the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, the building contains classrooms, collaboration areas, unique study areas, and office spaces. The building’s layout and features intend to make the work of students, faculty, and staff transparent to encourage interdisciplinary learning and active engagement. There are 11 classrooms with south-facing windows, two computer classrooms, nine student team and conference rooms, the Risa K. Scott Collaboration Lab (a lab/studio space) for interdisciplinary classes and activity, two fireplaces and Sola Jabs Hall, Montana State University’s first third-party food vendor.

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