The Dean Speaks

Dean Craig Van SLykeWelcome!

I vividly remember the exact moment I knew I wanted to be Dean of The W. A. Franke College of Business. Somewhere in the middle of my campus interview visit, I met with about a dozen FCB students. During our visit I asked the students why they chose NAU and FCB. The students grew animated and started excitedly telling me why they love FCB. One young lady grew so excited she began bouncing up and down in her chair–literally. At that moment, I knew. I wanted to be FCB’s next Dean. An environment students love so much is the place for me!

Whether through academic programs or co- and extra-curricular activities, FCB’s faculty and staff dedicate themselves to making a difference in the lives of our students and of those in our community. Please join us in our quest to make the difference that matters.

Craig Van Slyke, Ph.D.
Dean, The W. A. Franke College of Business


The difference that matters

I learned that one of NAU’s slogans is “The difference that matters.” As I found out more about FCB I concluded that this is not a mere slogan. FCB’s culture sits on a foundation of concern for student success, as these examples demonstrate.

  • The newly-launched Business Leadership Program helps students develop their professionalism and leadership skills through activities including mentoring relationships with business leaders.
  • The Pathways to Professional Leadership program includes seminars, workshops, and lectures that help students find academic and career success.
  • The Professionalism Recognition Program allows students to distinguish themselves by participating in development activities and receiving evaluations from FCB faculty and staff.
  • HRM students complete at least 1,200 hours of hospitality-related work experience while earning their degree, helping them get their careers off to a running start.
  • Business students apply their knowledge by creating a business plan in BizBlock. Business leaders evaluate and provide feedback on their plan.
  • The Hospitality Management Lab lets HRM students gain first-hand experience with up-to-date guest management and lodging operations computer systems.
  • The Business Communication Center helps students hone their verbal and written communication skills.
  • The Career Development Office prepares students for their career search through a variety of services including workshops, internships, and the Executive Job Shadow program.

Even our buildings reflect a student focus:

  • Out of the LEED Gold certified FCB building’s 111,000 square feet, 33,000 is dedicated to non-classroom student space.
  • A dozen technology-rich “front porches” sit at the FCB building’s classroom entrances.
  • The FCB building boasts 18 student breakout spaces complementing two student lounges and a café.
  • The newly-renovated HRM East building includes a state-of-the art demonstration kitchen and beverage lab as well as the “Fireplace Room” and patio where students can relax (or study!).

FCB also makes a difference in the community. The Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center houses groups that provide analysis, training and development services, including the Center for American Indian Economic Development, the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center, and the Arizona Rural Policy Institute. The Computer Training Center offers numerous technology-related workshops while the Road Scholar program offers lifelong learning programs throughout the Southwest.

As featured in Flagstaff Business News

Full articles in original format and later featured in Flagstaff Business News HERE.

LinkTrac for Dean Craig Van Slyke's articles in the Flagstaff & Sedona Business News HERE.

LinkTrac for articles about The W. A. Franke College of Business in the Flagstaff & Sedona Business News HERE.

Monthly Articles:

NAU Values Veteran Students, March 23, 2014 "...As an Army brat (during his 20+ years in the Army, my father served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam), it made me proud that NAU and the state of Arizona take seriously serving those who served their country. NAU has a long history of serving our military service members and veterans..." Full article HERE.

The Cage of Assumptions, March 3, 2014 "Recently I was reading an interesting book (Stoic Pragmatism) by John Lachs, a leading proponent of practical philosophy. Lachs stated, “If you take a bird out of its cage, it will resist. If you open the door to the cage, on the other hand, it will find its way out and try its wings.” ...his quote made me think of the cages we construct around ourselves. Many of the bars that make up our self-inflicted cage come from our assumptions about ourselves, others and the world around us..." Full article HERE.

Making Sense of the World, December 24, 2013 "... So here we have three very smart individuals, in different fields of endeavor, who lived centuries apart (Cicero was assassinated in 43 B.C.), all valuing reflection. I don’t know about you, but that makes me think reflection might be important..." Full article HERE.

Leading Your Emotions, November 20, 2013 "... I wrote about emotional contagion (when the emotions of one person influence those of others). At the end of that column, I mentioned that leaders should develop the ability to regulate their emotions, which is this month’s topic..." Full article HERE.

Contrary Voices, October 6, 2013 "... Leaders should understand both sides of an issue to evaluate their own opinions. Effective leaders make a habit of questioning and testing their own assumptions and biases; they seek out and listen to contrary voices..." Full article HERE.

Keep Calm and Lead On, September 23, 2013 "...the incident led me to reflect on how a leader’s attitude can influence those of her/his followers. Whether you realize it or not, your moods and emotions influence the moods and emotions of those around you...." Full article HERE.

Successfully Managing Workplace Conflict, July 15, 2013 "...we’ll cover how to deal with conflict. Let’s get started with a story of a conflicted team with four members: Pat, Dallas, Jamie and Drew. During a team meeting, there was disagreement over a key issue..." Full article HERE.

Understanding Conflict, June 29, 2013 "We’ve all experienced it: a team that just can’t get anything done. Team members disagree constantly, they argue, things get personal. Lots of meetings, endless disagreement, hurt feelings and no results. Conflict is a fact of life. Here’s the thing about conflict: it’s not always bad...." Full article HERE.

Building Trust, May 2013,  "Although we make initial trustworthiness assessments when meeting someone for the first time, we’ll focus on long-term trust in leader-subordinate relationships..." Full article HERE.

Benefits of Trust-Based Leadership, April 2013, "When followers trust their leader, good things happen for the followers, for the leader and for the organization. Let’s take a pragmatic view and focus on benefits for the organization...." Full article HERE.

Trust Based Leadership, March 18, 2013, discusses trust as the most important resource for effective leadership. "During battle, why do soldiers look to the crusty sergeant for leadership rather than turning to the green lieutenant? Trust." Full article HERE.

Leadership Through Persuasion, February 26, 2013, discusses the path to "leadersip bliss" is through persuasion. Full article HERE.

Leading Through Empathy, January 14, 2013, discusses how empathy, thought of as "touchy-feely" interactions, is a deeper form of understanding. "Empathy goes beyond understanding by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, in order to understand what she feels...and enhances your skill at dealing with people according to their emotional reactions. Full article HERE.

Becoming a Leader, December 6, 2012, discusses leadership and brings attention to the FCB's Business Leadership Program (BLP). (For more information on the BLP, click HERE.) For the full story, click HERE.

Other Articles:

Contrary Voices, Written by Dean Craig Van Slyke, posted on October 6, 2013

"..In the spirit of listening to a variety of opinions, from 9 a.m. until noon on Thursday, Nov. 7, Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center, which is a division of The W.A. Franke College of Business, will hold its 38th Annual Economic Outlook Conference. This year’s keynote speaker is former Clinton administration Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich..." Full article HERE

Building Solid Leaders with Soft Skills, Written by Melody Hicks on May 1, 2013

"...To lead, you must have followers.   To have followers, you must persuade. To persuade, you must understand. To understand, you must listen. This is the foundation of the Business Leadership Program (BLP) at W.A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University. This innovative program is near the completion of its pilot year. As a result of..." Full article HERE

NAU Implementing Entrepreneur in Residence, Written by admin on February 21, 2013

"...According to Craig Van Slyke, dean of the W.A. Franke College of Business, the idea to add an EIR to NAU’s offerings came after the school received a grant via the Marley Foundation intended to connect the disciplines of engineering and business...." Full article HERE

Business Predictions for the New Year, Written by Melody Hicks on January 15, 2013

"...The Dean of the W. A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University, Craig Van Slyke, shares Yelton’s beliefs about employee training. He feels that educators have to 'figure out new ways to do workforce training.' He states that although in 2013 there 'still will be continued uncertainty, the economy will get better gradually.' What he says is needed, however..." Full article HERE

NAU's Business Outreach, October 25, 2012 HERE


New Dean of NAU Business School Aims to Partner with Local Business, Written by Kate Beles on August 8, 2012

Dean Craig Van Slyke was featured in the August 2012 article, "New Dean of NAU Business School Partnering with Community." Van Slyke took the helm of FCB's business division in late June. He states his focus on developing existing partnerships between the business community and the college. Full article HERE.

The Chamber Business Hour

Julie Pastrick, President/CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, interviews Dean Craig Van Slyke of Northern Arizona University’s The W. A. Franke College of Business in the November 3, 2012 edition of the The Chamber Business Hour on KAFF / Radio Show.

Full posting HERE.

Flagstaff Chamber Business News: Dean Craig Van Slyke by tmsrFCB