The Dean Speaks
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.
Visit our Difference That Matters feature stories HERE.
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.
Spring in Flagstaff: Signaling Rejuvenation, April 19, 2017 "Spring in Flagstaff is an adventure. Recently, 60-degree sunshine followed eight inches of snow. Spring Break is followed by the sprint for the finish of the academic year. Grass is growing (kind of), the daffodils, irises and lilies Tracy planted are popping up, and skunks and prairie dogs are waking from their winter slumber...." Full article HERE.
Our On-Demand World, March 20, 2017 "I first started thinking about our growing on-demand culture when the iPod and other MP3 players came on the scene. TiVo became popular at about the same time. Knowing that technology rarely moves backwards, I started thinking about how the behaviors and attitudes reflected and encouraged by on-demand devices would influence higher education...." Full article HERE.
NAU Business Dean—Out in the Country, February 16, 2017 "Mom was worried … very worried. When Tracy (my wife) and I bought our little ranchette, my mother exclaimed, “What? Are you sure? You’re a city boy!” Mom had a point. In my younger days, I did enough manual work to last me a lifetime; by the time I left college, I was over manual labor...." Full article HERE.
Making Resolute Resolutions, January 16, 2017 "New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me, or for most people. The long-term success rate for resolutions is low; a recent study conducted at the University of Scranton found that only eight percent of those studied achieved their resolutions. Given the low success rate, maybe it’s time for a different view of annual self-improvement...." Full article HERE.
Fred the Stoic, December 20, 2016 "Fred was an epic cat. Really. While most pets are special to their owners, Fred really was special; if nothing else, he lived to be almost 22 years old, which you have to admit, is special. As nearly as I can tell, the oldest cat currently alive is around 27. Fred came close,..." Full article HERE.
Understanding the Benefits of Freedom of Thought, Expression, November 20, 2016 "In my younger days, I was pretty intractable, convinced that I was always right. When my wife, Tracy, reads this, she’ll do an eye-roll and think “was?” but I really have gotten much better about allowing for the possibility that I might be wrong. (At some point, I had to give in to overwhelming evidence..." Full article HERE.
The Point of Your Life, October 25, 2016 "Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Marcus comes at the length of life from a few different angles, but what I get from his writings is that life is like a point on an infinite line; it’s simultaneously immeasurably brief, but also infinitely long (from the perspective of the point). This is a bit of an enigma; life is simultaneously brief and infinite. Life may be so short as to seem meaningless in the vastness of time, but it’s all we have; to us, it is eternity..." Full article HERE.
Finding the Philosophy of Life in Country Songs, September 22, 2016 "Since moving to Doney Park and acquiring a horse and two (very funny) goats, I’ve been listening to a lot of country music … the real stuff. Early this morning, while feeding the hooved ones, it occurred to me that it might be fun to express some of my philosophy of life through country songs..." Full article HERE.
Being Mindful, August 26, 2016 "This month, we discuss the second of my four pillars of self-leadership, mindfulness. ... I usually have a slide that shows the inflatable “autopilot” from the 1980 comedy classic, “Airplane.” ...In the context of self-leadership, being mindful is pulling yourself out of mental autopilot mode; mindfulness makes you the active pilot of your thoughts..." Full article HERE.
Reflecting on Orlando, July 25, 2016 "...My close connection to Orlando led me to reflect on tragic events, and the challenges they present for leaders. In this column, I share some of my reflections and observations..." Full article HERE.
Purposefulness: One of the Four Pillars of Self-Leadership, June 30, 2016 "...The ability to lead yourself rests on a foundation of four core practices — purposefulness, mindfulness, reflection and practice. (Yes, I know it sounds funny to call practice a practice. Stay with me; you’ll see what I mean.) I call these the four pillars of self-leadership. This month, we’ll talk about purposefulness...." Full article HERE.
The photo with this article is not of the Dean; it is of our Executive in Residence, Paul Thomas.
Dear Graduate: Thoughts on Pursuing a Life Well-Lived, May 25, 2016
You have reached a significant milestone, graduation from college. Your life will quite literally never be the same. Life is good, but only if you know how to live. Here are my thoughts on what to pursue in order to live well.
Seek the good...
Seek tolerance (for yourself and others)...
Seek your own path..." Full Dear Graduate article HERE.
Small Wins for Big Results, April 27, 2016 "...the small wins strategy, for approaching large scale change by breaking it into smaller, easier to manage chunks. The strategy involves thinking about a big change as a set of much smaller, interrelated projects that, when completed, result in the big change. A key aspect of this strategy is that the small projects must be capable of bringing about concrete, moderately-important results..." Full article HERE.
Wag More, Bark Less, March 30, 2016 "The simple message is spend more time being happy and less being angry or afraid. ...barking doesn’t always mean anger or fear. But I like using this aphorism as a rhetorical device, so let’s ignore the imperfection. So, how can we achieve this state of wagginess?..." Full article HERE.
Becoming Excellent, February 26, 2016 "Excellence is a fascinating, important topic (hence all the books), but despite all the books and articles, the topic remains muddy to many. So, I thought I’d share my take on excellence..." Full article HERE.
Six for 2016, January 16, 2016 "While we don’t know what 2016 will bring, I know a few things I’d like to see in the New Year. Since I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, I decided to simply describe what I hope to see this year in myself and in others..." Full article HERE.
NAU Business Dean: A Plea for Civility, December 18, 2015 "Unfollow (an odd word to anyone not familiar with social networks) means to no longer be notified of someone’s status updates... Why am I unfollowing people? Because I’m so tired of the level of incivility among supposed friends..." Full article HERE.
Leading NAU’s Business College During All Seasons, November 25, 2015 "...As Epictetus (a slave for much of his life) began his book, “The Enchiridion (Handbook),” “Some things are in our control and others are not.” Once you fully understand and embrace this simple point, dealing with difficulty becomes much easier..." Full article HERE.
Moving Forward with Promise, Purpose, Persistence at NAU, September 29, 2015 "...we are almost at the beginning of another academic year. While I love the quiet of summer, I look forward to the buzz of a new year. The new years are especially exciting since I’ve been teaching a freshman seminar. The students are so excited (no matter how much they try to hide their excitement), they’ve transitioned to the next phase of life, complete with its promise and the potential for a bright future..." Full article HERE.
Embracing Impermanence, August 26, 2015 "The early Stoics advise us to think of everything we have, and everyone we know as being on loan from fate; fate can recall the things and people we love at any moment. In other words, all we have, including loved ones, is impermanent..." Full article HERE.
Dear Graduate: A Message from NAU’s Business College Dean, May 27, 2015 "It’s graduation time again, which often leads me to ponder what I wish I’d known when I graduated so long ago. This month’s column is a letter to graduates sharing some thoughts that might help them on their journey through life..." Full article HERE.
The Dulling of Shiny New Things, April 19, 2015 "As we get used to new things, they bring us less pleasure. We’re all subject to this; I’m sure you can think of examples from your own life. It might be a new car, television or a new job..." Full article HERE.
Ben Franklin, Tranquility and the Folly of Traveling during Super Bowl Weekend, March 25, 2015 "You would think an experienced traveler would have more sense, but I scheduled not one, but two trips during the recent Super Bowl festivities..." Full article HERE.
How to be Happy: The Virtuous Life, February 21, 2015 "...The goal of Franklin’s method was to “arrive at moral perfection” by living in accordance with 13 moral virtues. This brings up the question, “What is virtue?” While I’m certainly no expert in the philosophy of virtue, this month I’ll try to explain how I view the concept of virtue, or excellence..." Full article HERE.
Ninety Days with Ben, January 15, 2015 "...In his autobiography, [Benjamin] Franklin describes a “… bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection.” (Franklin was nothing if not ambitious; moral perfection is a tall order.) Franklin set himself on a challenging path..." Full article HERE.
The Joy of Gratitude, December 24, 2014 "...Why is gratitude important? There are several ways to examine this question. I’ll approach it from two angles, why gratitude is important personally, and why it’s important socially...." Full article HERE.
How to Deal with Annoying People, November 22, 2014 "Dealing with annoying people is a sad fact of everyday life. Sometimes, there is just no way to avoid annoying, irritating people. While you may not be able to avoid these folks, there are ways you can reduce the annoyance factor..." Full article HERE.
Failure IS an option, October 12, 2014 "Many of us take the wrong view of failure. We view failure as an entirely bad thing. Failure is, in fact, often only a waypoint to ultimate success..." Full article HERE.
Living Between the Drought and the Deluge, August 31, 2014 "As I write this, we are well into the monsoon season, which for me marks the start of the transition from summer to a new academic year. It’s also my last chance to take a real vacation..." Full article HERE.
Dealing with Leadership Change, July 30, 2014 "Just a week ago (as I write this), the Northern Arizona University community learned that our next president would be Dr. Rita Cheng. This announcement ended a season of much speculation, but it brought about considerable uncertainty..." Full article HERE.
Little Changes in a Big World, June 23, 2014 "The economy is a complicated thing and thinking about how changes in one factor impact some output is easier if we hold all the other factors constant..." Full article HERE.
Living and Leading Well, May 5, 2014 "At its best, leadership is not only about “getting the job done” from the perspective of the organization, it’s also about helping organizational members live well. But, what does it mean to live well?..." Full article HERE.
Rankings and the Right Things, April 20, 2014 "...we’re experiencing a very good week at the Franke College of Business. On Monday, I learned that we were ranked #10 in the United States in the Military Times “Best Schools for Vets: Business Schools” rankings. Then, on Tuesday, we learned that our MBA program was ranked for the first time by U.S. News & World Report..." Full article HERE.
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.
Local Retailers: A Jolly Season, quoted, posted on December 22, 2015
"...While seasonable shopping seems to have started strong, it is uncertain yet how the threat of terrorist attacks will affect consumer confidence as the government is warning against travel and being in crowds.
'I’m not sure,” said Craig Van Slyke, dean of the W.A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University. “With occurrences in France, I’m not sure I have a good feeling.'
He continued, 'The economy seems to have stabilized, but it’s not entirely clear what the employment picture is.'
While unemployment seems to be down, there are people who have dropped out of the market given a somewhat stagnant picture.
'One thing will be interesting this shopping season. I think online retailers will do well if people are reluctant to go to the malls.'” Full article HERE
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.
Kevin Trainor, PhD, Associate Dean
Michelle Brown, Assistant to the Dean
Kay Pinto, Building Manager
Pam Ramos, Assistant Director of Development
Antoinette Scherer-Reutimann, Graphic Designer, Sr.