Schwaig had been the school’s interim dean since July 2010, and bested 40 other candidates in a nationwide search to get the job permanently. That was her second stint as the interim dean.
Schwaig says her focus is to build on the entrepreneurial spirit of her department and develop more executive education programs that are certificate-based, rather than diploma-based.
“It is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial colleges of business in the nation,” Schwaig said. “We will continue to see how we can serve the business community with customized programs, particularly in health care.”
Schwaig, a professor of information systems, has chaired several departments within the school and was associate dean for academic affairs. She was previously on the faculty at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Ph.D. in management information systems; Baylor University in Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and her MBA in information systems; and at Georgia State University.
The latter, she said, offers the strongest competition for KSU’s master’s of business administration programs.
As interim dean of Coles, she led the school’s strategic planning process and helped create the college’s Department of Information Systems. Also during her tenure as interim dean, the Executive MBA and part-time MBA programs were ranked among the best in the nation in 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek and recognized by CEO magazine.
In addition, under her leadership, Coles enrolled and graduated the inaugural class in the doctor of business administration program earlier this month.
Last week, the business school graduated 547 students, slightly up from 519 a year ago.
“Kat has been an outstanding contributor and leader for KSU and the Coles College of Business,” said W. Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who was dean before Schwaig. “She is well-respected and liked among faculty, staff and students. … I know that her vision, dedication and leadership will catapult the Coles College further into the national arena.”
Schwaig serves on the board of The Edge Connection, a nonprofit that provides business education to micro-entrepreneurs, and she is chairman of the board of Partnership in Academics and Development, a nonprofit focused on education initiatives in central Asia.