Christopher Puto

Mike Ekern, University Of St. Thomas

St. Thomas B-school's Dean Puto to step down

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY
  • Star Tribune
  • February 23, 2012 - 9:59 AM

Christopher Puto, dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, said Thursday he will step down as dean in June, take a sabbatical and return to teach two classes in the spring semester in 2013.

"It took a little longer than I expected to get a few things done, but, by golly, we got them all done," said Puto, 69, who joined St. Thomas in 2002 from Georgetown University, where he also was business dean.

Under Puto, the school added more full-time faculty as he moved St. Thomas from mostly adjunct faculty to a balance between full-time academics with doctorates and business professionals who teach. Last year, St. Thomas received long-sought accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. The accreditation, held by less than 5 percent of the world's business schools, is considered the gold standard for business education. It also is held by the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, the neighboring competitor.

Puto, who inaugurated a day MBA program to complement the 1970s-founded night-school MBA, also emphasized business ethics education and said St. Thomas boasts the largest business ethics faculty in the United States. St. Thomas also is home to the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, academics and professionals who teach, research and consult.

Under Puto, St. Thomas built a second business building on its Minneapolis campus and expanded its short-course and certificate programs -- a response to cost cutting by some companies in recent years that balked at underwriting full MBA degrees for high-potential employees.

Susan Huber, chief academic officer at St. Thomas, said she will appoint an interim dean for the 2012-13 academic year, during which there will be a search for a permanent dean.

Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144 •

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