Meet the New Dean of Georgia Southern’s College of Business Administration

Sandra Bennett

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

For Dr. Allen Amason (‘84), one of the most satisfying aspects of his career has been helping others reach their goals and achieve a peak performance.

“I enjoy helping others perform better,” said the former chair of the Department of Management in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. “As a department chair, you see the productivity of others as a measure of your success, and the next step then was to do that for a college,” he added.

In August, Amason was named the new dean of Georgia Southern’s College of Business Administration (COBA). Although Amason had envisioned ending his academic career at UGA, the lure of returning to his alma mater was too great.

“I am happy to be here, and Georgia Southern offered a good opportunity,” added the native Georgian and married father of four who grew up in coastal McIntosh County. Amason earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from Georgia Southern and doctorate in strategic management and international business from the University of South Carolina.

Amason brings a variety of ideas and leadership experience to COBA, and at the Terry College of Business, he led the effort to create and establish the UGA Music Business Program and the Institute for Leadership Advancement. He was also instrumental in helping establish distance learning initiatives such as the EMBA and professional MBA programs, which utilize a hybrid delivery model blending in-class with distance learning.

Amason believes COBA is in a unique position to prepare students for their future careers, despite the obstacles of today’s tough job market. “The biggest challenge is the first job. It is the on-ramp to the expressway of a career,” he said. “There was a time when you would graduate, send out resumes, get a dozen interviews and take the best offer. Those days are past. Today, graduates must be better prepared, more innovative and more strategic in their approach.”

The new dean spent his early weeks learning about the University and College, and meeting with students, faculty, staff and members of the business community. He said that, while he foresees changes, he doesn’t expect to implement them overnight. “Change can be good, but changing too quickly can break the things that are working well already,” he noted. “I’m content to spend a little time learning what works and what doesn’t. Ultimately, my responsibility is to make the College of Business Administration and its brand stronger,” said Amason.

Because COBA competes with larger and better-endowed universities, Amason said it is imperative to increase the value of the school’s intellectual capital and to get companies turning to “our faculty because they are thought leaders.” As a result, his various initiatives include bolstering faculty research and support, providing internships and international opportunities and attracting more people and support to COBA’S programs.

“My approach is to create an atmosphere where people see us as a good investment. If you invest in the College of Business Administration, if you invest in Georgia Southern, your own degree becomes more valuable. Hence we create a culture where gifts become investments that benefit our school, our alumni and all the communities that we serve.”