5 Minutes with … Neal Mero
Tell us about your job at Stetson?
I serve as Dean of the Business School. As Dean, I work with over 60 faculty and staff to deliver quality business education to approximately 1,000 Stetson undergraduate and 100 plus graduate students. Leading the Business School is a team effort of Associate/Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, Program Directors, Faculty and a highly capable staff. Together, our focus is to provide our students the essential skills to lead 21st century organizations. Whether they intend to start their own business, join an existing business, or join an organization with a specific social mission, we provide students with the essential skills and attitude for success.
Perhaps the most important part of my job is to promote the Business School to both current and future stakeholders. Whether I am speaking with a prospective student or their parents, an alumnus, or a stranger on an airplane, I am always talking about the great programs my colleagues are building in the Business School as well as the talented women and men who graduate from our programs.
How long have you worked here?
I joined Stetson about 15 months ago, after having served as the founding director of the Doctor of Business Administration program at Kennesaw State University in Georgia since 2008.
What do you like most about your work?
Stetson is a jewel! In my short time here, I have come to love this University and know I am blessed to be a part of something special. I am confident that the best is yet to come for Stetson. My Business School colleagues are currently working to create the most innovative and creative business programs in the country. We understand that the pace of change in every industry is increasing at an exponential pace. Over the next 10-20 years, industries that currently exist will disappear and will be replaced by new industries fueled by advances in science and technology. As a result, business leaders need an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to collaborate with the best and brightest minds from all disciplines to build organizations capable of responding to developing needs and challenges. I am biased, but I think at Stetson, we are small enough to be agile and maintain a cutting-edge curriculum that uniquely prepares our students to lead these organizations. I am in the right place at the right time with the right colleagues both within and external to the Business School.
Where would you like to see Stetson in 10 years?
This will likely get me in trouble with some, but in 10 years, I would like to see many of the barriers between Stetson’s Schools and Colleges disappear. We have some tremendously talented people here in every corner of the University. There is no one discipline or field of study that can alone address the social, environmental or political challenges we face. In 10 years, a more integrated Stetson could develop even more effective leaders capable of working in teams from science, legal and political communities to build great organizations that meet challenges of tomorrow. A case in point: I recently had the honor to hear Dr. Jason Evans make a presentation on “sea level rise.” He gave a compelling discussion of the severity of the problem and the urgent need to find solutions. At the close of his presentation, he said “the answers for confronting sea-level rise will come from business.” I agree. These solutions will come from highly creative teams of individuals with solid business acumen capable of integrating efforts of members of diverse communities to solve problems. In 10 years, I hope Stetson has developed the model of an education system that serves that goal.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Well, I must enjoy answering email in my free time because that is what I seem to do! When I can, I travel to Atlanta to watch my 1-year-old granddaughter who is a tremendous joy to hang out with. In addition, I really enjoy DeLand and the Central Florida weather, so in my free time, I like to hike Central Florida trails, spend time kayak fishing, and visit Persimmon Hollow, the “Grape” and other DeLand venues which I have come to enjoy.
Education: B.S., business and management from the University of Maryland; M.B.A. from the University of Montana; and Ph.D. in business administration/organizational behavior from the University of Florida.
Hometown: Brandon, FL