Reyes eager to lead WVU’s business school

February 29, 2016


Javier Reyes

The new dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics is eager to get into his new position. And that’s an understatement.

Javier Reyes is a tenured professor of economics and currently the vice provost for distance education at the University of Arkansas and the associate dean for undergraduate studies and executive education at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. After accepting the dean’s position at B&E, effective July 1, 2016, he is downright excited — nearly impatient — to officially become a Mountaineer.

“Of course I’m eager to start working and connecting with my new team, which is why I have been back to B&E already and have held a number of working and planning meetings,” said Reyes, who made his first trip to campus earlier this month since accepting the position on January 29. “I see so much in the faculty and staff at B&E, and that makes me so much more eager to be there. This is a very good, well respected, strongly supported business school with undeniable support from alumni and students. It’s not hard to imagine why I want to help build on that.”

WVU Provost Joyce McConnell described Reyes as an expert in global economic matters, an award-winning educator, an innovative leader in learning technologies, and an experienced relationship builder between industry and academics.

“There is no doubt he is a truly extraordinary educator,” said McConnell. “The depth and breadth of his expertise in international economics is impressive and he has a keen understanding of our rapidly-changing, globalized society. I also believe he has a strong commitment to excellence in education and, combined with his other attributes, that makes him exactly the person we want to lead our business school.”

Greg Bowman, William J. Maier, Jr. Dean and Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law, chaired the search screening committee charged with finding outstanding candidates for the next dean of the College of Business and Economics.

“We were deeply impressed by Dean Reyes during the search process,” Bowman said. “He is enormously talented and experienced as a teacher, scholar and administrator. His experience with learning technologies will be helpful for faculty and students, as well as for connecting to industry.”

Reyes has led the Global Campus at the University of Arkansas since 2012, and has served as the associate dean for Undergraduate Studies and Executive Education at the Walton College, for a second time, since spring 2015. He joined the university in 2003 as an assistant professor.

“We are happy for Dr. Reyes and congratulate him for being chosen for the position of dean of the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University,” said Arkansas Provost Ashok Saxena. “During his time at the University of Arkansas, he has established himself as a highly accomplished professor and academic leader. He will definitely be missed.”

Reyes’ visit to B&E earlier this month included meetings with administration, faculty and staff, as well as university administration.

“Every time I set foot on the WVU campus I feel the momentum of this university, and it is infectious,” Reyes said. “It is quite clear to me that B&E has tremendous potential and that we are hyper-focused on the success of our business school students. That success comes from the quality of our faculty and the connectivity B&E has, and continues to expand, with industry. It is part of our mission to contribute to the economic engine of the state, to existing industries and businesses, and to the diversification of the West Virginia economy. Helping our state flourish in the global economy is critical to B&E’s success.”

“There is a lot of excitement about Dr. Reyes coming to WVU,” McConnell said. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive thus far from B&E faculty and staff and alumni.”

As for Reyes and his household, they are preparing for the next chapter in their lives.

“My family and I are excited about coming to WVU to join the B&E team. The e-mails with welcoming messages I have received have assured me of what I already know — that joining B&E at WVU was the right decision,” the new dean said. “There is tremendous potential, tremendous momentum and tremendous commitment. Those are great tools in continuing our trajectory even higher, and expanding the scope and impact of B&E. We are already doing good things, and we are a good business school. Our plan is to make our school great.”