Q&A With Fowler’s Dean, Dan Moshavi
On, August 3, 2022, Dan Moshavi joined San Diego State University as the Thomas and Evelyn Page Dean of the Fowler College of Business.
He previously served as the dean of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business at San Jose State University where he created innovative student learning and professional development experiences, expanded industry and community engagement, and strengthened the research and teaching culture of the college.
Moshavi shared his vision for preparing Fowler’s students for career success and the future of business education.
- What attracted you to the dean’s position at the Fowler College of Business?
I actually was not looking for a new position, but when I saw the leadership profile for the position, I became intrigued. San Diego State University is a world-class university, with an absolutely outstanding business school. In addition, SDSU has a very aspirational strategic plan with goals that align well with my own leadership interests.
- What are some of Fowler’s biggest strengths in preparing "career ready" graduates and how do you hope to build on those?
First, we do a really nice job of providing experiential opportunities that emphasize "real world" learning both in the classroom and through co-curricular activities. We do, however, need to continually stay on top of technology-driven trends and integrate those into the student experience, especially in areas such as business analytics and artificial intelligence. Another strength is our Career Management Center which provides a variety of resources and programmatic opportunities to both our undergraduate and graduate students. I envision that we will strengthen those offerings by focusing on both "high-tech" and "high-touch" tools for students, including more self- service technologies (e.g. online resume review and oral communications feedback software tools) as well as providing more one-on-one coaching opportunities.
- What other factors do you think contribute to student success?
Students need to feel connected academically, professionally, and socially. The pandemic created some challenges there, especially on the social front, but I'm seeing many signs of a rebound. Our students are actively engaging with our advising center, taking advantage of the many college clubs — our Women in Business student organization has more than 400 members, and taking on leadership roles across campus. An engaged alumni base is also a significant contributor to student success as our alumni provide internship and networking opportunities, mentorship, as well as philanthropic support for students. There are more than 60,000 Fowler College of Business alumni and they offer a great pathway into the business community, regionally, nationally and even internationally.
- Could you talk a little about the faculty-led research conducted at Fowler and the potential impact on society?
My colleagues are doing really interesting research that impacts both business and society. We have nationally- and internationally known researchers across many disciplines, including accounting, finance, management, marketing and management information systems. We also have centers and institutes in the college that study issues as varied as artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, consumer food choices, international business, corporate governance, real estate, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
- What is your outlook on the future of business education?
I think there's no question that the business world is evolving rapidly in interesting ways and that business schools need to evolve as well. For instance, how do we prepare students to step into a rapidly changing workplace? It's one thing for someone with a 10- or 20-year career to shift to a hybrid or remote modality, but how do we prepare a soon-to-be college graduate to navigate this environment? Similarly, how do we prepare students for jobs that may not even exist yet? In both cases, an emphasis on critical thinking and strong communications skills will be key, but ultimately, we need to continually evolve our own curricular and co-curricular activities in ways that directly respond to these larger questions.
- What advice would you give our students to best ensure their career success?
Engage, engage, and engage some more — with peers, with the many clubs that provide professional development and leadership opportunities, with faculty, with SDSU alumni, and with our Career Management Center that works with students to access internships and jobs.
- Could you share one fun fact about yourself?
I have some background and training in improvisational theater. Some of the rules that make for good improv — saying "yes and," listening well, being "in the moment" with others and making them look good — align well with effective leadership, I believe.