Building upon the strength and long-standing success of its internationally-ranked Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University today announced the selection of the College’s next dean, Dr. Barbara A. Ritter.
“With more than 20 years of experience teaching and leading in higher education, Dr. Ritter is a proven leader who has an impressive history of forging transformative partnerships and delivering real results that directly benefit faculty and students,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “She is exactly the leader we need in the Davis College of Business to build upon our strong foundation of excellence and launch the College into a promising new era.”
Dr. Ritter currently serves as the Dean of the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University, where she has taught management and the science of decision-making for 16 years. As Dean, Dr. Ritter grew enrollment, financial support, research grants, experiential learning opportunities, and industry partnerships through new strategic initiatives and enhancements to existing programs.
“Dr. Ritter is a visionary leader who helped cultivate a collaborative, student-focused culture of excellence, inclusion and integrity at Coastal Carolina,” said Jacksonville University Provost Dr. Christine Sapienza. “Throughout her career, she has worked with diverse groups of students, faculty and industry partners to align around a future-focused mission and create positive change.”
After a nearly year-long national search, Jacksonville University will welcome Dr. Ritter to campus in July, when she is instated as Dean and Professor in the Department of Management at the Davis College of Business — the only AACSB-accredited private business school in North Florida and South Georgia. In 2019, the Davis College of Business MBA program earned a Tier One spot in CEO Magazine’s list of the best MBA programs among 134 elite schools. The magazine also ranked the College’s Executive MBA program as the best in Florida and 25th in the world.
Dr. Ritter completed the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Higher Education. She holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Akron in Ohio, and she earned her B.S. in psychology from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich..
Dr. Ritter is an expert in organizational behavior and culture, workforce development, employee assessment and satisfaction, data analysis, leadership, and organizational decision-making. She has been recognized for her excellence in teaching and mentoring, and her insightful work and perspectives are published in many respected journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Business Ethics, SAGE Publishing’s Human Relations journal, and the Journal of Management Education.
With her results-oriented approach to leadership, Dr. Ritter also has strong experience managing programs that produce positive student outcomes, including the Career Services Division at Coastal Carolina. Under her leadership, the Wall Center for Career Services helped the business college reach a job/graduate school placement rate of more than 90 percent. With this invaluable experience and skill set, Dr. Ritter will also oversee Jacksonville University’s Career Resource Center in her new role, as Executive Director Toni Higgs transitions to retirement in July.
“I would like to thank the Interim Dean of the Davis College of Business, Dr. Bill Crosby, for his commitment and leadership in serving our University during the nearly 12-month search,” said Provost Sapienza. “I would also like to thank the dedicated members of the search committee, led by Dr. Mary Gipson, for their engagement during this process.”