Syracuse University names alumnus Melvin Stith as dean of Whitman School of Management
Syracuse University names alumnus Melvin Stith as dean of Whitman School of ManagementSeptember 10, 2004Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management will be headed by a new dean as it moves into its new home. Melvin T. Stith-dean of the College of Business at Florida State University and an alumnus of the Whitman School-has been appointed by Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund to assume the Whitman deanship in January 2005, at the same time that the school is slated to move into its new building on University Avenue.
“To be able to attract someone of Mel Stith’s character, values and accomplishments represents a true coup for Syracuse. That he is also a very valued alumnus truly is special,” says Freund. “His return at a time when a new building is opening should bring unprecedented momentum to the Whitman School. I cannot wait to start working with him.”
Stith received his MBA in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1978 in marketing, both from the Whitman School. He is also former director of graduate programs for the School of Management. He received his bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University.
“It is a very special honor when your alma mater extends an invitation to become dean of one of the nation’s leading schools of management at one of the world’s best universities,” Stith says. “When I was a student in the School of Management, I never dreamed that I would ever return as dean.”
Stith calls the job an exciting opportunity. “I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Cantor, Provost Freund and the Whitman faculty, staff, students and alumni to continually improve all aspects of Whitman’s operation and enhance its national reputation,” he says.
Under his leadership, the College of Business at Florida State has consistently been ranked as one of the top 50 undergraduate business schools by U.S. News & World Report. It is currently in the top 40. Stith has also been associate dean and assistant professor at the College of Business at the University of South Florida; visiting professor at the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University; and associate professor and chair of the Department of Marketing at Florida State.
Stith, who is also the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration at Florida State, studies the impact of value systems on consumer purchase behavior and key influences on African American and white consumers’ habits. He has served as a consultant or lecturer for many private companies and public agencies, including The Dracket Company, American Hospital Supply, Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Transportation, Glembys, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., Anheuser-Busch, Kent Publishing Co., JM Family Enterprises, Associated Credit Bureaus and the University of Wisconsin.
He has also served on the Florida Department of Education’s Task Force on Florida’s Education Finance Program and on the Florida Council on Education Management. He has served on the board of directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and has served on many of its committees. He holds directorships with Tallahassee State Bank, Synovus Financial Corp., PHT Services, LTD., Correctional Services Corp., Graduate Management Admissions Council, JM Family Enterprises Youth Automotive Training Center, Jim Moran Foundation and Flowers Foods Inc. and is a trustee of the Leadership Institute of Synovus Financial Corp., as well as a trustee of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Stith’s wife, Patricia L. Stith G’77, will also be employed by SU, as associate dean in the Graduate School. She is currently director of retention studies and coordinator of retention at Florida State.