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Executive Education A Focus for SMU’s New B-School Dean

Matthew B. Myers vows to work with DFW companies to 'meet the demands of the marketplace.'
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Matthew Myers will take over as dean at SMU’s Cox School of Business in August.

Expanding the school’s footprint in executive education will be an important focus of Matthew B. Myers, who was named dean earlier this month of SMU’s Cox School of Business, succeeding Albert W. Niemi Jr. Myers, a U.S. Army veteran who’s been dean of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, since 2014, will assume his new duties on Aug. 1, when Niemi, 74, plans to transition to full-time teaching.

“There are special opportunities for Cox in executive and continuing education,” Myers said by phone from Ohio Tuesday. “We’ll see how we can expand the school’s executive education footprint … and work with executives and companies in Dallas-Fort Worth to meet their needs.” All business schools are “struggling to modernize their curricula to meet the demands of the marketplace,” he added, “and I think we’ll have to do that over the years, several times, no matter the discipline.”

Myers, 57, oversaw an $80 million annual operating budget at the Farmer School, which has about 4,300 students and more than 250 faculty and staff members. A spokesperson for SMU’s Cox School, which has 2,200 students and about 165 full-time faculty and staff members, says its b-school budget is “controlled centrally, so it is nearly impossible to provide a firm budget number.” Both Cox and Farmer have been ranked among the top 10 schools for producing Fortune 500 CEOs.

In Ohio, Myers was responsible for the first independent fundraising campaign for a college at Miami University—an ongoing, $200 million effort that included a $40 million lead gift that was the biggest in the university’s history. Fundraising is “increasing in importance,” Myers said, and he plans to do “quite a bit of that” in Dallas, including on the corporate relationship side. Under Niemi, the Cox School’s endowment ballooned to more than $210 million.

Before his stint at the Ohio university, Myers was an associate dean of executive education at the University of Tennessee, where he was recognized three times as the Outstanding Faculty Member for MBA programs. He served from 1979 to 1982 as a medic in the U.S. Army Airborne before graduating with a B.A. in natural sciences from the University of Louisville in 1986. He also earned a masters of international business studies from the University of South Carolina in 1992 and a Ph.D. in marketing and international business from Michigan State University in 1997.

Myers said he and his wife, Virginia, who have twin 12-year-old daughters, will be traveling to Dallas next month to scout out schools and look for a home to buy.

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