Dean of Catawba College’s Ketner School of Business to step down

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2018

Staff report

SALISBURY — Jay Abraham, who has served as Dean of Catawba College’s Ralph W. Ketner School of Business since Aug. 2015, is stepping down from his post.

Acting College Provost Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery made the announcement on campus as classes began for the 2018 spring semester. Abraham will serve in a part-time transitional role as assistant to the provost to complete a set of specific projects by March.

Rogers-Lowery said it was a mutual decision between the college and Abraham for him to depart this spring. That decision was based on several factors, including Abraham’s outside consulting projects requiring more of his time and the fact that many of the initiatives on the strategic plan he had developed for the Ketner School of Business (KSOB) are in the execution/implementation phase.

Abraham, who has held a non-teaching position at Catawba, has led the Ketner School of Business to accomplish much with the assistance of his faculty colleagues and administrators during his tenure.  These accomplishments include:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs’ (ACBSP) approval of business programs accreditation for the Department of Business and Economics in the KSOB
  • launch of an entrepreneurship concentration
  • creation of an on-campus Center for Entrepreneurship & Experiential Development (CEED Venture Lab) that currently is up and running with seven student ventures in play
  • creation of a 150-hour accounting option which allows Catawba accounting graduates to sit for the CPA exam
  • faculty approval to offer a Master’s of Accountancy degree at Catawba, now going through SACS-COC approval process
  • curriculum revision for an updated Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication
  • development of proposal for a new digital rhetoric major with English, designed to bridge the gap between the Business and English departments
  • preparation of a digital media production major to be submitted to the faculty curriculum committee
  • creation of a new digital media lab now located and operational in Ketner Hall on campus

Dr. Eric Hake, the associate dean of academic affairs of Catawba’s Ketner School of Business and a professor of economics, will serve as interim dean of the School of Business.

Hake joined the Catawba faculty in 2010 as associate professor of economics and has served in various administrative capacities for the Department of Business & Economics and the Ketner School of Business.  Prior to Catawba, Hake taught at Franklin & Marshall College, Eastern Illinois University, and Eastern Washington University.

At Catawba, Hake is a member of the Faculty Senate. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and his doctorate in Economics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Abraham, who holds his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Brown University and his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, has expertise in areas including marketing strategy development, business building capabilities, professional relationship building, budget development and management, profit and loss management, revenue generation, branding strategies, content creation and team-member coordination.

Since 2012, he has served as principal for Abraham Marketing & Media.  His company has provided consulting services to build strategic visions to grow emerging businesses, create integrated marketing solutions and develop core brand positionings.