Eric Hake named dean of Catawba College school of business

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

SALISBURY — Eric Hake has been named dean of the Ketner School of Business at Catawba College, after serving one year in an interim capacity, according to an announcement from Provost Constance Lowery. 

Hake has been associated with Catawba for nine years. Lowery said Hake’s dedication to the business school and consistent efforts to engage in continuous program improvements have laid the foundation for a series of initiatives.  

“Dr. Hake’s efforts, to date, have been focused on providing development opportunities for the faculty and their students and developing and expanding opportunities for internships, project-based learning, and partnerships with the local community and alumni network,” Lowery said. “As dean, he will continue that work.” 

Hake, of Salisbury, received his doctorate at the University of Tennessee in 1994 and has been teaching at the college level since that time. He joined the Catawba faculty in 2010, began serving in an administrative capacity in his second year and was granted tenure by a vote of the board of trustees in 2015. 

Since 2011, Hake has served in many roles, including department chairman, associate dean of academic affairs, and interim dean of the business school. He was instrumental in recruiting a number of faculty and launching undergraduate programs of study, including a B.A. in economics and finance, a B.A. in accounting, a concentration in international business, a concentration in entrepreneurship, a B.A. in digital media production, and a BS in information systems. 

Hake also gained approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for two graduate degrees, a master of accountancy and master of business administration, and he was instrumental in the accreditation process for the business school programs by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, granted in January 2018. 

As dean, Hake is tasked with recruiting students, developing strategic initiatives for improvement and collaboration of the business programs across campus and within the community, and building the recognition and stature of the business programs at Catawba. 

The Ketner School of Business was established in 1989 and is named for Ralph W. Ketner, one of the founders of the Food Lion grocery store chain. Ketner was a longtime supporter of the college and its school of business.

“Ralph W. Ketner’s legacy looms large, but we still have many untapped insights from his lessons in leadership,” said Hake.  “While the business school has long focused on integrating experiential and hands-on learning to all aspects of the educational experience, we have failed to fully appreciate how Mr. Ketner demonstrated a hands-on entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving, strategic thinking and planning, and a deep understanding of the larger forces of technological, legal, and financial innovation that drives business opportunity. 

“That is the path that Mr. Ketner laid out for those who listened. As each new class of students works to find its way forward, students must use their educational experience to make sense of, and find their place in, society and their community,” he said. “I am deeply grateful to the college for the opportunity given — to share Mr. Ketner’s lessons with our students in a systematic and methodical way, and to demonstrate to my colleagues and community how beneficial his path will be for all who follow it.”