July 05, 2006

J. Dennis Cradit named business dean at SIUC

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. ­ J. Dennis Cradit will become dean of the College of Business and Administration at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Aug. 8.

Cradit, chairman of the marketing department at Florida State University, replaces Dan L. Worrell, who left SIUC last summer to become dean of the University of Arkansas' Sam Walton College of Business.  Gregory P. White, professor and chair of the Department of Management, has served as interim dean since then.

SIUC Provost and Vice Chancellor John M. Dunn made the announcement Wednesday.  "We are very pleased to attract a candidate that is well regarded as an outstanding scholar and who has demonstrated excellence in  a leadership capacity at Florida State," Dunn said.  "We appreciate very much the commitment and advice of the search committee, including very helpful input from the college's external advisory board."

Cradit said he looks forward to his new role at SIUC.

"I am very happy and excited," Cradit said.  "SIUC's College of Business and Administration enjoys a solid reputation around the country and it has enormous potential to increase its national presence and I want to make that happen."

Cradit received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1984.  His research interests focus on marketing segmentation, quantitative methods and business-to-business marketing.  His work has appeared in Journal of Marketing Research,PsychometrikaJournal of RetailingJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, and other journals.

In 2000, Cradit became chair of the marketing department at Florida State University, the second largest in the college and fourth largest in the university in terms of enrollment and number of bachelor's degrees granted.

A Texas native,  Cradit holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia (1977), and a master's degree in psychology from University of Iowa (1981).

Cradit said he made the transition from psychology to business "because psychology and economics are a major part of marketing."  He has extensive consulting experience and he says he has enjoyed applying his research to "the real world and real events," he said.  "Some of the most exciting things are happening in the business world and the economic aspect of our lives."

Cradit's goals at SIUC are to "increase the quality of degree programs and to increase the size and quality of faculty," he said.  "The capital campaign is an outstanding opportunity to engage alumni and friends of the University.  The Southern at 150 long-term plan is outstanding and I want to make sure that the College of Business and Administration is committed to it and is a driving force behind its success."

Last November, SIUC launched its first-ever comprehensive capital campaign through the SIU Foundation with a goal to raise at least $100 million.  The campaign, Opportunity Through Excellence, grew from Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the comprehensive plan for Southern.  It calls for the University to become one of the Top 75 public research universities in the country by 2019 – the year it celebrates its 150th anniversary.