Students at the Center of Dean Murdock’s Motivation
Innovation works a bit like gravity – at least at Bellevue University. Embracing innovation and outside-the-box thinking draws not only students into orbit, but also faculty and staff. Such is the case with Rebecca Murdock, Dean of the College of Business (COB).
Murdock came to the University as an Assistant Dean in 2014 after more than a decade at the University of Sioux Falls.
“Bellevue University had a reputation for taking innovative stances in the higher education market. Innovation and learning are very important to me especially when integrated with leadership,” Murdock said. “Therefore, when I was contemplating a change and an opportunity was open at BU, it was clear to me that I needed to seriously consider the opportunity.”
She took over the reins of the College of Business in April of 2015 and since then she has had the opportunity to foster innovation in a variety of ways with faculty, students, and staff.
“The role of dean is a unique leadership role. It is one of those roles where you have the opportunity to lead on several different levels – with the people – the students and faculty – with the programs, and with the learning process,” Murdock said.
Although administration is her major responsibility, Murdock never loses focus on the institution’s primary mission – students.
“We certainly have some unique programs that offer differentiation,” she said, citing the University’s new Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program as an example. The DBA program, she said, was designed with both students and employers in mind.
“Today’s organizations are facing significant changes, internally and externally,” she said. “These challenges require leaders able to work across the organization, and their industry, to address complex, system-wide issues.” Unlike other doctoral programs, Bellevue University DBA students will not write a dissertation. Students will undertake an applied, research-based doctoral project instead, and work on the project throughout their three-year program. The DBA program also stands out as one of the few 100% fully online programs at the doctoral level.
“We designed the program with students in mind,” said Murdock, putting two-week breaks between courses. The DBA program’s student-centered format was something she could certainly relate to, as she has worked to earn her doctoral degree in education while also holding down a demanding, full-time leadership role and raising a family.
“I am very blessed to have unwavering support from my husband, Doug, and my sons, Thomas and Steven. They have always been by my side through every academic endeavor,” she said. “Also, my parents passed away some time ago, but they really valued education, particularly because their life experience had not allowed them to pursue their educational goals. My parents found a way to support my educational goals at every level possible.”
For more information about the Bellevue University DBA program, visit: www.bellevue.edu/degrees/doctoral/business-administration-dba/