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The Daily Tar Heel

Progress borne by past Kenan-Flagler deans shows no signs of stopping

Simply put, Doug Shackelford “gets the blue.”

On Feb. 1, Shackelford officially began his tenure as the new dean of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, but he doesn’t anticipate the adjustment to this position to be a difficult one. Kenan-Flagler has been steadily growing for years, and he intends for this to continue.

“For the first seven years, (Kenan-Flagler was) in Carroll Hall. I miss the intimacy of being in the middle of the quad. I love having a parking deck next door. I think we just outgrew Carroll Hall.”

This relocation to the McColl Building was a major milestone in the business school’s development. Shackelford is proud of these past achievements and hopes to continue this type of success in the future.

“For the last decade or so, the business school has been heading in the right direction. I am very fortunate to be coming into a school where there isn’t a division (within departments) or a lack of resources. We’ve suffered severe budget cuts just like everyone else has, and we need to strengthen ourselves on the financial side, but the school has been going in a great direction.”

As he envisions what lies ahead for Kenan-Flagler, Shackelford lights up with excitement about the possibilities. In fact, his optimistic attitude couldn’t demonstrate his innovative style any more clearly. “Let’s get better. And let’s get better faster. There are lots of things we dream of doing, and I’m looking to make those dreams come true, but we aren’t looking for any sort of turnaround by any means,” he says when describing his objectives for the future.

Under Shackelford’s lead, Kenan-Flagler is sure to continue its tradition of success as an institution effectively shaping students into leaders and ideas into reality.

“What makes us different from other schools is that we’re really into leadership. Anyone, undergrad or grad student, if they have natural leadership, they leave even better. And if they come in not thinking of themselves as a leader, they leave knowing that they’re a leader.

This continued growth has been evident in Kenan-Flagler’s involvement in Semester Online, a program that offers online classes in a variety of disciplines hailing from multiple universities. UNC has contributed only business classes so far and that seems to be a product of Shackelford’s work and intent for growth.

“We started out because we had an expertise with doing business courses online.”

No matter what, Kenan-Flagler can rest assured it is in the right hands.

“This is my home and this is the place I love; it comes naturally to me in some sense. Being here 24 years, I know the faculty and staff so there’s no learning curve I have to adapt to. I have a good handle of where we are and where we are trying to go.”

Mahmoud Saad is a member of the editorial board.

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