David Klock, UAB Collat School of Business Dean (2008-2012)Here, former Collat Dean David Klock talks about his time expanding the school during the Great Recession:

What was your vision for the School while you served as dean?

Maintaining and growing the mission of the School as a place of Accessible Excellence. Excellence in growth in serving the many hurts and hopes and needs of ALL qualified students we welcomed to UAB. And excellence and growth of the faculty in their continuing work as respected teachers/scholars. And growth in staff in supporting both areas of excellence. 

What is your fondest memory about your time at UAB?

The ability of the School, despite the economic issues of the Great Recession, to continue building the number of faculty and staff members who did an outstanding job in supporting our growth in Accessible Excellence. I was also proud of the outstanding efforts of the teams led by new associate deans Eric Jack and Karen Kennedy, as well as Molly Wasko hired as a department chair but now an associate dean. All three were and are excellent role models of servant leaders and teacher/scholars. Eric replacing me was a joy as he has gone way beyond my efforts. But I would also add the exceptional blessing that my wife Phyllis and I had and still have of connecting with so many exceptional students at UAB. They bring us great joy as we still interact with many we mentored. They now are very successful in their life and professions, and now they mentor us. Add in the success in the expansion of the School’s efforts in healthcare, especially the awesome initial efforts of Karen Kennedy and Jack Duncan, aided by the Donner family, in building the Healthcare Leadership Academy.

What, if any, challenges did you face during your tenure as dean?

The Great Recession starting in 2008 and the real need for striving for Accessible Excellence in times of limited state support. The many students of opportunity at UAB still needed growing support despite the recession.

What accomplishment are your most proud of?

Molly Wasko and David KlockFormer dean David Klock with Dr. Molly Wasko (former MISQ department chair, current associate dean).The impactful success of the school to hire many (more than 20) new exceptional teacher scholars who added materially to our efforts to be recognized as a place of excellence. All done when most universities were not recruiting new faculty given the recession. It was driven by the success of oh so many faculty and staff being social entrepreneurs, allowing us to grow revenue and discretionary surplus needed to make the hires. 

Do you have a message for current students? Faculty and staff?

My message is one of pride in them ALL. The students and the faculty/staff members have gone to highs we dreamed of. So proud to see the exceptional progress of the now Collat School being so well recognized nationally for excellence in both student access/success and great scholarship by faculty. All done while also demonstrating growth in diversity of students and faculty. And continuing to be done despite the sea changes created by Covid. The Collat School is proving every day that access and excellence can both be achieved, helped by the ability of the Collat School to materially grow high quality online education. 

What are you looking forward to Collat accomplishing in the next 50 years?

I am sure the Collat School will continue to grow in recognition and branding of Accessible Excellence. There is growing evidence that national and international branding and rankings of universities are changing from a primary focus on measures of exclusion to measures of diversity, community growth, and impactful research—all areas in which the Collat School can be so proud and in which UAB and the Collat School will be exceptional.