More than 350 faculty and staff members and leaders of the Florida International University (FIU) community celebrated the career of Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam at an event that marked her departure from the leadership of the College of Business after 15 years.
Dean Emerita Elam, who will continue as dean of University College, drew accolades from university leadership at the September 19th event honoring her entrepreneurship, her tireless work and her ongoing mentorship of fellow deans.
President Mark B. Rosenberg, who served as provost when Elam was selected as dean, recalled her determination to succeed and her gift for persuasion.
“Joyce had the ability to convince people of her vision, not only in the faculty but also in the business community,” he said. “Day in and day out, she was one of the most important deans we have had at FIU.”
Calling her the “Dean of Deans,” Provost Douglas Wartzok praised Elam’s ability to mentor other university deans and foster a climate of enrichment.
“Joyce is the embodiment of entrepreneurship,” he said.
Faculty, staff pay tribute to dean.
College of Business staff presented a video highlighting Elam’s success in fundraising and building partnerships with business leaders, and in establishing programs such as the Executive MBA, Women on the Move and centers including the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.
Looking back at her tenure as dean gave Elam the opportunity to share her thoughts on advances in technology and the entrepreneurial mindset that helped grow the college. She recalled that one of her first acts as dean was to “make everyone use email.”
“Our story is that we did amazing things with very little money,” she said. “We kept a startup mentality. We launched programs in a smart and efficient way, and then we watched them grow.”
Elam thanked FIU leaders as well as the business school’s faculty and staff for their support.
“Our world is changing in front of our eyes,” said Elam, who pioneered online learning, and will head its future development at FIU. “It’s a little breathtaking, but I’m confident that FIU will have a prominent place in this new world.”