During nearly two decades at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Tim O’Keefe helped elevate a business school to the national stage, helping to establish the second school of entrepreneurship in a public university and building an online MBA program that rose to a top-30 national ranking.

Now he’s taking on a new challenge: infusing that same energy and momentum into Longwood’s College of Business and Economics.

“We quickly found in Tim the same philosophy that drives the College of Business and Economics faculty every day,” said Dr. Charles White, professor of management, who served as interim dean and a member of the search committee to find a successor to Dr. Paul Barrett, who was named dean in 2008 and returned to full-time teaching this spring.

White added that O’Keefe “has a deep sense of community and responsibility and brings extensive experience not only in enhancing current programs but also in building initiatives from soup to nuts.”

I got an immediate sense that this was the right-sized school to offer a great education, to produce high-quality research and to still be student-centered.

Dr. Tim O'Keefe, Dean

A North Dakota native, O’Keefe is an information systems expert who joined the faculty at the University of North Dakota in 1999. Before joining UND, he was a professor at his undergraduate alma mater, Mayville (North Dakota) State University. He holds a Ph.D. in computer information systems and quantitative analysis from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

O’Keefe was attracted to Longwood by its size, its commitment to quality teaching and its focus on research.

“I got an immediate sense that this was the right-sized school to offer a great education, to produce high-quality research and to still be student-centered,” he said. “The moment I set foot on this campus I could feel a positive energy, a collective sense of community and responsibility.”

O’Keefe said his first order of business at Longwood will be to listen and learn, citing the quality of the faculty, staff and students. “Those fine people know what we need to do to continuously improve. If I listen, they will tell me.”

Beyond that, he believes that increasing financial support for the college is key to its future success.

“I think one of the most important things we can do in the next several years is to increase the size of the CBE endowment by several orders of magnitude so that we can offer more scholarships and fund more faculty development,” he said.

An enthusiastic hiker, bow hunter and weekend woodworker, O’Keefe is eagerly anticipating exploring the Prince Edward countryside with his wife, Bonnie, and introducing Virginia to their two grown daughters and their families.

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