“Serving as the faculty chairperson for three years and participating in discussions about such issues as student success and retention at the Senate level gives me an understanding of how to merge the interests of the individual schools and colleges with those of the University as a whole.”

Forging the future

Since her appointment as associate dean in November, Sullivan has focused her teaching and engagement skills on Krannert’s undergraduate program. Among the goals she shares with new dean P. Christopher Earley is an expansion of the school’s international reach.

“Walk across the Purdue campus and you will see how global Purdue has become. This is especially true in Krannert,” she says. “For some undergraduates, taking a class with students from other countries is the closest they have been to another culture. It’s the same for international students whose only experience outside their native countries may be coming to Purdue.

Charlene Sullivan

“The ability to understand other cultures –– through study abroad or working in class with a globally diversified team –– is an important part of the education for all undergraduates.”

Another priority is increasing opportunities for experiential learning at the undergraduate level.

“Through my work with TAP, I also know how important it is for students to be engaged and involved in real hands-on activities outside the classroom,” Sullivan says. “They get a lift when they can apply their classroom knowledge to address real-time management problems.

“At Krannert, we’ve developed numerous experiential learning opportunities for MBA students. We want to involve undergraduates more in the same type of activities. They are eager for experiences that develop and improve the skills they’ll need to be innovative leaders.”

Toward that end, a new undergraduate initiative dubbed "Launching Business Leaders" will create an integrated program from admission to placement that allows students to build their own brand, mold their own portfolio of activities and experiences, and tailor their plan of study.

“Krannert students already win high marks from recruiters,” Sullivan says, “but my objective is that we will do even better in the future.”

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