Turney Stevens, dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Business since 2008, is moving to a new role as dean emeritus of the college, Provost W. Craig Bledsoe announced today.
As dean emeritus, Stevens will focus on development initiatives and will continue in his role as executive director of Lipscomb’s Hilton and Sallie Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity.
Ray Eldridge, senior associate dean and professor of management in the college, will become the interim dean, effective May 31.
“Turney Stevens is a seasoned and successful professional who has enhanced our business program by bringing his expertise to the academic world,” Bledsoe said. “Under his leadership, the college has doubled its enrollment in graduate programs, added several innovative new programs and added 12 new full-time faculty, 10 of whom are at the doctoral level and most of whom have been involved hands-on in successful businesses for a number of years.”
During his tenure, Stevens lead the college through several significant achievements including the founding of the Dean Institute, which resulted in the college being named as one of the top 100 business ethics programs in the world by Ethisphere Magazine; becoming the first college of business in Tennessee and the fourth in the nation to achieve specialized accreditation for its accounting program from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; founding of the college’s Center for Global Connectedness and Collaboration, part of an initiative to enhance the school’s impact and footprint in global business, especially for underserved countries; establishment of the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship and an academic program to develop entrepreneurial business thinking; and the beginning of the area’s first supply chain management program established in cooperation with Hang Seng Management College in Hong Kong, the first globally partnered program of its kind in Middle Tennessee.
Under Stevens’ leadership, the college became one of only 15 percent of business schools in the nation to require a global study and travel experience in order to graduate with a master’s degree. Additionally during his tenure, the college became the first in Tennessee to offer tuition free Master of Business Administration degrees for Post-9/11 GI Bill veterans. The college has also been named among the top 25 business schools in the nation for veterans.
“Turney's influence and accomplishments while dean of this college have stretched as far away as the other side of the globe and as near as Middle Tennessee,” President L. Randolph Lowry said. “He came to the university with significant decades of achievement in business and translated that success to the classroom. He also came with a strong sense of Christian commitment and ethical values which has made a clear mark on the nature of education offered in this college.”
New interim dean Ray Eldridge has a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, master’s degrees from Syracuse University and Golden Gate University and a Ph.D. from the University of Sarasota. Prior to joining the Lipscomb faculty in 2008, he completed more than 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, served in professorships at Syracuse University and Freed-Hardeman University and was dean of Freed-Hardeman’s School of Business for three years.
Eldridge has received numerous academic recognitions for his work as well as serving on the Board of Commissioners for ACBSP, a national accrediting body for business education.
Each year, the Lipscomb University College of Business educates more than 450 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students in 16 undergraduate programs and four graduate degrees. Last year, more students sat for the Certified Public Accounting exam from Lipscomb University than from any other private college in the state.