SHREVEPORT -- With the LSU Shreveport College of Business encompassing more than 6,200 students and 58 full-time equivalent faculty, any new dean would have large shoes to fill.
But Dr. Mary Lois White officially stepped into her own shoes, having the interim label removed as the University named White the permanent dean.
White started in the interim dean role in 2021 and has led the college throughout the post pandemic phase.
“Our two focus areas in 2021 were increasing student engagement and engagement with our community,” White said. “The return of Pilot Pitch in the spring of 2022 was a tremendous milestone for the college coming out of the pandemic, and we look forward to its return in the fall semester.
“A highlight of our community engagement was the creation of the Northwest Louisiana Economic Dashboard, distributing that in collaboration with the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. Our on-campus engagement significantly increased with the successes of our marketing faculty in establishing an active LSUS collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association.”
Pilot Pitch is a competition that encourages student entrepreneurship as students submit new business models and pitch those to industry experts.
The Northwest Louisiana Economic Dashboard is a collection of economic and demographic information meant to inform business decisions and spur investment.
This level of engagement and attention to detail made White an attractive candidate.
“The College of Business is crucial to the health of the University, and it’s important that it’s strong and well-run,” said LSUS Provost Dr. Helen Taylor. “Dr. White has an incredible work ethic, and she will not rest until she knows that every detail has been reviewed and addressed.
“She didn’t give anything less than 110 percent when she was interim dean, and we knew that she would be at the top of her game as the permanent dean.”
White has been a valued LSUS faculty member since 2008 as an assistant professor of economics, advancing to the associate professor level in 2013. In 2019, she was named the Armand and Lynn Roos Professor of Business and Health Administration.
She took her first full-time step on the administrative level when she served as the program director of the Master of Health Administration program in 2020.
Service has been a common thread in White’s LSUS tenure as she currently sits on the Provost’s Council and Academic Deans Council while having been a past chair for the Campus Federal Teach Enhancement Fund Committee and the University Curriculum Committee.
“I’m very proud to work at LSUS, which has grown tremendously during my time here,” White said. “LSUS has been fortunate to have visionary leaders dedicated to connecting with and serving our community.
“I have taught many students who have chosen to be leaders in and servants of our community. They have sought volunteer opportunities and assumed leadership positions in our community organizations and have purposefully applied what they learned to positively impact our community. The College of Business aims to continue to find and develop the future leaders of Shreveport-Bossier.”
White is equally dedicated to the community in which LSUS serves as she was one of six women nominated for the Virginia K. Shehee Most Influential Woman Awards hosted by Holy Angels earlier this year.
Her Shreveport service started with Slow Food North Louisiana (board member), an organization focused on connecting the local community with local food providers and promoting the local food system.
Other local organizations in which White is involved includes Robinson’s Rescue (treasurer and board member for the low-cost spay and neuter clinic), the Philadelphia Center (board member and past treasurer for the Northwest Louisiana’s HIV resource center), Authors In April (committee member) and People Acting for Change and Equality (member).
White’s service areas surface in her research interests, which includes housing, healthcare and regional economic indicators.
The Florida State University product earned her doctorate degree in economics (2003) after acquiring a masters degree in economics (2001) and bachelor degrees in economics and international affairs (1997).