Jan. 13, 2015 01:40 PM

Dr. Joby John

In a mid-December email to faculty and staff at UL Lafayette’s B. I. Moody School of Business Administration, then-Dean Dr. Joby John said he was stepping down but gave no reason for his decision. He did, however, make it clear he was honored to serve and had enjoyed “every day of my tenure” for the past 7.5 years and would remain on the faculty:

Together, we have accomplished much, including our maintenance of college accreditation, and new accreditations for the Accounting and Hospitality programs. We are also well positioned for our 5-year AACSB accreditation report due next year. We have established new graduate programs, such as our Executive MBA, and we are discussing other new graduate programs such as — an MS in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an MBA concentration in Energy Management, etc. We have introduced several new minors to complement our undergraduate majors. Under your guidance, UL Lafayette students are winning awards at national sales competitions. We have significantly increased our outreach efforts, such as with the Greater Acadiana CFO Roundtable, and have significantly increased endowments to our college. Our state-of-the-art Sales Lab, for example, is almost completely donor-supported.

As I have often said: We have done ‘so much with so little.’

I have very much enjoyed every day of my tenure as your dean. Without your support and hard work, we could not have accomplished any of this. I thank you for all your dedication and support of the college mission and our vision for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration to be the ‘best in our class.’

After much deliberation, I have decided that I am ready to play a different role now, and have tendered my resignation as dean of the college effective Dec. 31, 2014. As of January 1st 2015, I will return to faculty status, on sabbatical during the upcoming spring semester and to the classroom in the fall.

In my new role, I will continue to support Provost [James] Henderson and President [Joseph] Savoie in their vision for our college and university. There is much excitement about the future of our university and I am grateful to be a part of this future. I would be remiss if I did not also thank former Provost, Dr. Steve Landry and former President, Dr. Ray Authement for encouraging me to move to Lafayette and for offering me this great opportunity and privilege to serve as your Dean.

John did not immediately respond to ABiz’s email seeking more information on his decision to step down. An auto message directing anyone contacting him about official business to another email address stated he was on sabbatical until August but did not give any additional contact info.

John came to UL in mid-2007 from the Boston area, replacing Dr. Lewis Gale, who had left the university in 2004. John had worked for eight years as full professor and chair of the Department of Marketing at Bentley College, one of the largest private business schools in the U.S. Prior to joining Bentley in 1986, John was an instructor at Oklahoma State University during his doctoral program in business administration. A native of India, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy and an MBA, John worked for Pfizer and for British American Tobacco.

UL did not announce John’s resignation until a Jan. 13 press release noting that Dr. Gwen Fontenot has been named interim dean.

Fontenot previously headed the University’s Marketing and Hospitality Department and was college internship director, from August 2006 until May 2013. She is also director of Study Abroad, a post that she has held since August 2014.

Dr. Gwen Fontenot

According to the press release, as department head Fontenot was responsible for integrating the university’s hospitality management degree program and sales minor into the College of Business Administration curriculum. She also assisted with the development of concentrations in legal studies and international business, as well as minors in psychology, hospitality management, marketing, advertising, public relations, legal studies and behavioral sciences for business majors.

Fontenot led the Hospitality and Marketing Department in the development of an interactive sales and research lab and C’est Magnifique, an annual departmental fundraiser. She also helped attain accreditation for the university’s hospitality management program by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.

Fontenot is an associate professor of marketing who has taught at Dallas Baptist University, LSU-Alexandria, the University of Northern Colorado, Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas.

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