Paul H. Schwager, Ph.D. Named New Dean of School of Business

Paul Schwager
Paul H. Schwager, Ph.D.

Paul H. Schwager, Ph.D.

Suzanne Austin, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president, announced the following today:

I am pleased to announce that Paul H. Schwager, Ph.D., has been named dean of the College of Charleston School of Business, effective July 1, 2022. A proven leader, educator and researcher, Schwager possesses the skills and experience necessary to build upon the school’s legacy of excellence and to prepare it for the opportunities of the 21st century.

In his current role as dean and W. Howard Rooks Distinguished Professor in the College of Business at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, N.C., Schwager established the Copeland Diversity & Inclusion Fellows, the Cunanan Center for Professional Success and the Thomas D. Arthur Graduate School of Business. He also reorganized the school’s leadership structure to align with strategic priorities, led a successful AACSB peer review and reorganized the Business Advisory Council, with a focus on increasing diversity. In addition, Schwager has a proven track record as a successful fundraiser and donor steward. Prior to his appointment as dean in 2019, he served as the school’s interim dean, associate dean and acting associate dean.

Read the full announcement on The College Today.

CofC Students and Professor Give Insight on Supply Chain Now Podcast

Supply Chain Now Podcast Preview Page

Supply Chain Now Podcast Preview PageElizabeth Petner ‘22, Madison Buchter ‘22, and Keith Connolly, adjunct faculty in the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, all recently joined the Supply Chain Now podcast to discuss their experiences with supply chain management and notable trends of supply chain management that have become more important in the past couple of years.

Here are the three main takeaways from the podcast:

1. Supply chain management has not always been important to business structure, but it has become so in recent years.

When Professor Connolly was in college, supply chain management as a field of study did not exist. According to him, “Supply chain has not always been a crucial part of a business or a career that had a high level of importance.”

However, over his two-decade-long career at AT&T in both network sourcing and consumer supply chain management, he has noticed that his company’s competition was based on who could get their product to consumers the fastest and in the best condition.

2. The COVID-19 Pandemic changed the way the world views supply chains.

Both Petner and Buchter both came into college with different paths of study in mind. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, eureka moments struck for both of them that led them to choose to study supply chain management.

“Learning that in the past two years, the world has technologically advanced 10-15 years worth because of the stress brought on supply chains by the pandemic really connected the dots for me,” says Petner. For Buchter, it was seeing the shortage in essential goods, which challenged her to think of new potential processes to accommodate new demands. Seeing what the future would look like inspired Buchter to study supply chains in order to help improve current systems that have trouble keeping up with demand.

3. Real-world experience is important for supply chain management students and professors alike.

One area that all three participants honed in on was the importance of students gaining real-world experience working with supply chains. Petner and Buchter both stressed how much they each benefited from working hands-on in different intern programs and just by witnessing and interacting with supply chain professors.

Connolly’s real-world experience also plays a huge part in his teaching. His focus now has shifted to, as he puts it, “Tracking the way people perceive supply chains.” Connolly looks forward to teaching supply chain students with a mix of knowledge of his own experience and trends he has seen over the past few years as a professor.

Listen to the full podcast episode below or visit the episode page:

After Visiting 94 Countries, Tourism Professor Shares His Top 10 Destinations

Steve Litvin
Steve Litvin

Steve Litvin, Hospitality and Tourism Management Professor

Steve Litvin, professor of Hospitality and Tourism, recently celebrated his 20th year teaching at the College of Charleston.

Before arriving at the College in 2001, Professor Litvin was a CPA with two international accounting firms and co-owner of the largest independent travel agency in the state of Arizona. Litvin is also a Fulbright Scholar.

Litvin has visited all 50 states and 94 countries, all professionally or academically, with his wife, Allegra. He completed his doctorate degree from the University of South Australia, and spent eight years teaching in Singapore afterwards. As a Fulbright Scholar, Litvin was honored a Research Chair Award in Sustainable Commerce in Canada.

Throughout his travels, Professor Litvin found that experiences outweigh the location for a meaningful trip. Here are his top 10 places to visit:

  • 10. Bora Bora, French Polynesia - The island does tourism really well with its fabulous resorts and their bungalows over the water. We loved it from the minute we arrived at the airport. It was a special and romantic place for us to visit.

“Our travels have allowed me to experience other destinations and cultures and observe their issues, strengths and challenges,” says Litvin. “The learning from my explorations often find their way into my lectures, allowing me to keep my lessons current and topical, and it is just a lot of fun!”

The Class of 2022 will get to hear words of wisdom from Litvin at the morning commencement exercise for the School of Business and the School of Education, Health and Human Performance.

To learn the details about Professor Litvin’s travels, see the article on The College Today

School of Business Dean Alan T. Shao Ready for Next Business Challenge

Ala Shao
Ala Shao

Alan Shao, Dean of the School of Business, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, and 250th Anniversary

Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business at the College of Charleston, has announced he will be transitioning from his position this summer after more than 13 years of service.

“Over a decade as dean has been a magical carpet ride,” said Shao, who came to the College of Charleston in 2009 after serving nearly 20 years in various faculty and leadership roles at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “It has been a privilege to serve the campus and Charleston business community for such a long time.”

Shao made significant advancements for the business school during his tenure as dean. One of his earliest achievements was establishing a full-time Master of Business Administration program in 2010. In 2021, the program was the top-ranked full-time MBA program for job placement by U.S. News & World Report. More recently, the program ranked #1 for the highest share of female and nonbinary students in the country by Bloomberg Businessweek. It is the most affordable MBA among one-year, nationally ranked programs.

Shao successfully led three Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reaccreditation efforts at the College, a standard of excellence earned by less than five percent of the world’s business schools. His commitment to quality business education has benefited institutions worldwide. Shao has improved operations and helped more than 25 business schools achieve AACSB accreditation in China, India, Saudi Arabia, Wales, Scotland and Hungary.

Student support has always been at the forefront of Shao’s vision, as made evident by championing the school’s “one-stop shop” for business students, the Student Success Center. Several academic majors and minors in highly employable areas were established during his time as dean, including finance, commercial real estate finance, marketing, information management, and South Carolina’s first undergraduate major in supply chain management. Many of the business school’s undergraduate programs have also ranked in the top 20 nationally by various publications.

Under Shao’s leadership, student enrollment skyrocketed. Popular student programs also launched including the award-winning accelerator Impact X and esteemed Investment Program – testaments to the commitment of business faculty and staff.

“I sincerely appreciate all of the hard work and dedication by our outstanding faculty and staff. It has been a team effort as we focused on our overarching goal of student success,” said Shao.

Often lauded for his fundraising capabilities, Shao generated more than $35 million during his deanship. Additionally, he strategically strengthened and diversified the school’s advisory board with influential business leaders and served on various local boards. Because of this aptitude for relationship building, he became interim vice president of corporate partnerships for the university in 2019. In 2020, the School of Business and the Charleston Metro Chamber joined forces during the COVID-19 outbreak by organizing Profs on Call to connect faculty with small- and mid-sized businesses in need.

“I’ve always said that my two priorities are students and the community in which we live. I hope I have served both well,” said Shao.

Shao looks forward to new business challenges as he completes his deanship. A national search for his successor will conclude this summer.

The College Makes an Impact at Statewide Pitch Competition

Team Guestaurant

SC Innovates Challenge Logo

Congratulations to our students who competed and made an impact in the 2021 SC Innovates Challenge!

This student pitch competition consisted of 15 South Carolina partner colleges serving 119,000 students.

The College of Charleston boasted five of the 15 semifinalists and three of the six overall winners from the final competition.

People’s Choice – FloodWatch | College of Charleston ($500)
Team DrinkSafe








5th Place – DrinkSafe | College of Charleston ($750) (pictured above)

4th Place – Campus Connections | Wofford ($750)

Team Guestaurant





3rd Place – Guestaurant | College of Charleston ($1,000) (pictured above)

2nd Place – Cancer Connect | MUSC ($2,500)

1st Place – Glow Dot | MUSC ($4,000)

Read more at The College Today.