After serving six months as acting dean, Andy Turner has been named dean of the School of Business.
The appointment marks the beginning of Turner’s third full-time career, all of which have had strong roots in the education he received at PLU as an undergrad. Over the last 30-plus years, Turner has been a college professor, an investment manager and now, a business-school dean.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration at PLU in 1974, Turner went on to the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a doctorate in management science and applied economics.
After a brief stint in the still-embryonic software development industry in California, Turner moved back to his hometown of Tacoma to teach business and finance at PLU. He taught at his alma mater from 1976 through 1983 and received tenure, but ultimately decided to test his skills in the private sector. He then began a 21-year career at Russell Investment Group, at the conclusion of which his title was managing director of institutional investor services.
Since June, Turner has taken the energy and creativity he once dedicated to Russell and poured it into re-imagining the future of the PLU School of Business. Turner and members of the School of Business Executive Advisory Board are in the process of meeting with business leaders and investors to create an even stronger business school in an increasingly competitive environment.
In a series of “road show” briefings with business leaders over the last three months, Turner has outlined his vision for the school: to become the best small business school in the West by 2015, with graduates accepted at the best graduate schools, recruited by top companies and successful in their chosen fields, whether for-profit or non-profit.
Planning is expected to coalesce over the next six months, after which an announcement will be made regarding several new initiatives.
In addition to his role as dean of the School of Business, Turner is currently a founding partner of Northern Lights Venture Partners, a private equity investment management firm. He is also a co-owner of a fly fishing lodge in Port Alsworth, Alaska.
The lodge ownership reflects Turner’s love of the outdoors. An avid fly fisher, Turner also enjoys backpacking, horse packing and white-water rafting. He is a Wilderness Society Founder’s Circle member, a lifetime member of Trout Unlimited and Montana Wilderness Association and is a Katherine Ordway Associate of the Nature Conservancy.
After a successful career with Russell and the advent of his own private-equity firm, it is logical to question Turner’s return to PLU.
“The answer – corny but true – is that I feel like I owe it,” he said. “PLU gave me a great start in life. At Wharton, I went toe-to-toe with kids from Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, and not because I was super-smart, but because I received a great education. I want to give back.”
To learn more about the School of Business, visit www.plu.edu/busa.