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New Dean for the College of Business Administration to join in May


The university announced Jan. 24 that James Payne, Ph.D., will join The University of Texas at El Paso May 1, as the new dean for the College of Business Administration.

Payne, who currently serves as the provost and executive vice president for student affairs at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, has more than 30 years of experience in higher education.

“In my current role and having previously served as business dean, I hope to have the opportunity to not just understand the College of Business, but the other colleges as well,” Payne said. “Given that experience, I can try develop some relationships across colleges for the College of Business.”

With 16 years of experience in administration, Payne previously served as dean of the College of Business at Georgia College and State University, interim dean of the College of the Arts and Science at Illinois State University (ISU) and was chair for the economics department at ISU.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio expressed her excitement on receiving Payne as the new Dean for COBA.

“We welcome Dr. Payne to UTEP as dean of the College of Business Administration,” President Diana Natalicio said in a news release. “His extensive experience as an academic administrator and teacher-scholar promises to enhance the work of the college’s faculty, staff and students. We are very pleased that he will play a leadership role in COBA as it continues its mission of providing UTEP students world-class educational opportunities that ensure their competitiveness in a global marketplace.”

Along with his role of dean, Payne will hold the Paul L. Foster and Alejandra de la Vega Foster Distinguished Chair in International Business.

As Payne prepares to take on his role, he said it was refreshing to know the access and excellence that UTEP has—especially after reaching top-tier status.

“When I visited campus, it was clear that everybody was very passionate about the mission and really took the mission to heart,” Payne said. “It’s a credit to the faculty, staff and students in terms of actually living their mission in terms of their actions and so forth.”

Creating a connection with students around campus and members of the faculty and staff are among Payne’s goals once he becomes part of the UTEP community.

“I’m just really looking forward to settling in spending time meeting all the faculty and staff, having chats with them, to understand their desires and aspirations—as well as the students and the campus community,” Payne said. “But equally importantly is working with the advisory board for the college to start interacting with the business community.”

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New Dean for the College of Business Administration to join in May